Jennifer Lopez is nobody’s fool and takes on the hierarchy of a male heavy industry with boxing gloves ready to grab a TKO at a moments notice. Very few women in the industry can claim her accomplishments, and as a women of color, these accolades are often dismissed or flies relatively low under the radar. There are even fewer women afforded the opportunity to perform or headline as halftime entertainment for the Super Bowl. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira made history, but like everything Lopez does it is often met with unnecessary criticism and ridicule rarely seen with their male counterparts.
Halftime is more than a chronicle of those magical moments, but a look backwards at a woman who has clawed through the industry for respect as a woman, a Latina, a groundbreaking entertainer, actress and businesswoman. Her journey is impressive as she strives to break down even more doors than her predecessors left open for her. It doesn’t hurt to have the one person by her side since day one who supported and believed – longtime Manager and friend Benny Medina.
Before she was the established triple-threat we’ve come to know and love, Lopez first broke onto the scene as a “Fly Girl” on “In Living Color.” However, when she hit the silver screen as “Selena,” she became the first Latina actress to earn more than $1 million from a feature film. Since then, she’s made memorable everything from rom-coms like “Maid in Manhattan” to the star-studded girl-power flick “Hustlers.”
However, like most artists along with the sensitivity that enables their insane creativity comes a vulnerability to match. Nothing was more heartbreaking than watching her press tour for “Hustle” result in a non Oscar nomination for her work…again. Her team was devastated, yet she took it like a champ while comforting everyone else around her. Luckily, there was no time to wallow, as final preparations were underway for the halftime show, which was riddled with its own set of challenges ranging from timing to sets to costumes.
It goes without saying Lopez is a survivor in more ways than one as she clearly stated during her acceptance as an Icon at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. “I want to thank all the people who gave me this life. I want to thank the people who gave me joy, and the ones who broke my heart. “The ones who were true, and the ones who lied to me. I want to thank true love, and I want to thank the way that I lied to myself, because that’s how I knew that I had to grow. I want to thank disappointment and failure for teaching me to be strong and my children for teaching me to love. I want to thank all the people who told me when I wasn’t in the room, or sometimes to my face, that I could never do this. “I really couldn’t have done this without you.”
Resilience is tricky. Sometimes you are born with it and sometimes life teaches you how to embrace it in all forms and complexity. Jennifer Lopez puts resilience, hope and un-wavering self confidence sprinkled with a little uncertainty unapologetically on full display in Halftime. Hopefully, this doc and her presence in the industry will continue to aspire and inspire for decades to come.
Halftime is streaming via Netflix right now.