Jennifer Lopez Opens Up About Her First Breakup With Ben Affleck and His Thoughts on This Is Me…Now

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On Friday, Jennifer Lopez will release her most intimate piece of work yet: her album, This Is Me…Now, and its accompanying Amazon Prime musical film. The project captures her search for love and growth during her time in between dating Affleck, and the music offers candid details about their reunion.

Lopez spoke to Variety in an interview released this morning about their early 2000s breakup and what Affleck, the more private of the two, thought of the project. Affleck is a co-writer on the film and plays a small role in it as well.

When Lopez and Affleck first ended their engagement in January 2004, Lopez conceded that all the public commentary surrounding their relationship was the nail in the coffin. “Our relationship crumbled under the weight of the pressure,” Lopez said. “We lost a sense of ourselves, and we needed to separate because we didn’t know how to survive it. I had to figure myself out, and he had to figure himself out.”

Lopez spoke more about her side of it, saying, “I’ve been on this journey, and I’ve been trying to figure it out [what healthy love looks like for her]. Now I feel like because Ben and I have rediscovered each other—and now that we’re married—I have something to offer. This is the defining piece of work that’s going to close that chapter so I can move on to the next part of my life.”

Watch the Film

This is Me…Now: A Love Story

<i>This is Me…Now: A Love Story</i>

Watch the Film

This is Me…Now: A Love Story

She later commented on the skepticism that she is really done focusing her projects on love, admitting that this latest chapter is her most “challenging” yet. “It’s funny,” she said. “It’s like, ‘Okay, so now I’m in a healthier, more loving, good relationship. I’ve gotten to this place where I feel more whole, to be more present in a relationship. But what is that like? I get to live that, and that’s even more challenging than the last 20 years.”

Regarding Affleck’s view on This Is Me…Now, which includes an album, a film, and a documentary, The Greatest Love Story Never Told, set to be released February 27, Lopez said, “He realized this was a surrealistic, fantastical journey that we were making,”

She also shared the advice her director husband told her, as she was self-financing the project initially. “Ben told me, ‘You’re gonna write it, and then you’re going to film it,’” Lopez recalled with a smile. “When you’re done, you’re going to do a rough cut, and you’re gonna see what it needs, and you’re gonna do three days of reshoots.’ That’s when I said, ‘I can’t do that—I don’t have any more money!’ But he was like, ‘You’re going to do a few days of reshoots, and then you’re going to go back in and edit it. And you’re going to tell your story.’”

Affleck saw the final cut of the film last year. “He said, ‘You made a movie. For you. You made a great movie. You did it,’” she shared, her eyes misting up, per Variety. “Honestly, I don’t care what happens now. That is the biggest kind of compliment that I could get.”

She addressed the fact that people will likely have mixed views on the project, and understands it won’t be for everyone: “I think when you put out any project, you get to a point in your life where you’re not doing it for every single person in the world to have the most beautiful opinion of it,” she said. “But I do think this is a beautiful project. The message is strong and the message is true. I think it’s a true piece of art, and I’m very proud of it.”

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