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J-Lo: What we learned about Jennifer Lopez in her Netflix documentary “Halftime”

A New Netflix documentary “Halftime” about Jennifer Lopez offers a behind the scenes look into the artist’s personal life dealing the ups and downs of fame.

What we learned about Jennifer Lopez in her Netflix documentary "Halftime"
Anadolu AgencyGetty

Started as a documentary about what the next half of Jennifer Lopez’s life would have in store for the award-winning artist, “the whole movie changed,” according to producer Dave Broome. The all-access Netflix documentary “Halftime” began filming as J-Lo ended her residency in Las Vegas on the verge of turning 50, preparing to set out on her It’s My Party tour.

However, events would occur that made for four years of “constant fluidness” that morphed the final product. The result, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released on Netflix 14 June is an intimate view of J-Lo. From the making and promoting of the movie “Hustlers” and dealing with an Oscar snub, to being a person not “into politics” needing to make a political statement at the 2020 Superbowl. Viewers will also see how jokes at J-lo’s personal expense as she was rising to the heights of stardom took a toll on her.

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Frustration with the conditions for performing at the 2020 Super Bowl

When Lopez was asked to perform at the 2020 Super Bowl with Shakira, she was honored. However, she became frustrated with the conditions laid out for splitting the stage time with just 12 minutes to perform divided evenly between the two. There was no professional envy with her fellow singer about having to share the stage for a job that is typically done by one headliner. Lopez felt it was impossible for any kind of message to be put across “in six f**king minutes.”

Jennifer Lopez wanted to make a statement at the 2020 Super Bowl

Events happening in the US in the lead up to the 2020 Super Bowl saw J-Lo realize that she couldn’t “just leave the politics to everybody else.” In 2018, the Trump administration implemented a “zero tolerance” policy at the southern border.

Hundreds of children were separated from their parents as they crossed the US border and put in cages. “I was living in a United States I didn’t recognize. I was afraid for my kids, for their future,” Lopez said. “It made me realize that I had a responsibility to not be quiet.”

As part of the halftime show, she had included children in cages to make a statement. The higher-ups in the NFL asked her to remove them the night before the performance but she stood her ground. Lopez says in the documentary, “To take out the cages and sacrifice what I believe in would be like not being there at all.”

Hollywood can be a tough town and the Oscar snub hurt

J-Lo began her career in Los Angeles as a Flygirl dancer on In Living Color before she got into acting. Her “tough skin” and determination led to her becoming the first Latina actress to earn $1million for her starring role in Selena. But as her star got brighter, so did the focus on her and she became fodder for late night comedians’ jokes, and it took a toll on her self-esteem which says was “really low.”

She says in the movie, “No matter what I achieved, their appetite to cover my personal life overshadowed everything.” Adding, “I believed a lot of what they said, which is that I wasn’t really good.”

Every star’s dream is to one day take home an Oscar and Jennifer Lopez is no different. As the documentary was being made J-Lo took on the starring role in Hustlers where she plays a stripper. For her performance she was thought to be a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination.

However, the Academy in the end didn’t deem her performance worthy and Lopez talks about just how much it would have meant to her. Not receiving acknowledgement from an establishment that has never really accepted her.

“The truth is I really started to think I was going to get nominated,” she says in the documentary. “I got my hopes up because so many people were telling me I would be. And then it didn’t happen.”


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