OK, so that butt-kisser James Lipton deemed Jennifer Lopez worthy of an Inside the Actors Studio appearance. But the rest of us know J.Lo more for her booty-shaking dance moves, addictively catchy pop songs and husband-juggling than for her acting prowess. Let's face it: The 35-year-old superstar was outta sight in Out of Sight, but she's since appeared in forgettable fluff like The Wedding Planner and the critically despised bomb Gigli. Still, rather than admit defeat, Razzie winner Lopez defends her performance in last year's most maligned flick.
"I don't look at Gigli the way I think the rest of the world looks at Gigli," Lopez says. "I gauge my success on whether or not I have done my job and how well I did it. For me, I consider that movie a success in that sense.
"I went in there with a certain amount of material that I could work with," she continues. "I did the best that I could. When I walk away from a movie thinking, 'You know what, you kind of phoned that in' — which, thank God, I've never done — that's when I would consider myself a failure."
After the frenzy over the demise of Bennifer and her recent nuptials to singer Marc Anthony (which she's keeping mum on), she's shying away from the limelight. That means limiting her appearances to special occasions, like promoting her new film, Shall We Dance? (opening Friday).
"I just felt like there was a time there — and not just last year, but building up for a couple of years — where it was just out of my control," she admits. "I was like, 'What is this thing, this thing that has become me? Who is that thing?' And I didn't like it.
"I'm at a different point in my life right now," J.Lo elaborates. "I'm a little bit older. I'd like to think that [I'm] wiser and more mature, and that I've learned from my experiences. You have to say, 'This is OK and this is not OK. This is what I do for a living and this is my life. It's the only one that I get.' So you have to set boundaries, and that's the approach that I'm trying to take now to get the focus back on what I do. I'm a singer. I'm an actress. I'm a dancer. That's what I do for a living."
With the stalkerazzi attention, she realizes she can't just be Jenny from the Block anymore. "I didn't want to let [show business] change me by becoming this very reclusive and private person," she sighs. "I miss walking around a lot, so much. Literally, when I get in my car, I put my head outside of the window like a dog and let the air hit me because I don't get to do that all the time."