Motherhood on-screen and off for Lopez
JENNIFER Lopez is nothing if not busy, and that’s been the case for more than a decade now. She’s wrapping up her second season as a judge on American Idol and stars in the new ensemble comedy What to Expect When You’re Expecting. She has a hit CD, Love?, and is preparing for a world tour this summer to promote it.
All of which comes in a collective second place to her role as the single working mother of rambunctious four-year-old twins, Emme Maribel and Maximilian David, her children with soon-to-be ex-husband Marc Anthony.
“There is so much going on and it feels good,” Lopez says, “but all I really do care about is the not-messing-up-the-babies part. I just want them to be OK. That comes first, and then everything else just falls into line. As long as the babies are fine, then I’m perfectly happy.” Lopez doesn’t look much like a frazzled mom. She insists, however, that she is.
“I’m a little bit tired right now,” she says with a sigh. “I’ve been rehearsing for my tour and doing Idol. Every single minute I’m thinking about the kids, so it’s a lot of stuff.” Then she brightens.
“I just feel really in the zone right now,” Lopez says.
“I honestly feel good about everything. My life is going so well and I feel really blessed.” But still..
“It’s any single working mom’s plight,” she says.
“There is a guilt that comes along with it. You leave to go to work, and the kids yell, ‘Don’t go to work, Mommy! I go through this every single day.
Inspired by the bestselling pregnancy manual of the same title, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is set to open nationwide on May 18. Its all-star cast also includes Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid and Chris Rock in interlocking stories about several couples exploring the realities of love, intimacy, pregnancy and childbirth.
Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro play Holly and Alex, a slightly older couple who are longing to have a child.
Her own pregnancy was full of surprises, Lopez recalls.
“Your nose gets big when you’re pregnant,” she says, “which is just the wildest and weirdest thing. My feet blew up too. I was like, ‘What will happen to all these great shoes?’ “I had an ideal pregnancy,” Lopez continues, “but I was on tour until I was six-anda- half months pregnant. I did have the forgetfulness.
I remember being on stage and a song started. I looked at the crowd like, ‘Does anybody know the lyrics to this song?’ I totally forgot the words. I’m thinking, ‘This is bad!’ Then there were the panic attacks.
“I had one of those moments of panic, sitting in the living room of my house, and it just hit me,” Lopez says. “I knew that I was going to be responsible for two human beings. It hit me like a wave. That moment hit me again when the kids started talking.
“I said, ‘Oh, my God, I have to control this somehow!”’ As for What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide, Lopez says that she kept her copy by her bedside.
“I found the book to be so incredibly accurate when I was pregnant,” she says.
“It’s the first thing you get when you find out you’re pregnant.
“The funny thing is that you’ve spent most of your life hearing about pregnancy,” Lopez adds, “but, when you actually get pregnant, you know nothing about it or what’s happening to you. This book helps you to not freak out.” That was borne home to her immediately after her twins emerged.
“After the babies were born, I remember sitting there in my bed in a lot of pain because I had a C-section,” Lopez recalls. “I was going crazy from the pain,” she continues, “and I couldn’t even hold the twins because it hurt too much.
“Then I opened my book and read that, on this specific day after giving birth, your hormonal level drops and it’s called the baby blues.” the actress says. “Just reading that made it so much better.” Lopez, who is currently dating Casper Smart, one of the dancers from her show, says that she would like to have more children – eventually.
“Yeah, it would be a blessing,” she says.
“Right now I’m really focused on just doing it right with those two that I’ve got.” This summer Lopez’s focus will be on her world tour, her first ever.
“The twins are going to come with me on tour,” Lopez says. “I’m going to see how it goes. They’ll be on the bus with me. It will be a learning experience for all of us.
“Luckily there’s always Grandma’s house if they get really stir crazy,” she adds with a laugh.
Her goal, Lopez says, is to make her touring show exactly what her fans are hoping to see.
“It will be the songs my fans want to hear,” she promises. “I have creative control.
That’s why I geared this toward fans. It will even be the dances they want to see. I want to take it to the next level for them.” After the tour, things are more up in the air. Her future on American Idol, for example, remains undetermined.
“We’ll see,” Lopez says. “Nothing has been decided yet.” She’ll definitely make more movies – romantic comedies, if she has her way.
“I’m a bit of a romantic,” she says. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed. If I’m home, a romantic comedy is always my choice.
Doing romantic movies comes super-natural to me. My favourite is When Harry Met Sally (1989).” The love of her life, she says, is her twins.
“I love them so much that you want to put sauce on them and eat them up,” Lopez says. “Kids bring so much joy. Maybe I’m not having a great day, and it becomes a great day because of my kids. Those babies bring me right back down to earth. They bring me so much joy.”