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Jennifer Lopez wants to prove that street smarts are just as important as book smarts in a new movie, “Second Act”

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USA TODAY

From a veteran stripper in “Hustlers” to an international Tejano superstar in “Selena”, Jennifer Lopez has played a number of personas on the big screen.

But that was not always the case.

The star, 51, revealed during Variety’s Power of Women Conversations by Lifetime on Wednesday that she was written as “the maid, the dishwasher” earlier in her career.

“I was like, ‘I do not want to do that,'” Lopez explained. “I had to break out of it and convince someone to place me in the first romantic comedy that I think was ‘The Wedding Planner.’ (Director) Adam Shankman put me in that movie. ‘”

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Lopez explained that she was “hot at the time” – she dropped her debut album “On the 6” in 1999 and had her iconic Versace dress moment in 2000 – but Lopez said she could not get filmmakers to take a chance on her despite success in films such as “Out of Sight” and “Selena.”

“My agent (Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, who is now her producing partner) … asked for a certain price that (she) thought I deserved, and they excited us back,” Lopez said. “Then (Adam) came to one of my record signatures and he said, ‘Give her what she wants. “The line was around the block.”

According to Variety, Goldsmith-Thomas negotiated a payday of $ 9 million for Lopez to play a role in the romantic comedy, which was a record amount for a Latin actress at the time.

Goldsmith-Thomas, who spoke with Lopez on Wednesday, attributed it to “power no.”

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Lopez said it was a crucial moment in her career.

“The idea that someone like me, from my background, who was a woman, could get that kind of award in this industry. It was a great thing,” she said.

The rest is history.

Despite mediocre reviews from critics, “The Wedding Planner” topped the box office when it was released in January 2001, earning over $ 94 million worldwide. That same week, Lopez’s second album “J-Lo” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making Lopez the first actress to have both No. 1 albums and movies in the same week.

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