With nearly 25 years in showbusiness, there’s very little Jennifer Lopez hasn’t seen and done in her career. Having started out as a backing dancer for acts such as New Kids on the Block and Janet Jackson, her musical aspirations took a slight back seat as her acting career took off with minor roles in straight-to-video movies. Two decades on, however, the stunning 44-year-old is one of Hollywood’s most in-demand and highly paid actresses, with a successful list of albums under her wing too. While JLo was once known predominantly for her award-winning and scene-stealing derrière, she’s now lauded as one of the big screen’s most bankable stars finding her niche in romcoms such as Maid in Manhattan, The Back-up Plan, and The Wedding Planner. Most recently she’s taken on roles with more depth and will soon be seen opposite Viola Davis as a gun-toting vengeful mother in Lila & Eve. Somehow amid reading scripts, raising two children and producing new music, JLo, who’s also a judge on American Idol, still managed to find to time to record the official 2014 FIFA World Cup song. Ahead of her performance at the Dubai World Cup on 29 March at Meydan Racecourse, Ahlan! caught up with our favourite Latina for a chat about her beauty regime, getting married again and why she’s so excited about the Boy Next Door.
You’re one of the busiest women in Hollywood. How have you managed to stay looking so radiant?
I just try to take care of myself as much as possible. I sleep well, even though my schedule and work load is really hectic, and I exercise a little more lately than I used to have to. I think you have to have the right balance of working out and rest, oh, and eat right too. Like Pharrell says, ‘be happy’! Being happy helps too.
You were last in the UAE for your Dance Again tour back in 2012 and you were seen all over Dubai. What attracts you to the city?
It’s such an amazing, beautiful city. It’s a real wonder and I have had some of my best memories in Dubai. Last time I was here we performed outside, which was amazing, and I celebrated Thanksgiving here too. I got to spend time on the water with the kids, so it was filled with some of my best memories.
Well, it sounds like you really like it here. If you were ever to get married again, would Dubai be your dream location?
[Laughs] Well, if I’m honest I hadn’t thought about getting married again, but yes, Dubai would be great location to do that if I ever did.
You’re going to be performing at Dubai World Cup. It’s a pretty glitzy event, so what can we expect you to bring to the table?
We are revamping everything for this show, so you guys are going to be the first to see what were gonna try. We’ve worked really hard to make sure that it’s everything we wanted it to be, new dances, new choreography, new production. It’s going to be pretty special.
Your upcoming movie, Boy Next Door, is a little bit racier than some of your other work. Tell us about your cougar character.
Well, it’s a thriller, and I play a woman who’s been separated from her husband for nine months and is contemplating divorce. She’s struggling with things and then, suddenly, this boy moves in next door and, well, things go a step too far and stuff goes wrong and, erm, you’ll have to watch the movie!
Is there something about World Cups you like? You’re going to be at the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil too, right?
Yes I believe we’re going to be flying in. I’ve just recorded the official World Cup song We Are One (Ole Ola) with Pitbull and Cláudia Leitte and we’re going to perform it at some point during the opening ceremony.
Mothers’ Day is coming up – what will you be doing with your mum, Guadalupe?
You know what, her friends all call her Lupe, but I call her Mommy! To be honest, I don’t know yet! I’ll think of something good, though, I always do. She actually just left me. She was with me for a few weeks and came to the first American Idol show we just did.
We know you love to dance, but you’re also known for your acting and singing. If you absolutely had to choose only one career – singing, dancing or acting – which would it be?
Shoot me now! I can’t choose one – please don’t make me pick one.
That’s not a valid answer, Jennifer! Pick one!
Aw, man, I really couldn’t choose! Singing and dancing go together for me. They’re both such a natural thing when I’m up on stage or just chilling too. I couldn’t pick between any of them – I love doing all three.
Fine – we’ll let you off, then. You can show us how good you are at all three at the Dubai World Cup.
Yes, I will!
INFO: Dubai World Cup tickets are now available. Apron Views, Dhs350; Premium Seating 3, Dhs1,300; Meydan Room, Dhs4,500; Meydan Terrace, minimum booking is for a table of 10, Dhs30,000. For more information about each ticket package, ring 04 327 2110, visit www.meydan.ae or email email@example.com