Jennifer Lopez explains why she wasn’t paid to star in Hustlers, teaching us a vital lesson in the process

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Jessica Rapana
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Jennifer Lopez: “Try spending your time being more positive, kind, and uplifting of others.”

The actor has explained the inspiring reason behind why she produced and acted in the box office hit for free.

Jennifer Lopez is on a roll.

Her latest project Hustlers made off with a robust $33.2 million at the box office – $8 million more than expected – over its opening weekend alone. By October, the film had grossed over a $100 million, making it one of the biggest Box Office hits of the actor and singer’s career.

And yet, Lopez didn’t get a cent. At least, not up front.

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While the actor would have made bank off the film’s success, she insisted there was no initial price tag that enticed her to play Ramona, the stripper who takes Constance Wu’s Destiny under her wing. “I didn’t get paid a whole bunch of money for Hustlers,” Lopez told GQ in a video to mark her being Icon Of The Year. “I did it for free and produced it. I bank on myself. Like Jenny From the Block – I do what I love.”

Sure, Lopez isn’t exactly strapped for cash (her current net worth is estimated to be $400 million – and counting). However, the actor insisted she has never been driven by the money – even earlier in her career. “I’ve always been motivated ‘I wanna be a great actor, a great singer, a great dancer. I wanna make movies, I wanna make music’,” she continued. “And the money came along with that.”

In fact, she thinks this ethos could be why Hustlers became such a success. “It became a movement,” she explains in the video. “This is our movie, where we run shit. They know it’s all women producers, woman director, woman writer, where we run shit. They know it’s all women producers, woman director, woman writer, all women starring in it. We’ve been watching men take advantage of women in movies for a long time, so it was a fun ride to see that tables turned.”

She might be onto something. A 2017 study on how British workers measured career success revealed that job satisfaction (83.6%) and pride in your work (73.8%) were nearly twice as important as a high salary (42.4%). While another study found that happiness at work makes you 12% more productive and three times more creative.

Don’t get us wrong: there’s nothing wrong with knowing and asking for your worth – women are still being underpaid, after all.

However, Lopez’ words a nice reminder in the power of doing what you love and banking on yourself. Like she says, “the money will come along with that”.

Image: Getty


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Jessica Rapana

Jessica Rapana is a journalist based in London, and enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content. She is especially fond of news, health, entertainment and travel content, and drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl.

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