Jennifer Lopez was PISSED about sharing the Super Bowl halftime stage back in February of 2020!
Of course, at the time, the now-52-year-old pop icon graced the world stage for the NFL‘s big halftime show alongside another world-famous pop superstar: Shakira. But according to a new documentary tracking J.Lo’s career — and specifically focusing on the work that went into that halftime show appearance — that pairing was NOT ideal!
Halftime, the highly-anticipated documentary following the Jenny from the Block sensation as she enters her 50s, premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The Netflix-produced doc, which is set to be released on the streaming app later this month, focused at one point on some of the major difficulties Lopez had sharing the stage with Shakira, as both A-listers tried to figure out how to work alongside each other.
At one point in the doc, Ben Affleck‘s partner slams the set-up, blaming NFL execs for having two women do a job that historically had gone to a single artist. Speaking candidly to her music director while rehearsing, the music legend said:
“We have six f**king minutes. We have 30 seconds of a song, and if we take a minute, that’s it, we’ve got five left. But, there’s got to be certain songs that we sing, though. We have to have our singing moments. It’s not going to be a dance f**king revue. We have to sing our message.”
And she didn’t stop there!
Lopez was particularly incensed at the execs who insisted on having two stars share the stage, saying:
“This is the worst idea in the world to have two people do the Super Bowl. It was the worst idea in the world. … This is something I have been working for and hoping for for years.”
Damn! Tell us how you really feel!
J.Lo wasn’t the only one who took issue with it, either. Her manager, Benny Medina, spoke in the new documentary as well. He offered historical context for the dramatic decision to put two artists in such close quarters for the halftime show:
“Typically, you have one headliner at a Super Bowl. That headliner constructs a show, and, should they choose to have other guests, that’s their choice. ‘It was an insult to say you needed two Latinas to do the job that one artist historically has done.”
Well, when you put it like that…
To Lopez and Shakira’s credit, they did find a way to work together. And they kept it professional! It’s just that, well, neither one wanted to share the stage with the other. Which makes sense! They’re both solo stars who fill stadiums on their own!
At one point in the film, during a rehearsal for the halftime event, the Colombian superstar can be seen telling Lopez:
“I know that the Super Bowl people want us to be weaved throughout the show. I haven’t had a confirmation about how many minutes I’m going to have.”
Lopez responds with grace:
“Let me address that really quick. They said 12 minutes. I got kind of a good confirmation that we could have an extra minute or two, so now we’re at, like, 13, 14 minutes. I think, Shakira, what we should have is you should have half the time and I should .”
And J.Lo added more, too:
“If it was going to be a double-headliner, they should have given us 20 minutes. That’s what they should’ve f**king done.”
Of course, Perezcious readers will recall the perfect pairing J.Lo and Shakira ended up making during the actual event. It was really something! (And just like Lopez guessed, it ended up being about 14 minutes!)
Refresh your memory with the performance (below):
It’s honestly notable to see this play out behind the scenes, because for the 2022 show at the big game, the NFL opted to go with a really big group of superstars to headline halftime: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent.
So perhaps J.Lo and Shakira served as something of a test run for the league to move forward with more? Then again, in the year between these two, the NFL opted for a solo act… Hmmm…
BTW, Halftime also covers another controversial situation involving the halftime show — about how Lopez got on the bad side of the NFL’s content team for wanting to highlight children in cages as part of her performance. Of course, the superstar used the moment to make a political statement about the widespread outrage over immigrant children being held in cages at ICE detention centers during Donald Trump‘s presidency.
Lopez explained in the doc about how Medina took a lot of heat from the league during rehearsals over her wanting to have the cages as part of the show:
“We left rehearsal and I noticed everybody was freaking out, but I don’t know why. I get a call from Benny and he’s like, ‘They want to pull the cages.’ That night, the higher-ups at the NFL saw it for the first time and they’re like, ‘Hey, you can’t do that.’”
Benny added his own info about the league’s attempt at nixing the halftime theme, too:
“The NFL had a real concern about making a political statement about immigration. They looked at the plans, and the message was absolute. They did not want those cages in the show. That had come down from the highest authority.”
But J.Lo refused to budge!
She explained why it was so important to her as an artist — and as a human:
“For me, this isn’t about politics. This is about human rights. I’m facing the biggest crossroads of my life, to be able to perform on the world’s biggest stage, but to take out the cages and sacrifice what I believe in would be like never being there at all. There was a part of me that just got very zen and I was just like, ‘Benny I don’t care what you have to do, we’re not changing the show. The Super Bowl is tomorrow and we’re not changing anything.’”
By the way, if you haven’t seen it yet, here is the trailer for Halftime (below), which is set to stream on Netflix beginning on Tuesday, June 14:
So much there!!
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