Since making her first acting debut in 1986’s My Little Girl to worldwide super-stardom by 1999, Lopez has been credited as one of the ultimate examples of achieving the most glamorous vision of the American Dream. Her admirable influence on pushing Latinos into the forefront of American popular culture is also a central factor to her presence. Today, she’s a fashion entrepreneur, singer, dancer, actress, producer, and Proud Latina. From a cinematic perspective, let’s countdown her most iconic film roles to date.
The list may not include her most challenging choices (like the enigmatic The Cell), but most of which you’ve probably seen, and also recognized as one of your favorites roles the Bronx native has played.
–C. Shardae Jobson (@lavishrebellion)
1. SELENA (1997)
The heartwarming biopic of the beloved Tejano singer was played with delicacy and poignancy from Lopez. Her impersonation as the young talent was slain in 1995 by the pernicious Yolanda touched film-goers and critics. It remains a pivotal time in Lopez’s career, especially considering it launched her into the stratosphere of fame and fortune, as she was the first Latina to in Hollywood history to earn a $1 million paycheck for one movie role.
2. OUT OF SIGHT (1998)
Playing a street smart U.S. Marshal, Lopez was the sexy ying to George Clooney’s, as a crook, equally as sexy yang. The two pretty much participated in a cat and mouse game for a majority of the film, though their intimate encounters were executed with a coy finesse that was H-O-T. Thrillers aren’t usually supposed to be this luscious.
3. MAID IN MANHATTAN (2002)
Probably one of the more close to home stories she’s ever partaken in because she played a Latina woman from the Bronx seeking for more in life than the usual gerbil on the wheel routine, as Marisa, she was feisty and sweet. As a maid in a swanky Midtown hotel, through destiny of accidentally meeting politician Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) and dreams of being a manager, Maid in Manhattan was a romantic comedy with some truth squeezed in about mixing love and professional aspirations. This one remains a J.Lo favorite.
4. ENOUGH (2002)
Her most physically demanding role, Lopez took on the taboo position of a wife being abused by her husband and who then seeks revenge. As Slim, she thought she had it all with her fairy tale life as a housewife with her child, but once her husband showed his dark side, Slim had to shape up and do what it takes to protect her family. Emotional and personal, Enough was a rarity for Hollywood in supporting the cause of women’s rights and self-defense.
5. THE WEDDING PLANNER (2001)
As the secretly lovestruck though benign to getting married herself Mary, her character gets stuck in a tricky triangle as her and the groom of her current project, Steve, become attracted to each other, and they do their best to fight the (amorous) good fight. A hit at the box office, this film regularly plays on cable networks, and the rom-com is still a genre that Lopez seems to enjoy swimming in the most.
Congrats Jennifer on your Hollywood Walk of Fame star!
Get more J. Lo nostalgic and watch below her MTV Diary special from 2000.