Jennifer Lopez has gone above and beyond for her new album, This Is Me… Now, dropping a spectacularly insane special to accompany it – but one part of her new project is still shrouded in mystery.
The On The Floor singer is joined by a string of famous faces for This Is Me…Now: A Love Story – released on Amazon Prime on February 16 – including Keke Palmer, Sofia Vergara, and Jane Fonda for a mini Monster-In-Law reunion.
However, we had to keep our eyes peeled for the appearance of her husband, Ben Affleck, who had a very special – yet secret – role in the project, as well as the making of her record.
‘Obviously, he’s my husband and I love anything that we can do together, it’s a joy for me,’ she told Metro.co.uk and other press ahead of the album release and premiere.
However, while J-Lo, 54, was happy to discuss working with her Batman actor husband, 51, again, she wouldn’t be drawn to revealing too much about what the hell he’s doing in the film.
Cool as a cucumber, she explained: ‘That’s one of the secrets of the thing that we want to keep until people see it. We want it to be a discovery for people.
Jennifer Lopez revealed Ben Affleck’s special role in her new project (Picture: Getty)
‘It was a metaphor for having something in the back of your life all the time, in the back of your mind – this person, this voice, this thing, this feeling, this energy.
‘We thought it would be great for him to do … in the background of this hopeless romantic’s life the whole entire time.
She added, teasingly: ‘But not as himself; hidden underneath it. How different can we make you look? That’s really what it was about.’
The pair, famously dubbed Bennifer, started dating in the early 2000s and soon got engaged. Her iconic 2002 album, This Is Me… Then, was all about their relationship.
After a chaotic period, the Hollywood golden couple postponed their wedding and eventually went their separate ways in 2004, with Jennifer moving on with Marc Anthony, while Ben married Jennifer Garner.
The couple initially split in 2004 before reuniting in 2021 (Picture: Getty)
In a turn of events worthy of an award-winning rom-com, they reunited in 2021, and jetted to Las Vegas in July of the following year for a surprise wedding, before hosting a fairytale second ceremony.
So, over 20 years since her tell-all record about her love for Ben and after their stunning reunion, it’s no surprise Jen would want to bring it all back to their love for her new project.
Opening up more about how their love story plays a part in both This Is Me… Then and This Is Me… Now, Jennifer gushingly described Ben as her ‘inspiration’.
‘I wrote This Is Me… Then when Ben and I fell in love 20-something years ago,’ she enthused. ‘As fate would have it, we came back into each other’s lives. And on the 20th anniversary of This Is Me… Then, I announced that I would do This Is Me… Now.
‘I think people who know, and who were fans, will realise, “Oh, that album was about Ben. This one’s going to be inspired by him as well.” And it certainly was.
‘It was inspired by the surreal miracle that had happened, that I never expected in my life. But also, I was so filled with love and had answers to questions that I had been searching for my whole life, being a hopeless romantic myself in a way. That’s what was the impetus.
‘Him coming back into my life and the two of us reuniting in a way that we never expected, really, that was the inspiration for even going in the studio and wanting to make music again. I just felt like it’s time to make music again, here we go. And I did, and the album just poured out of me.
‘It was just something very organic and beautiful, but it was definitely inspired by getting this incredible second chance at love, at real, true love.’
Jennifer truly gives us everything in her new special, This Is Me… Now: A Love Story (Picture: Amazon Prime)
The special is released on February 16 (Picture: Amazon Prime)
With the album, and the accompanying special, Jennifer wanted to share her belief of true love with her fans, offering them the same renewed hope that she was blessed with.
‘I said, if we can just with this album and this musical experience, let people know – because I’ve wondered about this – does true love really exist? Does anything last forever? We’re told a lot of times that nothing does,’ she continued. ‘I said, I would like to share with the world that I believe things do last forever.
‘Maybe they don’t have a straight line, maybe it’s not all of the ideas that you think it’s going to be, but it lasts forever. And that true love is really real.
‘There is a certain kind of love that doesn’t ever go away. If we could put that message out to the world and give people that hope, I said that’s what I want to share. That’s what I’ve learned.’
Jennifer says that being so vulnerable about her love life is ‘scary’ (Picture: Getty)
Jen had everyone engrossed when she dropped the trailer to her special last month – showing her swiftly traveling through whirlwind romances, three separate marriages, therapy with Fat Joe and some frankly jaw-dropping choreography.
Nestled in that, we were introduced to Keke, Sofia, Jane, Post Malone and many more channelling different aspects of astrological starsigns, while giving her advice from afar and willing her to find true love.
