The Biggest Reveals in Jennifer Lopez's Halftime Documentary



The Biggest Reveals in Jennifer Lopez's Halftime Documentary

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Val Namaki
Jennifer Lopez realed a lot in "Halftime." For this list, we'll be looking at the most surprising, interesting things that we learned in the star's Netflix documentary. Our countdown includes why she left home at eighteen, she was raised to be independent, the impact of the Oscars snub, and more!

The Biggest Reveals in Jennifer Lopez's Halftime Documentary

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re looking at the Biggest Reveals in Jennifer Lopez’s “Halftime” Documentary.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most surprising, interesting things that we learned in the star's Netflix documentary.

Which part of “Halftime” did you find the most surprising? Let us know in the comments!

She Left Home at Eighteen

Growing up, musicals were a big part of Jennifer Lopez’s life. “West Side Story” in particular was important to her. She admired Rita Moreno, and felt represented as a Latina thanks to her work. Lopez knew that being a triple threat was something she was interested in pursuing. But when dance became her focus, education fell to the wayside, much to the dismay of her mother. This caused a blowout between the two, and resulted in Lopez moving out at eighteen. Afterward, she got jobs anywhere she could, which eventually led to her part as a Fly Girl on “In Living Color.” Though she initially struggled to find representation as an actress, Lopez was determined to prove herself. Obviously, it worked out.

Was Raised to Be Independent

As she talked about growing up, J.Lo made it clear that her family, which was full of strong women, taught her to be self-sufficient. She’s grateful to her parents in particular for this lesson, which she said she still carries with her all these years later. Her mother, Lupe Rodríguez, didn’t subscribe to the idea that women should rely on a man to take care of them, which was a prevalent discourse then. So she made sure that her daughters understood that they didn’t need to depend on anyone to provide for them. Per Rodriguez’s own admission, she and Lopez didn’t always get along back then. But the lesson stuck, and it was certainly a worthwhile one.

Judging “American Idol” Helped Her Get Through Hard Times

In 2011, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony went their separate ways. In “Halftime,” the “Let’s Get Loud” singer discussed how there was a period around then when she found herself struggling artistically. Her film career wasn’t in the best place, and she was juggling raising two children who were only three when the split occurred. Interestingly, Lopez was serving as a judge on “American Idol” at that time. She credited that job for helping audiences get a glimpse into her as a person, and for helping her find a "purpose." Ultimately, despite fears of not knowing what was awaiting her, she doubled-down on perfecting her craft, giving us plenty more J.Lo greatness to admire.

How Media Treatment Affected Her

As Lopez found more and more fame and success in her career, the media scrutiny surrounding her increased. She was often framed as being someone who's difficult to work with, or a "diva." When her personality wasn't being criticized, it was her love life or her talent. Lopez admits that this all got to her and shook her confidence. There was even a point where she wasn't sure if she should continue in the industry. As if all of that wasn’t enough, the star also talked about the difficulty of dealing with the problematic jokes and narrative surrounding her body. Luckily for us, she stayed true to herself and ended up being a groundbreaker in more ways than one.

The Impact of the Oscars Snub

In 2019, Jennifer Lopez made waves in "Hustlers," which she starred in and co-produced. It was a real, multi-dimensional, female-driven project that spoke to her. And when the film premiered, J.Lo’s performance generated a lot of Oscars buzz. But when the Academy Award nominations rolled around, her name was nowhere to be found, much to the disappointment of her entire team. Lopez admitted to having gotten her hopes up, and definitely seemed saddened by the turn of events. But she was also clear that the motivation behind her work isn't to get awards, but rather to reach people on a human level. Clearly, the snub wasn't going to stop her from doing what she does best.

The Super Bowl Halftime Show’s Time Constraint Was a Challenge

There were many rumors swirling in the leadup to Super Bowl 54 that Jennifer Lopez would be the halftime performer. And as we know, it ended up becoming a reality. But it was announced that she would be co-headlining with Shakira. Now, there was no animosity between the two singers, but the decision itself wasn’t unanimously beloved. The biggest issue was time. Throughout the documentary, we see Lopez concerned about the length of the performance, because they weren't being given double the airtime despite being two people. She struggled to construct the show in a way that would allow her to fit everything in and make it great. Still, with a lot of hard work, Lopez and Shakira found a way to make it work.

She Wanted to Make a Statement at the Super Bowl

For her Super Bowl performance, Lopez felt it was crucial to send a message about how Latinos belong in the United States. She notably decided to do that by incorporating Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." into the set. She even wanted the singer to appear, before realizing that having her daughter Emme sing the tune would be more impactful. Having young girls in cage-like structures refusing to be silenced was meant to further emphasize the point. What’s more, she wanted to showcase her American and Puerto Rican identities through a dual-sided flag. To top it all off, Lopez also explained that the performance was about championing women. The star set out to make a big, multi-faceted statement, and we think she succeeded.

The NFL Tried to Change a Key Part of Her Halftime Show Set

We just mentioned how Lopez made it a priority to infuse her performance with deeper meaning. But apparently, not everyone was on board. She and her team were told that NFL executives weren’t okay with the cages she was planning on featuring in her performance. This was only a day before she was set to take the stage. Per her manager Benny Medina, the order to remove that element had been issued from the league’s “highest authority." Still, J.Lo remained firm and refused to change the plan. She decided to stand tall in her beliefs, and fight for human rights. She did just that, and the final result was a Super Bowl halftime show that won’t soon be forgotten.