Jennifer Lopez says 'This is Me... Now' is personal, magical look at how she sees love

Cast member and co-writer Jennifer Lopez attends Amazon's "This Is Me... Now: A Love Story" premiere at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Tuesday. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 5 | Cast member and co-writer Jennifer Lopez attends Amazon's "This Is Me... Now: A Love Story" premiere at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Tuesday. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez says her musical fantasy film, This is Me ... Now, represents the end of one era of her life and the beginning of another.

Premiering Friday on Prime Video, the same day as her similarly titled album, the 65-minute movie was imagined and financed by Lopez and directed by Dave Meyers. It is billed as a fictionalized, musical expression of the artist's personal "journey to love through her own eyes."


The sci-fi/romance project features Lopez alongside Trevor Noah, Post Malone, Fat Joe, Keke Palmer, Derek Hough, Sofia Vergara and others.

"This was something that was really inspired by the music and a moment in life that I wanted to capture that seemed very kind of magical and even surreal at times it was happening," Lopez said in a recent virtual press conference.


"I went in the studio and I made this album. And when it was done, I thought to myself: 'There's more to this story. There's something bigger I want to do with this music.'"

Recently married for the fourth time, the 54-year-old Grammy winner and mother of 16-year-old twins said she didn't want to go through the usual process of simply promoting her new album through marathon interviews, releasing music videos and going on a concert tour to support it.

Instead, she called Meyers and asked him how they could loosely incorporate her biography and music into a special, visually stunning film.

"I think we created something that hadn't really been done," Lopez said. "It didn't fit into any one specific category. Not quite a film, not quite a video, but a story nonetheless -- something very original."

Lopez and Meyers sat down together to write a script for the movie to help make their intentions clear to themselves and to the people with whom they would be working to bring it to life.

"She was explaining the journey that she's gone through personally -- a lot of truth and a lot of personal stuff that was shared, a lot of passion in the music," Meyers said.


"It was just sort of like, 'Well, gosh, that's what I'd like to know more about.' And she's sharing that with me. Is there a way to spin that into a piece that the world can explore with her? So that was sort of the beginnings."

Meyers said Lopez's career may have skyrocketed over the past three decades, but she always maintained a talent and a work ethic he admired.

"Jen's always been the most dialed in, professional, hardworking person," he said.

"But I think that what I got to experience this time around was -- a funny way of putting it -- she's like Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi and no longer A New Hope. So, it's like there's a maturity of courage and being vulnerable," he added. "She's bolder, stronger, and more unapologetic about what she believes."

Fans most likely will recognize certain moments in the film as reflecting Lopez's real life, but the artist emphasized not everything should be taken literally.

"There's parts of it that feel kind of very autobiographical, and then there's parts of it that are kind of meta," she said.

"Not exactly what happened, but also the feeling of that is what happened," Lopez added. "So there was different things about it that were super-honest and true, and then there was things that were kind of more for taking license and really doing what was best for the entertainment and storytelling of the film."


A lifelong fan of musicals such as Funny Girl, The Music Man, West Side Story and everything Disney, Lopez wanted to include what she loved about those stories in her project.

"There was touches of all of those things in there, plus the acting that I do and the dramatic films that I grew up on. My mother was a huge movie buff," she said.

She also found inspiration in the "Golden Age" music videos of the MTV generation of the 1980s and '90s.

"These days, you have a lot of videos that are made for no money, on an iPhone, and that's a different type of artistry," Lopez said, adding that when she was growing up, "There was a different kind of imagination and idea that I have about these things that I wasn't willing to let go of and try to make something even more kind of epic in a way."

Meyers, who helmed Lopez's early-career videos for "I'm Gonna Be Alright," "I'm Real," "All I Have," said he thought a lot about musical film experiences such as Pink Floyd: The Wall, Hair and Julie Taymor's Across the Universe, while working with Lopez on This is Me... Now.


"David was the perfect partner in [this] because he's such a visual genius," she said.

Although this was an enormous undertaking, Lopez never seemed deterred, according to Meyers.

"I would say that Jen's drive, it's almost like the more impossible it was, the more she's all for it," he said.

Lopez added: "Don't tell me I can't do something. That's all. It is a very simple thing."

This doesn't mean she didn't have concerns about wearing so many hats on this project.

She sought the advice of her husband, Ben Affleck, who also happens to be a two-time Oscar-winning writer and director.

"I was like: 'I don't write. I don't do this.' He was like: 'You do. You write. You direct. You produce. You do all the things. You choreograph. Start stepping into that. Start owning that a little bit. Start owning a little bit of who you are,'" she said.

In keeping with that theme, Lopez sees this film as the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another.

"It ended kind of this 20-year journey about a lot of questions that I had, about love and being myself, a hopeless romantic, and what it means to really enter into a kind of healthier, more self-accepting phase for myself," she said.


"Now, what will happen from that, I hope will be, and I know will be, even more wonderful things than what I have been so privileged to live up until this point."

A lot of the people who play supporting roles in the film are friends of Lopez, who popped in for a day, threw on a costume and anxiously acted alone against a green screen where images would be added later.

"They were like, 'What am I doing?'" Lopez recalled.

"I was like: 'Just trust me. It's going to be fine. I would never make you look crazy. And if it looks crazy, we will throw it in garbage. Don't worry about it.' But, luckily, it turned out well."

Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck attend 'This is Me...Now' premiere in LA

Cast members Jennifer Lopez (R), and her husband, Ben Affleck, attend the premiere of "This Is Me...Now: A Love Story" in Los Angeles on February 13, 2024. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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