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.”
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