Jennifer Lopez is an unstoppable woman. She is a singer, a dancer, an actress, a producer, an entrepreneur… There is nothing she can’t do.
Now, Lopez is back for a second season of Shades of Blue, her successful NBC series that airs on Sky Living in the UK.
Jennifer Lopez is back soon for another season of Shades of Blue. And not just that. The Bronx singer is preparing a TV production of Bye Bye Birdie, and has just said goodbye to her American Idol judge chair.
Now she can literally do anything she wants, and it will likely be a success. Lopez spoke to loaded and we discovered what lies ahead for the actress.
loaded: Were you comfortable with how season one of Shades of Blue stood as one complete story? And did you have concerns about how it might reboot from that point to become season two?
Lopez: I didn’t know where it was going to go. I just know we ended on such an intense note that I felt like, oh, my God, where do we go from here? Like, where does this character go from here after what she’s just done, which I feel she had to do, you know. But at the same time, it was a puzzle to me. It’s exciting to see what’s going to happen.
loaded: And of course you didn’t have American Idol to concern yourself with this time.
Lopez: No, thank God.
loaded: Did that make a very big difference to you?
Lopez: Yes, it did. I mean, I was still working on other things. I went back and forth between doing my Vegas show, and we went down in production, like, month on month. It was a learning experience, all of it, you know, learning to juggle all of the things that I do.
loaded: The first season, you had time to establish things, and it was a little bit of a slower pace, and then it built up. This one you kind of hit the ground running. So just preparing yourself to go in on a second season, how did you do that, and how has it been?
Lopez: It was a challenging season. You know, I thought the first season was so challenging because it was just emotionally taxing. I think our characters mostly take the brunt of that in this series, but for this one, I knew. I was, like, ‘Okay. That’s what we are doing. We are going there. Okay. We are burying the body. Okay. Here we go. Wrap him up in a curtain, and then knock his teeth out. Got it. I’m there.’ So I knew that, emotionally, it wasn’t going to get any easier for her.
loaded: Every night or all day on the news, we see stories about law enforcement where cops are either heroes or police are creepy murderers, and that becomes part of the conversation. As part of being on this show, how has that changed how you participate in that conversation, whether it’s, you know, in your living room or at a dinner?
Lopez: I think that there’s good people and bad people. There’s good cops and there’s bad cops. I think in our show, it’s not about that bigger conversation. It’s about humanity and about people and how good people can sometimes do bad things, but it doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person, and that’s what our show is more about. And we do deal with some moments of that.
loaded: You talked earlier about maybe having some more time to focus on this role this year. Have you found at this point in your career that do you still have that craving to sing and dance and act, or are you finding that maybe you want to focus on one thing at a time?
Lopez: I can just be myself in the moment. I don’t think about what I did five years ago or what I might do five years from now. I just go what I feel right now. I feel very creatively motivated to do a lot of things. This year, we’re producing a lot and doing World of Dance with NBC as well, my dance show, and executive producing and judging of that and then we’re going to be going into ‘Shades’ and I’ll be doing my stint in Vegas all year. Then we’re going to do Bye Bye Birdie at the end of the year with the NBC as well. It’s a full year, but it’s creatively fulfilling for me as an actor, as a singer, as a performer, as a dancer, and I couldn’t be more excited about tackling each one of those projects.
loaded: As an executive producer who works on the set, do you consider yourself a hands‑on delegator?
Lopez: I do. I feel like I’m involved in all aspects of it, and especially when there’s a lot going on and it’s a big scene. It doesn’t matter, big scene, small scenes, two people, tons of extras out on the street, whatever it is. I’m there as Harlee and I concentrate on that. I know that’s my main job. I think everybody knows that I’m there to help in whatever way I can and to not direct but help produce in any way I can.
loaded: Finally, you mentioned Bye Bye Birdie. Can you talk a bit about that and stepping into the shoes of Chita Rivera?
Lopez: Well, musical theatre issomething that I’ve always loved doing. Bye Bye Birdie was an idea my partner came up – my producing partner, Elaine Goldsmith‑Thomas, came up with and we brought it to NBC and we just thought it was a great part for me to do. They loved the idea, and here we go. We’re going to do it as their next live production. I’m super excited about it. I mean, the role of Rosie on stage played by Chita Rivera and then by Janet Leigh in the movie is such a great role. It got watered down a little bit in the movie version. She was Puerto Rican. There’s all these dynamics that were in the original play that didn’t make it into the movie, so it’s going to be interesting to actually play that part and be a woman who’s pushing 40 and feeling like are we ever getting married. You know what I mean? And wanting that and being the driver of the whole piece. So it will be interesting. I’m excited to take it on as a producer and as a role.
Credit: Lucy Allen/HOT Features