Jennifer Lopez: Can 'Idol' make her an A-list movie star again?


Image Credit: Michael Becker/Fox

In Hollywood, the path to success is rarely a straight line. Case in point: Jennifer Lopez. The once-scorching movie star has starred in only one film that played in over 1,000 theaters (last year’s romantic comedy The Back-Up Plan) in the last six years. But this morning comes the news, first reported by Mike Fleming over at Deadline, that Lopez is close to signing onto two big-budget films: The action thriller Parker with Jason Statham, and the ensemble comedy What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

What’s different about her these days? Well, American Idol, of course. Her successful season judging Idol certainly resulted in a perception shift among the public, and it would appear that movie producers and executives are looking at her a little differently as well. “The public memory is mercilessly short,” Alan Poul, who directed The Back-Up Plan, tells EW. “Jennifer took time off to be a mother, and that unselfish little hiatus put some distance between her and her audience. Idol reminded people what an approachable, generous, and friendly person she is at heart.”

Once the deals are done, Lopez will film both Parker and What to Expect during her summer hiatus from Idol. Her big decision now: Whether to return to the show that revitalized her career, or take a chance and make her movie career her top priority.

Read more:
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Jennifer Lopez is on the fence about a return to ‘Idol’
Jennifer Lopez unveils new video

Comments (103 total) Add your comment
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  • jj

    Again?? When was she ever an A list movie actress? She may act like she is but her “acting” is far from it.

    • Marin

      Agreed. She never was and hopefully never will be.

      • Andrew

        True words and as far as Idol changing people’s perceptions of her. I don’t think that it honestly did.

        If you thought she was a huge diva before I don’t see what has been done to change that perception.

        The fact is, being likeable has very little to do with success in this industry. Having songs and movies people enjoy does. It’s been a while since she was in anything anyone cared for in either arena.

      • Captain

        It didn’t change people’s perceptions of her as a person, it changed people’s perception of her career. She took time off to be a mother and that break gave people the impression that her career was coming to an end because she hadn’t been in any movies or released any new music. Then she got a job on the biggest reality show in America and released a successful single so people now see her as a big star again. That was the point of the article.

      • Sally

        I though it read “J.Lo is circling the bowl”

    • AK

      I would argue that she was. For a while there in the late ’90s and early ’00s she headlined a number of successful action films and romantic comedies, and she was pulling in big paychecks. I think perception of her really began to change with “Gigli.”

      • Lonnie

        Which was 10 years ago, and long before she popped out those twins.

    • Jase

      Translation: “I dont like her and therefore she was never A list!”. She WAS an A list star. The Wedding Planner, Selena, Out of Sight, Maid in Manhattan, Monster in Law, those were all big successes. She was a big movie star. Accept it.

      • PTINDY

        Big successes? Check Box Office Mojo. None of those movies listed made over 100 million domestically. Only Maid and Monster made over 100 million Worldwide. Never an A lister sorry that is just plain funny!

      • Kathy

        Selena and Out of Sight were flops. The other 3 did decently. This article is bogus, though, because she started having a failing career before she got married this last time and had kids. Her music and film career were cooling off big time. She’s had one hit single. She’s not the reason people watch Idol. Her second single and album are flopping. So I’m a bit surprise she’s getting roles so soon, but Hollywood is weird like that.

    • jj

      being an A list star is not about your acting chops but about your TVQ. HOw much money that the execs can make off of you and your fame and whether or not you can topline a top 10 box office movie.

    • Temuri Bagaturia

      The Jenni of my dreams is a girl who wears a pink dress
      A dress which will be of beautiful pink colour.
      Beautiful and pink, will be the attire of the Jenni l of my dreams
      A colour so very pink, and so very beautiful
      Will be this beautiful pink colour.
      A girl who will look so beautiful, in her lovely pink dress
      As pink is the colour of beauty and grace.
      Colour, which is pink, looks so beautiful on every girl
      Since a Jennii l who is beautiful, is always full of beauty in her heart too
      As true beauty, is the beauty which lies in the heart
      Is the reason, the girl who has a beautiful heart is my Jenni.
      In my dreams this girl always appears as beautiful, really very beautiful she is
      Every time, I dream of this beautiful Jennl, as she lives in my dream..:)

    • Marilyn

      She is an A-list atress, she is an exceptionsl actress so stop your hate.

