Jennifer Lopez was everywhere last year, as her acclaimed performance in Hustlers seemed destined to finally earn her an Oscar nomination. While the awards season gave everyone countless great Lopez moments, culminating in her halftime show performance at Super Bowl LIV in February, she missed out on the nod. It was a big shock to everyone who saw Hustlers, and was a shock to Lopez herself.
"There were so many articles, I got so many good notices - more than ever in my career - and there was a lot of 'She's going to get nominated for an Oscar, it's going to happen. If she doesn't [get it], you're crazy,'" she continued. "I'm reading all the articles going, 'Oh my God, could this happen?' And then it didn't and I was like 'Ouch.'"
"Most of my team has been with me for years, 20, 25 years -- and I think they had a lot of hopes on that and they wanted it too, so I felt like I let everyone down a little bit," Lopez added.
In Hustlers, Lopez starred as stripper Ramona Vega, who teamed up with Constance Wu's Destiny to con Wall Street stock traders by drugging them and running up her credit card. Lopez's performance earned her some of the best reviews of her career as an actress, and an Oscar nomination was expected. She did pick up nominations at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, which made the snub even more shocking.
The most important part of the Hustlers experience to Lopez is she can now tell herself she is a good actress.
"I was a good actress -- always -- I can say that now to myself, but what I do now is so much different than what I did then," she said.
"You realize you want people's validation, you want people to say you did a good job and I realized, 'No, you don't need that. You do this because you love it,'" Lopez said. "I don't need this award to tell me I'm enough."
While Lopez is best known for her music career, she starred in several hit movies and television shows long before her debut album came out in 1999. After breaking out in In Loving Color as a Fly Girl, she earned critical acclaim for playing Selena Quintanilla in the 1997 biopic Selena, which also earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She already has another film coming out soon, Marry Me, co-starring Owen Wilson and Sarah Silverman. It is expected to be released this year.
On Saturday, Lopez reflected on the past year, which included her 50th birthday. She told Winfrey she is not paying attention to the number.
"[The number] doesn't mean anything to me. I honestly feel the same way I did when I was 28 and put out my first record," she said. "I think it's a mindset of just continuing to realize that I am still growing. So as long as I'm still growing, there's still somewhere to go, that there's more to the journey, that just because I turned 50, it's not over. We're just like at halftime right now."
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