Not only playing a stripper turned criminal mastermind is a role easily mastered by the one and only JLo, it is a performance that might actually result in her first Oscar nomination.. The 50-year-old stunner just landed an official path to an Oscar for her latest movie Hustlers.
In the fact-based film, written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, Lopez plays Ramona, a veteran stripper who takes some of the club’s new dancers under her wing and starts coaxing them toward a life of crime. Introduced with a stunning striptease to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal,” Ramona gathers her bills and coos, “Doesn’t money make you horny?” to our protagonist, Destiny (Constance Wu), who gazes back at Ramona as if she’s looking at God.
It’s the juiciest role Lopez has had in two decades, and one as complicated as her own star persona: Ramona is soft but steely, a careerist yet a caretaker, maternal but forever young.
At the film’s after-party in Toronto, director Scafaria said,
I think people forget what an incredible actress she is and what chops she has just because she’s a triple threat and a brand, They forget what Jennifer is capable of in a close-up, and that she can play someone complex and dangerous.
The question remains, will “Hustlers” serve as a reminder to Oscar voters? Will they be willing to think of the movie as something more than just a mainstream entertainment?
Obviously I’m flattered.… I’ve done so many movies and I’ve done so many roles that I’ve learned to not do it for anything except because I love doing it. Every movie that I sign on to and every role that I choose to play is really about me exploring and really being an artist, being an actor, loving life, loving people, and doing that thing. Having the opportunity to do that with my life is such a pleasure for me. I’ve learned that I don’t really look at anything else. So when something like [Oscar buzz] happens…you’re just like, Wow.