      JlO Rocks!

  • Roger C.

    She was an A-list actress?


    Everyone I know HATES her.

    • imajlover

      whatever!!!!!!!! many people loves JLO….u guyzz are freakss

  • ns

    Playing “the woman” in a Jason Statham movie and appearing in an ensemble comedy doesn’t strike me as much of a comeback. Is she getting lead or co-lead roles in ambitious films? Doesn’t look like it.

    Lopez’s problem is that she mostly did unchallenging romantic comedies, and once you’re past 40 those parts start going to the Katherine Heigls and Anne Hathaways of the world. She will never be A-list again.

    • Aprilcot26

      A little off-topic, but please don’t lump the talented Anne Hathaway in with the JLos and Heigls of Hollywood.

      • Brigette

        Please don’t lump Katherine Heigl with JLo.

      • jj

        How bout we just don’t talk about Heigl at all. Please.

      • Jane

        Please don’t lump Anne Hathaway with Heigl.

      • TorontoTom

        JLo is a lump…

      • jt

        Thank you, Aprilcot26, Anne Hathaway deserves much better than being listed with JLO and Heigl. JLO and Heigl wish they have the gifts of the multi-talented Hathaway.

    • TomB

      If you think that Jennifer Lopez is signing on to a big-budget film just to play “the woman” or “the girlfriend” to a male star, you must’ve not been paying attention. Whether we like her or not, she was for a while a Hollywood film star with clout. In fact, even though Raph Fiennes has an Oscar, she got top billing in Maid In Manhattan (his name wasn’t even on the poster or the trailer), she got top billing in The Wedding Planner as well as The Back Up Plan. Heck, even though Monster In law was the highly-anticipated return to the screen of legendary Oscar-wining Jane Fonda, Lopez still got top billing. Sorry, she may not be the greatest talent, but Hollywood doesn’t work that way. If she can get top billing over Oscar winners and Hollywood grande dames, I can guarantee you she will get top billing over a B-movie genre actor like Statham.

      • Darin

        Actually Statham when he actually gets a role that requires him to talk is a better actor than Lopez. She was good in Selena and Out of sight but thats it.

      • Nigel

        Ralph Fiennes was an Oscar NOMINEE. He accepted a big cheque, held his nose and did “Maid”. Jane Fonda’s role in “Monster In Law” was a supporting role that Fonda chose to bring her back to films without the burden of having to carry the picture. JLo had the lead role, so it’s natural for her to be top-billed. Statham will get top billing. JLo will get above the title billing with him, or the coveted “and” credit.

  • Jen

    Considering most A-list actresses are ‘done’ by the age of 45 (if they’re lucky), I’d say she needs to return to Idol.

  • alex

    those choices for her seem smart-in the Jason Statham film it won’t focus on her-and in an ensemble comedy obviously she is not carrying the film. She’s being smart by not shoving her brand down our throats.
    Maybe she should do one more idol season? One and done seems rather pointless if she wants to remain in the spotlight

    • Les

      Did you actually say “not shoving her brand down our throats”? Why can’t it just be the person and not their ‘brand’?

  • Aprilcot26

    Her “successful season judging Idol?” My definition of “successful” is NOT what occurred on Idol this season! And I have to agree w/ the above posters…when was JLo EVER A-list? Ugh.

    • Lauren

      Jennifer did a terrible job on Idol. She heaped tons of praise on Scotty and Lauren, and refused to give Haley one unbiased comment that was helpful to Haley.

  • jess

    she should stick to movies, she still looks pretty young she can still get good roles if she works at it, having her on Idol all year will be too much for the public. So I say more movies and be done with Idol.

  • jason

    um, no. only making good movies can do that, and aside from “out of sight” and “the cell” she really hasn’t made a good movie

    • jj

      you lost credibility when you called The Cell a good movie. It was visually stunning, but aside from the cinematography, the writing, acting and direction all sucked.

      • fancypants

        Ebert gave The Cell a great review.

