A tale of love and self-discovery: Jennifer Lopez and Dave Meyers on This Is Me... Now: A Love Story (Interview)

Lopez and the director talk about the artist's companion musical film to her new studio album, This Is Me Now..., both of which will be released on Feb. 16.

Courtesy: Prime Video
Courtesy: Prime Video /

It's been 10 years since Jennifer Lopez released a new album, and 22 years since her third studio album "This Is Me... Then." The tunes on the 2002 musical project were inspired by the star's relationship with actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck at the time. They were together from 2002 to 2004. They ended their engagement at that time, but reconciled in April 2021. The couple is now married as of July 2022, and so it's fitting that her new follow-up album is titled "This Is Me... Now."

Lopez is a triple threat! The talent is a singer, dancer, and actress. Over the years, she's also added other titles to her name. On her newest Prime Video project, This Is Me... Now: A Love Story, she got to do all three of the things she loves in one big production. Plus, she added a new title: script writer. She really can do it all, flawlessly and with heart! The fact that she created this movie is proof of that. Though at the start she wasn't too sure if she could do it. During a press conference, Lopez shared how she got some very sweet and encouraging words from her husband.

"I was like, ‘I don’t write, I don’t do this,’" said Lopez. "He was like, ‘you do. You write, you direct, you produce, you choreograph, you do all the things. Start stepping into that. Start owning a little bit of who you are.’”

The Greatest Love Story Never Told
Courtesy: Prime Video /

Bringing the album to life onscreen

With her upcoming studio album This Is Me... Now debuting the same day as the Prime Video film - Friday, Feb. 16, 2024 - the production was created as a companion piece to her very personal tunes. It's truly a breathtakingly beautiful story, both visually and narratively, that gives viewers and fans a closer look into Lopez's heart and creative mind. Her meaningful songs come to life cinematically. You won't want to look away! So how did the idea to create This Is Me... Now: A Love Story come to life?

"I went in the studio and I made this album and when it was done I thought to myself, there's more to this story. There's something bigger I want to do with this music," she said. "It felt like there was a bigger message. And so I called [director] Dave [Meyers] and we sat down, and we talked about it, and I played him some of the music."

Lopez knew she wanted to take it to the next level, but she didn't know how exactly that would look like. But once he heard the songs, it was Meyers' idea to create the film, which hasn't really been done before. She and the director have previously worked together on music videos for her songs "I'm Real," "I'm Gonna Be Alright," and "All I Have" in the early 2000s.

Though the creative duo hadn't collaborated in over 20 years, Lopez trusted him to know how to elevate the story this album told. This Is Me... Now has a total of 13 songs, and you get to walk through each of them and their own stories in the 65-minute movie.

"Every single [song] was treated as its own little film in a way," said Lopez. "I felt like every song had its own personality. And so I went with choreographers, and I use a few different choreographers in this film. Like this person would be great for this, this person would be great for that. And [choreographer] Tessa was the perfect person to do [the song] 'Broken Like Me.' I did want it to be in a kind of contemporary style obviously because it's a ballad. But I had never danced that style before, and I was very nervous about it and she was like, 'you can do this, you can do this. It's all about feeling and emotion and letting your body move from that.' And she was great with me and choreographed this beautiful piece. I thought it was amazing and one of my favorite moments in the film."

A look into Jennifer Lopez's heart

The music, as well as the film, are both very personal for Lopez and provide a deeper look into her heart. So how much of what's onscreen is real and how much is fictionalized for the sake of the movie?

"You know, there's not a project that I've ever been involved with, music or movies or anything, that I didn't put a bunch of my life into. And a lot of my personal experience. I think as an artist, that's all you really have to draw on [is] the experience that you have and the experience of other people around you that you are born witness to," said Lopez. "There's parts of it that feel kind of very autobiographical and there's parts of it that are kind of meta. Not exactly what happened, but also the feeling of that is what happened. So there was different things about it that were super honest and true. And then there was things that were kind of more for license and kind of taking license and really doing what was best for the entertainment and storytelling of the film. And that mix of it, being personal but also being able to be fantastical, surreal, magical, is what I think makes it really kind of moving, entertaining and at the same time super real."

One example of this is a scene that takes place in a heart factory, which is teased in the trailer. The feelings behind it are very true, but of course there's no such thing as a heart factory in real life. But the message of what's being told as you listen and watch is clear.

"That stemmed from her telling me the pain that she's been in, specifically the pain that she went through when she broke up with Ben [Affleck] the first time," said Meyers. "There was a lot of honesty that she shared in that first meeting. And so the heart factory became sort of a Titanic level meltdown, which was a metaphor for what she was giving me as far as her truth. So even the metaphorical, sci-fi parts of the film stem from a scent of Jen's real story."

The Greatest Love Story Never Told
Courtesy: Prime Video /

The star's determination to make it happen

This big, creative idea is impressive and it's quite unique to have a companion film to a studio album. But that doesn't mean getting the production made didn't come without its challenges. Meyers may have immediately seen a vision of what Lopez was going for, but the director and star had trouble getting executives on board. And so, this actually led to Lopez financing the project her self.

"Every step of the way seemed to be a roadblock that we took as a challenge, that turned into elevating it into something that we didn't even realize it was being elevated into," said Lopez.

"Jen's drive. It's almost like the more impossible it was, the more she's all for it," added Myers. "And so I just think that Jen's spirit of rising above anybody that says no is why she's here. It's why she is who she is."

Another challenging aspect was dealing with the schedules of all the fun cameos we see. Some of those are Trevor Noah, Post Malone, Keke Palmer, Sofia Vergara, and Derek Hough. Be on the lookout, there's plenty more! Some of these stars were in one big scene together but because of schedules, their lines were shot separately.

"That was actually probably the hardest scene to edit," shared Meyers. "But luckily it turned out well."

Jennifer Lopez - The Greatest Love Story Never Told
Courtesy: Prime Video /

An exciting new chapter

This Is Me... Now: A Love Story was sort of a new venture for Lopez, even though it features her many talents. But both personally and professionally, it's helped her look forward and get excited for what comes next.

"It ended kind of this 20 year journey about a lot of questions that I had about love and being my myself - a hopeless romantic and what it means to really enter into a healthier, more self accepting phase for myself. Now what will happen from that, I hope will be and I know will be, even more wonderful things than what I have been so privileged to live up until this point," said Lopez. "But again, what the movie shows is that there has been struggles and there has been hard times that nobody knew about that I kept to myself. Kind of gaining the confidence to be vulnerable and to admit certain things to the world I think has only made me more comfortable in my own skin and kind of empowered me in a way to step into this next phase of my life as an artist and as a human being that will be a whole new chapter for me of feeling more free to express myself in a lot of different and exciting ways."

This Is Me... Now: A Love Story begins streaming Friday, Feb. 16, 2024 on Prime Video.

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