Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Travel back in time to a 1998 Jennifer Lopez interview filled with creepiness and shit-talking

Photo: Alexander Tamargo (Getty Images)

Jennifer Lopez is currently in the spotlight based on her performance in Hustlers—a role that’s inspiring Oscar buzz and putting her back in the headlines. Still, as much attention as she’s receiving now, it pales in comparison to the years before and after the turn of the millennium, when everything Lopez said and did filled tabloid space and her albums and films dominated popular culture.

An absolutely wild profile by Moveline’s Stephen Rebello, published back in this halcyon era, showcases this through a variety of ways, offering a snapshot of her thoughts on show business—and the talents of her contemporaries—at the time and an apparent test of exactly how many creepy, drooling descriptions of his subject a writer could jam into a single article.

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The piece, which was resurfaced by Wirecutter’s Jason Chen, sees Rebello carefully describing his meeting with “all 66 caramel-colored inches of Jennifer Lopez” as if he’s writing dime store erotica. “Her bikini top is slightly loosened, her nether regions are towel-draped, and a masseuse is kneading oil into the precipitous peaks and valleys of her formidable body,” he writes. “Her skin glints as if it were flecked with 24-karat gold.”

That crucial information out of the way (for at least a sentence or two), the reader then gets some exceptional quotes on Lopez’s view of herself and other actors. Lopez, in her own words, is popular because “I’m the best” and because “I have the ‘stardom glow.’”

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She has plenty of opinions on other showbiz names, mentioning that Oliver Stone “smells really great, like spicy lavender”; that Cameron Diaz is “a lucky model who’s been given a lot of opportunities” which Lopez “[wishes] she would have done more with”; that she’s “never been a big fan” of Winona Ryder but “I’d like her just for looking like my older sister, Leslie”; and that Salma Hayek is “a sexy bombshell and those are the kinds of roles she does,” whereas Lopez does “all kinds of different things.”

“It makes me laugh when she says she got offered Selena, which was an outright lie,” Lopez says. “If that’s what she does to get herself publicity, then that’s her thing.”

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When asked about Gwyneth Paltrow, Lopez responds: “Tell me what she’s been in? I swear to God, I don’t remember anything she was in. Some people get hot by association.” We learn Claire Danes is “a good actress,” but “I see a lot of the same thing with every character she does.” On Madonna, Lopez says “she’s a great performer” but not “a great actress.”

She also recounts impressions and stories of several Hollywood men, from Jack Nicholson (“a legend in his own time and in his own mind”) to Stephen Dorff, who hit on her while filming Blood And Wine (“there was an attraction there, definitely, but not something I wanted to take further”). More disturbingly, she writes that Wesley Snipes “went full court press” hitting on her “even though I had a boyfriend at the time” and “got really upset” when she made it clear she wasn’t interested. Lopez also mentions that “Woody [Harrelson] was more playful” in his passes at her, but then describes how he would “stick out his tongue and flick it at me very nasty” while they filmed Money Train, like he was “the ‘world’s horniest anteater.”

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Obviously sensitive to the stories she’s just shared, Rebello immediately transitions to a paragraph that begins: “At 27, Lopez has, clearly, spent years honing the fine art of the tease, the shoot-down, and the snappy comeback.”

Read the full article to take in the rest, which contains a dizzying, tonal rollercoaster of details.

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.