“I didn’t get paid a whole bunch of money for, ‘Hustlers,’” Lopez told the publication. “I did it for free and produced it. I bank on myself, you know? That was like Jenny from the block. I do what I want; I do what I love.”
The movie, which made $33 million opening weekend at the box office, was based on “The Hustlers At Scores,” a New York Magazine article released in 2015. “Hustlers” showcased the lives of a group of strippers in Manhattan who trick & scheme their way into more money by plotting against and drugging their clients.
Lopez opened up about her decision to film the movie without a big check, stating, “I’ve never been motivated by money. I’ve always been motivated by, ‘I wanna be a great actress, a great singer, a great dancer. I wanna make movies. I wanna make music.’ and the money came along with that,” she said. “So to play a character, I do things because I love them.”
Despite doing the role for free, Lopez was dedicated and took the job as serious as any other performance and went to extreme lengths to make sure everything was done right.
“Obviously, for the pole dancing and to be playing a stripper, I was gonna be showing a lot of skin and my body in a way that I hadn’t ever before,” she said. So it was a lot of training and strength training and then pole dancing training. And it was really, really difficult,” she explained.
“I visited… a few strip clubs,” she said. “I talked to a few girls. And I got what I needed from the experience. And I think people have a perception that they’re ashamed of it, or it’s something they wanna hide, or it’s something they should feel bad about. And they don’t. They’re like, ‘We’re dancers. We dance for money. We’re proud of our bodies. I feel fine.’… There’s this little bit of bravado… it takes a lot of strength.”
All of Lopez’s hard work and determination paid off as the actual Ramona, whom her character was based on, praised Lopez to Fox News.
“As soon as she came out in that outfit, she looked gorgeous,” said Samantha Barbash. “She did amazing on the pole. I don’t even know how to do stuff like that. So, I commend her.”