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Jennifer Lopez Stars in the Cover Story of WSJ. Magazine Innovator Issue

The winner of WSJ. Magazine’s POP CULTURE INNOVATOR of the year is: JENNIFER LOPEZ

Jennifer Lopez
Photography © Gray Sorrenti for WSJ. Magazine

Pop superstar Jennifer Lopez takes the cover story of WSJ. Magazine‘s Innovator edition lensed by fashion photographer Gray Sorrenti. In charge of styling was Tony Irvine, with beauty from hair stylist Danielle Priano, makeup artist Hung Vanngo, and manicurist Eri Ishizu.

RELATED: WSJ. Magazine’sTelevision Innovator of The Year: Michaela Coel

There is something in me that wants to endure. I feel youthful and I feel powerful and I want to show women how to be powerful. There was a lot of symbolism in the performance at the Super Bowl. I wanted to be at the top of the Empire State Building, like King Kong, beating my chest: ‘I’m here!’ You know? It’s a very powerful thing to use your femininity and your sensuality. We are here and we matter. We deserve to be equal. You have to count us. – Lopez

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Jennifer Lopez
Photography © Gray Sorrenti for WSJ. Magazine

On leaning into her rom com success with her new romantic comedy Marry Me (the release of which has been recently delayed to May 2021):
“We love these movies,” Lopez says. “These movies are necessary. Elaine and I have kind of built a career on, you know, incorporating romantic comedies into our lives in a very real way. You can watch people find their way and figure it out and fall in love over and over and over. It never gets old.”

Marry Me co-star Owen Wilson on Lopez:
“I don’t know if I’ve ever worked with anyone where there is that much curiosity from my friends, wanting to visit the set so they could see Jennifer Lopez,” he tells me. “Part of it is that she looks so great, and I think women really admire how she’s so strong and beautiful. I was surprised by, you know, my mom, but also almost all of the women I’m friends with—they really want to see her with their own two eyes.”

On the industry and public’s reaction to Hustlers:
Award nominations rained down on Lopez (though not the expected Oscar, a big letdown, she admits). “I was really taken aback by the reaction,” she says. “Not that I didn’t think it was good. I was proud of my performance. But that hadn’t happened to me since Selena. It’d been more than 20 years since I’d gotten those kinds of accolades.”

WSJ. Magazine
Photography © Gray Sorrenti for WSJ. Magazine

On realizing she needed to refocus her business:
“I had been challenging Benny for a while on our business stuff. Because I just felt like we weren’t doing it right. I realized this when I sat down with my perfume company and they showed me all these numbers. And they said to me, ‘We’ve made a billion dollars.’” She stared at me and blinked a couple of times. “A billion. Dollars.” She let out a mordant chuckle. “And then they said, ‘We have a plan to get to $2 billion and this is how we’re going to do it and we want to re-sign you.’ I’m sitting there going, ‘You made a billion dollars? I came up with the perfume. I came up with the name. I’m marketing it. It’s my face in the ads. I didn’t make that kind of money. Where is the billion dollars?”

Lopez on fiancé Alex Rodriguez:
“When Alex came into my life,” says Lopez, “he was like, ‘Let’s build your skin-care company. This is a dream of yours. Let’s do it together. Let’s own it.’ It’s like when somebody opens up your eyes to something new—it’s like a broadened horizon.”

The couple started dating three years ago “and realized we could help each other really grow to another level,” says Lopez. “I think where we’re twin souls, or whatever term you want to use, is in the way that there are no limits. That we’re limitless. That’s my thing, but he helped me realize how true that is. We can do anything. We both have that DNA—like, why not? Why can’t we build not one multibillion-dollar business, but three or four?”

WSJ. Magazine
Photography © Gray Sorrenti for WSJ. Magazine

Lopez on her twins, Max and Emme:
“The twins are 12 now. It’s crazy. I’ve got to get them off those electronics for the rest of the day. I let them have them in the morning on the weekends but then I’ve gotta snatch ’em.”

Lopez on what she’s learned from quarantine:
I actually loved being home and having dinner with the kids every night, which I hadn’t done in probably—ever. And the kids kind of expressed to me, like, the parts that they were fine with about our lives and the parts they weren’t fine with. It was just a real eye-opener and a reassessment, to really take a look at what was working and what wasn’t working. You thought you were doing OK, but you’re rushing around and you’re working and they’re going to school and we’re all on our devices. We’re providing this awesome life for them, but at the same time, they need us. They need us in a different way. We have to slow down and we have to connect more. And, you know, I don’t want to miss things. And I realized, ‘God. I would have missed that if I wasn’t here today.’ I feel like everybody aged, like, three years during this pandemic. I watched them go from kind of young and naive to really, like, grown-ups to me now. When did this happen? They’re not our babies anymore. They’ve been given a dose of the real world, with the knowledge that things can be taken away from you and life is going to happen no matter what. They had to grow up.”
“So did we.”

WSJ. Magazine
Photography © Gray Sorrenti for WSJ. Magazine

Photography © Gray Sorrenti for WSJ. Magazine. This article is featured in WSJ. Magazine’s November Issue out on newsstands Saturday, November 21st – wsj.com

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