Singer, actress and dancer Jennifer Lopez learned a long time ago that everyone is meant to march to the beat of their own drum and a path in life that works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.
In her new rom-com “Second Act,”J.Lo plays Maya, a supermarket manager with 15 years of product retail experience. With her education limited to a GED, she can only hope for a more fulfilling career. When her godson forges her new Ivy League identity, resulting in a swanky consulting gig, she rides out the lie, all in an effort to prove her street smarts are every bit as good as book smarts.
Photo: Golden Village
Much like her character in the movie, the mogul is living proof that women should pursue their dreams – and sometimes, those dreams aren’t at the end of linear achievement track that culminates in a college degree. She hopes that through this film, people can find inspiration and hope.
“People need to know there is not just one way to a path to success. There are many, many different routes. I grew up in the Bronx and didn’t have much of an education. I didn’t go to college,” says the 49-year-old performer.
“I wasn’t a bad student or anything. I was a good student. I just didn’t have those opportunities and I also had different dreams. I never dream't of going to Harvard or going to any of these big schools or anything like that. That wasn’t my route. I knew I wanted to be an artist,” she added.
While Jennifer may have gotten where she is without a college degree, the star of hits such as the romantic comedy “Maid In Manhattan” and crime drama “Out of Sight” (1998) revealed that the journey hasn’t always been easy.
“Even with dance, I had no way into the business. I didn’t know anybody who was in show business or knew somebody who was in show business or had been to Hollywood. There was just no entry point, but you have to find your own way. It can be done,” says the actress, who is also the singer behind chart topping hits like “On The Floor (2011) and If You Had My Love (1999).
So how did “Jenny from the block” break out of the Bronx and work with some of the most powerful people in Hollywood, including her “Second Act” producing partner and writer Goldsmith-Thomas, who also produced “Mona Lisa Smile,” “World of Dance,” “The Fosters” and “Shades of Blue”?
Her secret, she said, was to work hard and venture to the edge of her limits.
“Hopefully you have some talent and work your butt off. The secret to my success, I feel, is I work harder than anyone else. I don’t stop,” said Jennifer.
“I just loved the idea of being able, with every new day, having a chance to accomplish whatever you want to accomplish and the only thing holding you back is you. You just have to decide.”
We couldn’t have said this better ourselves.