Motherhood clearly suits Jennifer Lopez, so much so that she chose it as the subject of her first movie since giving birth to two-year-old twins Max and Emme back in Feb. 2008. In The Back-Up Plan, in theaters Apr. 23, Lopez stars as Zoe, a pet store owner with a loudly ticking biological clock who gets artificially inseminated—and immediately thereafter meets Mr. Right (Alex O’Loughlin). The complications of pregnancy and the relationship intertwine, and ring true for Lopez, who opened to Latina.com up about her latest rom-com, her next album (and hubby Marc Antony’s!), and her experience as a new mom.
What attracted you to The Back-Up Plan?
It was just time for me to do a movie again, and I love romantic comedies. Throughout my career I’ve always felt like certain things come to me at the right time. It was just serendipitous that it happened that way. It’s not a message movie, but it definitely deals with modern issues, which I love. Here’s a woman who has her own business and has money in the bank and is actually better off, in a sense, than her male counterpart.
Did the movie remind you of your own pregnancy? What was it like for you?
I had a lovely pregnancy. It was a beautiful, magical time for us. But of course there are moments where you feel it’s just so much going on with your body and so much going on hormonally that you don’t have time to deal with anything but that. I think it was really true to life the way we portrayed it in the movie. So many things in this movie were like art imitating life for me because I had just gone through the pregnancy. It was really fresh in my mind. We used a lot of the stuff from real life. You feel so hungry and you feel sleepy in a way that you never have before. I had a healthy appetite. I just knew that it was going to ring true for so many women. We wanted to play up the comedic moments and, at the same time, really explore all the craziness that pregnancy can be.
How do you feel about doing love scenes?
It’s part of our job. We signed on for it. Even when it’s not PG-13 and you sign on for it, you know that it’s something you’re going to have to do. But it’s one of the things it’s like, “Eh, the love scene’s coming up.’ It’s weird.
Did you have a body pillow like Zoe does?
Yes. With babies on both sides I was really uncomfortable. So I had a really big pregnancy pillow. Marc still sleeps with it to this day. While I was pregnant he was like, ‘I want one of those.’ And he got one. He travels with this pillow.
What was your reaction when you found out you were having twins?
I was in denial that I was even pregnant! So, when I found out I was having twins I kind of just laughed, like, ‘Of course this would happen.’ I started giggling and Marc started crying. It was joyous; we were happy. He had children before, but this was special—first twins.
If you hadn’t met Marc and had your children, would you have considered single motherhood?
No, it’s just too hard. Honestly, I have so much respect for single moms or anybody who finds themselves a single mother. But to choose to be a single mother is just so courageous to me. It is such a hard job to raise a child and to be everything to that child without a partner. It’s just admirable and courageous and brave and every other valiant word I can think of. I don’t know if I could do it on my own.
How is it having two toddlers?
They are so pleasant and happy. They have a lot of love in their lives so they’re very content children. But now they’re starting to be able to express certain things. They know when I start putting on hair and makeup and getting dressed, ‘She’s going somewhere.’ It’s hard. Like yesterday one says, ‘No mommy. Mommy don’t go.’ It’s tough.. I’m just going to figure it out as I go along.
What is the best and worst part about having twins?
The best part is the way they change your life and just having that feeling of love inside you all the time. It’s just such a fulfilling place to be in your life. I kind of wish it would have happened to me earlier in my life sometimes. But I know things happen when they’re supposed to happen. The worst thing about it is making sure that they both felt equally loved, like I don’t want him to see me kissing her, without kissing him. They both want attention, so it’s challenging. And you don’t have a minute to yourself. Go to the bathroom, baby standing right there.
How did you get back in shape after your pregnancy?
The first few pounds drop off really fast. And then you’re like stuck with those last 10-20 pounds, and that's when you’ve really got to get disciplined. There’s just no other way to do it. You’ve got to diet, you’ve got to do the exercise. I knew I had the movie coming. No bread, no sugar. You really start having to think about those things because being on camera, there’s a responsibility to look good. If you don’t, you’ll hear about it!
Has being a mom made you a better actress?
Absolutely. The way I felt about life and the way I felt about my children was so deep and profound. It was the first time I felt anything like that. I knew as an artist that it was going to make a huge difference in everything that I did. When I was on the movie I really did feel that. I really felt the growth of myself as human being, as a person.
Read on to page 2 for more of Latina.com's interview with La Lopez!