Jennifer Lopez lands the cover of W Magazine, and she looks absolutely gorgeous on the cover (although different, right?). For the interview, W sent their reporter to the Bronx home where Jennifer grew up. Jennifer met the reporter at her former home, and they stood outside talking about her past.
Her longtime manager, Benny Medina, who has been the greatest constant in her life and who was with us that day, was curious to know if she had gone to a nearby school, across the boulevard from the house. “Is that the way you went to school?” he asked. “No,” Lopez said, looking in the direction of a giant building two blocks away. “But that’s the way I came back from school.” She laughed again and then grew quiet when Medina asked if she wanted to knock on the door of her childhood house. “No. I don’t want to go inside,” she said. “The last time I was in there was when my mom and dad called us home to tell us that they were separating after 33 years of marriage. I think that’s why I was nervous about coming here today. It’s like seeing someone from the past—you’re afraid to run into them because you never know if it’s going to be ‘wow’ or very difficult. This is a combination of both.”
Jennifer moved away 26 years ago, when she was 18-years-old. She went on to study dance at the Ballet Hispanico.
“My mom and I butted heads,” Lopez told me later over the phone from Los Angeles. “I didn’t want to go to college—I wanted to try dance full-time. So she and I had a break. I started sleeping on the sofa in the dance studio. I was homeless, but I told her, ‘This is what I have to do.’ A few months later, I landed a job dancing in Europe. When I got back, I booked In Living Color. I became a Fly Girl and moved to L.A. It all happened in a year.”
After living in Los Angeles, Jennifer admits she missed her hometown.
“I hated L.A.,” she said. “I was asking, ‘Where’s the store for milk? Don’t you guys walk on the street?’ Now I love Los Angeles, but it doesn’t give me strength the way the Bronx did. All the strength that I needed for life, I got from that neighborhood.”
MUCH MORE AFTER THE JUMP!
She opens up about her twins, 5-year-olds Max and Emme.
“I think a lot about teaching my kids to work hard,” Lopez said. “I’ve learned something about kids—they don’t do what you say; they do what you do. I watched my parents. My dad worked nights, and I was aware of how much he was doing for us. My mom was a Tupperware lady and also worked at the school. I always felt that I couldn’t let them down. And I had a natural discipline from early on. I was always training for something.”
She’s still talking about that green dress she wore to the Grammy’s on the arm of Sean Combs.
“We had looked at a few dresses, and nothing was right,” Lopez recalled. “My stylist said, there’s this one dress, but other people have worn it. I tried on the Versace and decided to wear it anyway. But I was still surprised by the reaction: When I came onstage with David Duchovny, who was the biggest star in the world then, he said to the audience, ‘Nobody is looking at me,’ ” Lopez said, laughing. “This loud sound started from the back of the room—it was kind of like a roar, over me in the dress. When I went to my seat, I said, ‘What’s the big deal?!’ Puffy and Benny were waiting, and they said, ‘You have to take pictures in that dress.’ ” And so she did.
She loves to work.
“I can remember dancing and singing in front of the mirror in my bedroom,” Lopez said that day, still looking at her former home. “I’ve always had dreams—the dreams have just gotten bigger. Benny and I will get together and plan what we want to do for the next six months, the next year. He knows I love gypsy life—I love to go. Holidays always seem very long to me. After two weeks off, I start saying, ‘Let’s get back to work.’ And I’ve always been that way.”
Great interview! I do think that Jennifer is one of the few celebrities who comes across as “normal.” I think she comes off really likable in this interview.