Jennifer Lopez, 50, is opening up about not getting an Oscar nod for her role in Hustlers. “I was sad, I was a little sad,” Jennifer admitted to Oprah Winfrey at “Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus” event in Los Angeles on Feb. 29. “It was a little bit of a let down and I felt like my whole team — most of my team has been with me for 20, 25 years — I think they had a lot of hopes [for a nomination]. They wanted it, too. I felt like I let everybody down,” she continued.
Jennifer added that the intense media buzz around a potential nomination didn’t help the scenario. “There was a lot of build up to it — I got so many good notices for it, more than ever in my career,” she added. “There was a lot of like, ‘She’s gonna get nominated for an Oscar! It’s gonna happen! If she doesn’t you’re crazy!’ And I’m reading all the articles and thinking, ‘Oh my god, could this happen?’ And then it didn’t and I was like, ‘Ouch,'” she continued. The snub ended being a powerful lesson for Jen about not needing a stamp of approval from others. “I had to ask, well, ‘why do you do this?’ You just had the most amazing year of your life. You just had the biggest opening of a movie of your career. You just walked the runway in Milan at a fashion show and had a fashion moment. You’re doing the Super Bowl in a couple weeks! You realize you want people’s validation and you want people to say you did a good job. But I just realized, I don’t need that, I this because you love it,” she shared.
In Hustlers, Jennifer plays street smart stripper Ramona who becomes the mastermind of a money-making scheme during the 2008 recession. The character was based on a true story of a NYC-based club — and the Bronx native revealed that she wouldn’t have been able to bring the role to life without going through her own personal struggles. “As you get more mature, as you get older, as you have more wisdom and experience on you — you become a better performer,” she said. “You become better at people connecting with you, you become a better actress because you’ve lived,” she continued, noting that she was “a good actress always. I can say that now to myself. What I do now is so much different than what I did [earlier in my career]. It’s more fun for me because I’m more confident with it.”
While the “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” singer was overlooked by the Academy, she still had a stellar awards season earning a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category at the Golden Globes, as well as nods from the Screen Actors Guild and numerous film festivals. “I needed to go through the Oscar snub…in the best ways, kind of being let down then realizing you’re okay and you don’t need this award to tell me I’m enough. I am enough,” she also said.
Oprah’s full interview with Jennifer Lopez will air on Wednesday, March 4 (8 PM ET/ 7 PM CT) as part of WW’s Wellness Wednesday Series on Oprah’s Facebook Channel, and the WW Now Facebook Channel, with highlights on Instagram, @ww.now.