Before Hustlers was even released, speculation started that Jennifer Lopez could be in the running for her first-ever Academy Award. In the rags-to-riches (and then to prison) film, Lopez plays Ramona, a character created off the back of a 2015 New York magazine feature about strippers who allegedly drugged men and then stole thousands from their credit cards.
Not only did Lopez hold the movie together with her acting, but she learned how to pole dance so well that she did it live during her Super Bowl Halftime Show.
But of course, the Oscars being the Oscars, Lopez didn’t just miss out on taking home the prestigious award, but she wasn’t even nominated, a snub she’s finally addressed months after the fact.
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 29: Jennifer Lopez seen filming on location for ‘Hustlers’ in SoHo on March 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
“I was a little sad because there was a lot of buildup to it,” Lopez said, during an appearance on Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus over the weekend (per People). “I got so many good notices – more than ever in my career.” She continued, “And I’m reading all the articles and I’m going, ‘Oh my God, could this happen?’ And then it didn’t and it was like, ‘Ouch.’ It was a bit of a letdown.”
Lopez went on to explain that she felt she’d disappointed her team and her supporters. “Most of my team has been with me for years,” she said. “I think they had a lot of hopes on that. They wanted it too, and I felt like I let everybody down a little bit.”
Of course, the Oscars has been the subject of ongoing criticism for its lack of diversity and the fact that it continues to overlook female talent even after years of backlash. So how does J Lo feel now? “Oh my God, I don’t need that,” she said of an Academy Award. “I’m actually here and I am okay and I am enough. I don’t need this award right here to tell me I’m enough. I don’t need it.”
If the Oscars continue the way they’re going, we all won’t need it.