Jennifer Lopez: ‘It hurts’ to be a Hollywood ‘underdog’ and ‘not be included’

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She’s still Jenny from the block.

Multi-hyphenate star Jennifer Lopez got very candid about how her upbringing in the Bronx prepared her for Hollywood, and why she still feels that she had to fight for approval from her peers.

The “Marry Me” actress, 52, opened up to Rolling Stone in a new cover story about how her mom, Guadalupe Rodríguez, instilled a sense of toughness in her to conquer the entertainment industry.

“Listen, my mom was also a fun mom. My mom was also the mom who got me into musicals and introduced me to all kinds of music. I am an entertainer because of my mom,” Lopez said. “But I’m also able to survive the things I’ve survived in this business because my mom was tough. I don’t think she could realize what she was preparing me for, but she did.”

Lopez added that having little knowledge of Tinseltown has sometimes made her feel like an “underdog.”

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The pop star revealed that she sometimes feels like an “underdog” in the entertainment industry.
Getty Images for Global Citizen

“I always feel like I was scrapping from the bottom. Always. I always felt like I wasn’t the one that was supposed to be in the room,” the “I’m Real” songstress said. “That’s part of being Puerto Rican and from the Bronx and a woman.”

She continued, “You know what I mean? All of that stuff. Not being born into a family with money. Not knowing anybody in the business. I just went out there and said, ‘F— it. I’m going to just try. I’m going to try to get in here.’”

Despite earning a reputation as a triple threat entertainer, J.Lo still feels that she’s a step behind others at times.

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“But I’m also able to survive the things I’ve survived in this business because my mom was tough,” Lopez said of her mother, Guadalupe Rodríguez.
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“It’s just 20, 25 years of people going, ‘Well, she’s not that great. She’s pretty and she makes cute music, but it’s not really this and that.’ You know, I think I’ve done some nice work over the years, some really nice work,” she revealed. “But there is a club that I just wasn’t a part of. And I always acted like, ‘Yeah, I’m good. I’m fine. I’m OK.’”

The mother of two said, “But it hurts to not be included. I don’t know if I will ever be. There is an inner circle, like, ‘We are the great artists.’ And then there’s the pop artists.”

However, the “Maid in Manhattan” star is still grateful for the opportunities she received. She’s always “manifesting” respect in her life “to be doing the best I can and make the world a better place.”

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