The Mother’s Jennifer Lopez learns to be an action hero and a better mum, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

The Mother’s Jennifer Lopez learns to be an action hero and a better mum

LOS ANGELES – Jennifer Lopez steps into her first big action-hero role in The Mother, playing a military-trained assassin who comes out of hiding to protect the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago.

And the 53-year-old American actress-singer says that, like the character, she had to learn and grow as a mother as her own children became teenagers.

But Lopez credits her new husband – American Oscar-winning film-maker Ben Affleck, 50, to whom she called off a high-profile engagement in the early 2000s, and sensationally reconnected with two years ago – for making her a better parent.

At the Los Angeles premiere of the film, which is now streaming on Netflix, the star heats up the red carpet in a shimmering cream bralette, maxi skirt and long-line coat as she and Affleck pose and smooch for the cameras.

As she introduces the movie to the audience, Lopez reflects on her own journey with motherhood and thanks Max and Emme, her 15-year-old twin son and daughter with former husband, Grammy-winning singer Marc Anthony, 54.

The Mother “was a very special kind of movie in that I felt like, during it, I kind of grew up as a mum”, says the star, who starred in the romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding (2022) and crime caper Out Of Sight (1998).

“My kids were just becoming teenagers and it was something that I was thinking about, because this character was learning how to be a mum to this child (played by Lucy Paez) that she didn’t raise.

“It was a beautiful experience to have both those things going on in my personal and work life. I don’t think it was a mistake,” says Lopez, who is the singer behind chart-topping hits such as Let’s Get Loud (1999) and On The Floor (2011).

The movie is also a career milestone for her as an actress and producer.

It is the biggest film made by her production company Nuyorican Productions, whose credits include Lopez’s crime comedy-drama Hustlers (2019) and erotic thriller The Boy Next Door (2015). 

And the lead role in a big action flick is not something she expected in her 50s. “I’m getting these opportunities I thought I’d be getting in my 20s and 30s, but I’m getting them now and it’s so exciting and empowering – I hope for other people as well.”

And Lopez shows no signs of slowing down.

Her upcoming projects include producing and starring in science-fiction thriller Atlas, co-starring Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (2021) actor Simu Liu, and playing a Colombian drug lord in biopic The Godmother.

(From left) Jennifer Lopez and Lucy Paez in The Mother. PHOTO: NETFLIX


“There’s so much more to do,” she says.

“Especially in this business, people think at a certain time in your life, it’s going to be over, but there are so many incarnations and different places for you to evolve to,” says Lopez, who started out as a backup dancer in music videos and on the sketch comedy show In Living Colour (1990 to 1994).

She says her action-hero turn in The Mother was very challenging. “I had to learn how to fight and shoot and all that kind of stuff, and we were also filming in the cold.”

But the movie, which co-stars Joseph Fiennes and Gael Garcia Bernal, also “really has emotional gravitas to it with the mother-and-daughter story”, she says.

“It really talks about what it means to be a mother, and that there’s no one version of that. There’s many versions and you just have to be the best one that you can be to your specific child.”

American actress-singer Jennifer Lopez and actor Ben Affleck at the premiere of The Mother at the Westwood Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles. PHOTO: AFP


Lopez adds that Affleck – who won a Best Picture Oscar for the political thriller Argo (2012), which he directed and starred in – has made her a better mum.

“We have different styles – we’re very different people anyway – and so I’ve taught him things and he teaches me things,” she says of the actor, who has three children of his own, aged 11 to 17, with his former wife, actress Jennifer Garner, 51.

“We look at things differently and that helps with us.”

The Mother is available on Netflix.