      • Johnson

        there isn’t much of either of those anymore these days

      • Les

        Not to mention the endless plot holes.

  • whatevs

    I believe an A-lister should be able to open a movie by themselves, which she’s never been able to do, so I’m confused by this label.

    • Jase

      She has opened big movies by herself. The Wedding Planner and Maid in Manhattan were Jennifer Lopez movies. You can be delusional and think that people were going to see Matthew M or Ralph Fiennes but they werent. They were going because of her.

      • whatevs

        Ok, you can’t say that she’s the reason people watch a movie when there are other famous actors in it. She can never be the only famous person in a movie because obviously that doesn’t get people to see it.

      • Jase

        Yea NO ONE can be the only famous person in a movie. So according to your own statement there is no actor in the world who can open a movie by themselves. So i guess no one is A list.

      • whatevs

        There are varying degrees of fame, but an A-lister should be able to open a movie being the only mainstream actor, i.e. Will Smith.

  • bgl

    The one thing that would help her career is if she actually studied the craft of acting. She can’t act in my opinion. She is nice to look at and seems like a perfectly lovely person. But the acting is just not good.

  • jess

    @whatevs and you think people went to see her comedies for the lead actors ? she was A-list like it or not her probleme was the quality of her films and too many rom-coms, ‘Paker’ sound interesting and not your usual Statham flick it could be good for her.

  • Annie

    My personal opinion–Jennifer Lopez should have never have pursued a musical career. She is making pretty good films in the late 1990’s and early aughts, but she started to focus more on her music in her 30’s which was the time for her to focus more on her acting career and studying her craft under great film directors. Now that she is over 40 and no longer “viable” by Hollywood standards, she should look into cable television and re-launch “Karen Sisco” television series.

  • Mr. Holloway

    You people are harsh!

    NO ONE thinks Jennifer Lopez was ever Meryl Streep or Kate Winslet, but she was most certainly one of the most famous people on the face of the planet in the early part of this century, and she got that way primarily as a movie star. So I think she was definitely A-list.

    That being said, she should stay on “Idol” as long as they’ll have her because it’s TOUGH out there for actresses in their 40’s. She should especially stay if she insists on headlining crappy romantic comedies. Taking a supporting role in a Jason Statham movie or an ensemble comedy isn’t the worst thing in the world for her to do.

    • J.Ho

      Paris Hilton is most certainly one of the most famous people on the face of the planet. Does that make Paris an A-list star? Um NO!

      • Mr. Holloway

        Actually, my full statement was “she was most certainly one of the most famous people on the face of the planet in the early part of this century, and she got that way primarily as a movie star.”

        Still…good job taking only part of my statement to make a completely misguided point that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about here. Do you write for Star magazine or the National Enquirer?

  • Canadian

    she never got the chance to make the movies she should have made. she was excellent in Out of Sight and should have been in better films throughout her 30s. THey should have made Evita 5 years later with her in it instead of Madonnna. She has huge charisma and is a talented actress. Starting small in movies again is a good idea, but she should NOT dump Idol after only one season. That looks too calculating.

    • TomB

      The only problem with your Evita comment is that J-lo can’t sing. (Neither can Madonna) She would be able to tackle the acting challenge of the part, but the singing in that show requires a truly potent vocalist, which neither Madonna nor Jlo is.

      • asher

        @TomB – J. Lo is not a good singer, but Madonna is. I am not saying she is Babs or anything, but to say she can’t sing is one of the laziest arguments in the music industry today. In fact, I saw her sing a song from “Evita” on her last tour…she did not lip-sync it, and she sounded fantastic singing “You Must Love Me.”

    • Les

      Madonna was great in Evita and her singing was excellent.

  • Brigette

    JLo needs to stick with Idol. Even though her critiques towards the end were ridiculous (as were Randy’s) she was still way more believable as a judge than as a singer or an actress. And she was never A-list.

    • Sally

      That sounds accurate.

      • Eve

        I haven’t seen all her films, never wanted to. I’d like to check out the Cell. I really liked Selena – a movie like that can put someone on the map. Some people are very lucky. She does have talent but a lot of people do without proper opportunities. I do get tired of being bombarded by info on some people though. Guess I just have to shut it off.

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