Basically, it’s a romantic whirlwind of music, dancing, acting and comedy, topped off with a secret Ben Affleck cameo – what more could you ever ask for?
Fans couldn’t get enough of the brief glimpse, with many celebrating the return of ‘insanity’ to Hollywood, calling out for the superstar to land all the awards possible.
The official synopsis reads: ‘This is Me…Now: The Film is like nothing you’ve ever seen from JLO. A narrative driven, intimate, reflective, sexy, funny, fantastical and highly entertaining musical and visual reimagining of her publicly scrutinized love life.
‘Along with Director Dave Meyers, Lopez creates a genre-redefining immersive cinematic experience: an extravagant visual and sonic feast with impressive choreography, star studded cameos, costumes, sets and blockbuster-worthy visuals.
‘Although an astonishing vivid spectacle, the film is ultimately a heartfelt ode to JL’s journey of self-healing and everlasting belief in fairytale endings.
‘Audiences will be captivated and leave hopeful that true love can be more than a dream.’
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s love story timeline
Jennifer and Ben meet – December 2001
The couple met over 20 years ago while on the set of their infamous film, Gigli.
The movie didn’t perform quite as well as expected, and was widely panned by critics, but it gave us Bennifer and for that, we will be forever grateful.
The engagement – November 2002
Less than a year after meeting, Ben got down on one knee, popping the question with a stunning pink diamond.
They also brushed their Gigli memories aside and shared the screen together once more, blessing us with the truly iconic Jenny From The Block music video.
Wedding called off at the last minute – September 2003
Days before they were set to walk down the aisle, Bennifer left us all shocked when called off their wedding.
‘Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date,’ they said at the time.
‘When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate “decoy brides” at three different locations, we realized that something was awry.
‘We began to feel that the spirit of what should have been the happiest day of our lives could be compromised. We felt what should have been a joyful and sacred day could be spoiled for us, our families, and our friends.’
Jennifer and Ben confirm split – January 2004
A few months after their canceled ceremony, they called things off for good – with Jen’s rep confirming the split.
‘I am confirming the report that Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck,’ they said in a statement.
‘At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy.’
Both moving on – 2004-2021
They both quickly went their separate ways – Ben married Jennifer Garner in 2005, with the pair sharing three children. They split in 2018 but remained close for the sake of their daughters Violet and Seraphina, and son Samuel.
Jennifer went on to marry Marc Anthony in 2004, and they welcomed two children – Maximilian and Emme. They eventually called time on their marriage in 2011, with the musician moving on with Alex Rodriguez in 2017.
She announced her engagement to A-Rod in 2019 but they never made it down the aisle, and parted ways in 2021.
Bennifer 2.0 – May 2021
Following Jen’s split from Alex, she sent us all into meltdown when she was pictured growing close to Ben once again, with images of their romantic trip to Montana – and then to Miami – getting everyone talking.
They made it official Instagram official the following month.
Engagement 2.0 – April 2022
Ben and Jen got engaged for a second time in April, 2022, with this proposal reportedly taking place in the bath.
In a video message to fans, Jennifer confirmed: ‘Did you ever imagine your biggest dream could come true? Saturday night while at my favorite place on earth (in the bubble bath), my beautiful love got on one knee and proposed.
‘I was taken totally off guard and just looked in his eyes smiling and crying at the same time trying hard to get my head around the fact that after 20 years this was happening all over again.
‘I was quite literally speechless and he said, “is that a yes?” I said YES of course that’s a YES.’
Las Vegas wedding – July 2022
After more than two decades of waiting, Bennifer finally tied the knot in Sin City, three months after the Batman star popped the question.
J Lo shared photos and videos of her dress, while Ben showed off his white tux, with the pair exchanging vows at the Little White Chapel.
More wedding celebrations – August 2022
They could never settle for just one celebration, and threw a giant party in Georgia on August 20 to make things even more official, with their A-List guests making the trip.
The couple were cheered down the aisle after their nuptials by close friends and family, including their children from different marriages.
Despite having a beautiful story to draw inspiration from, she conceded that putting herself back out into the world in such a vulnerable way was absolutely terrifying.
‘It’s my job as an artist to get vulnerable and share those things, even if it’s uncomfortable at times,’ she added. ‘I think, with a little bit of the musical special, it is uncomfortable. It was very hard for me to do. It was probably the hardest thing I ever did. And very scary.
‘But now, in retrospect, as I look at it and we’re on the precipice of it going out to the world, I’m still scared. But I’m also proud of myself for pushing myself to into those uncomfortable places, to be able to tell and share something that I think is worthy to be shared with the world.’
This Is Me… Now: A Love Story is released on Prime Video on February 16.
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