Jennifer Lopez told the disturbing anecdote while on the lead actress roundtable set up by the The Hollywood Reporter. She was with actresses Jennifer Lopez, Renée Zellweger, Laura Dern, Lupita Nyong’o, Awkwafina and Scarlett Johansson.
While talking about MeToo, Lopez shared what happened to her on an early film set. She said, “He wanted to see my boobs. And I was like, ‘We’re not on set.’ And I said no, I stood up for myself. But it was so funny because I remember being so panicked in the moment. And by the way, there was a costume designer in the room with me. So there was another woman in the room and he says this and I said no. Luckily a little bit of the Bronx came out, and I was like, ‘I don’t have to show you my—No. On the set, you see them.'”
Other actresses shared similar stories. Laura Dern said, “I started auditioning at 10, 11 years old. I listen to the next generation, saying, ‘People used to have auditions in hotel rooms?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, every single time, waiting in the lobby of a hotel and the director is waiting for you in the room to have a chemistry read.'”
Lopez added to that by saying that judging inappropriate intentions was not that easy. She said, “And sometimes it was not inappropriate at all. It was totally professional. So it’s not like you can put everybody in that category.”
Renée Zellweger added, “No, it just kind of afforded an opportunity to be inappropriate if you were so inclined.”
She also talked about some of the changes that MeToo has brought about, saying, “They keep the door open. Or I had one gentleman say, ‘I don’t meet with women alone. I always make sure that there’s somebody else in here because I don’t want anything to be misconstrued or misunderstood and I want her to be comfortable.’ So you see that there are different choices being made.”
Lupita Nyong’o added, “This is a time where there is a concerted effort to consider diversity and inclusion,” she shared. “What I really want is for it to not be a fad, not be a trend. Right now it’s really dope and cool and on trend to work with women and underrepresented groups, but the moment of maturity in the industry is when it is just the norm, you know?”
Lopez also talked about being used for media stories. She said, “It’s funny, from the beginning, I’ve been really picked out and plagued with that. Lots of stories, lots of lies, lots of things where you’re trying to figure out, ‘How did this happen? How did I become that person?’ What I’ve learned is that none of it matters. And it doesn’t really bother me anymore. I’ve learned that I know who I am, I know what I do, I know I’m a good person, I know I’m just out here working my ass off and trying to fulfill myself creatively. There was a time in my life when it was such a big part and it was so hurtful and so hard that you think, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore, I don’t want to be the person on the cover of the magazine every week for two and a half years, I don’t. This is crazy. Why me?’”
She added, “I think honestly American Idol helped with that a lot. Of all the things that I’ve done in my career, people actually just seeing me talk about how much I love music and how much I love people and how much of a girl’s girl I am and how much of a crier I am — things shifted.”
You can read the full conversation here.
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