Jennifer Lopez: I was told not to be so open about turning 50

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Jennifer Lopez has said she was discouraged from being open about turning 50.

The Hustlers actress, who celebrated her landmark birthday on July 24 with a lavish party at Gloria Estefan’s house in Miami, said people were concerned she would be perceived as past her prime.

Asked by GQ magazine if anybody told her she should not be so frank about her age, she said: “Yes, everybody. All the men. No, that’s not true. It was the women.

“They were like, ‘Do we want to put this out there?’ I just didn’t see it. I’m like, ‘Everybody knows how old I am — what’s the big deal?’

“In this industry, by the time you’re 30, they’re already like, ‘She’s done’.

“I can’t tell you how many times I felt like people were like, ‘She’s done, she’s over’. But it’s such a beautiful time in women’s lives.

“Artists, women especially, get so much better as they grow and mature. You can see it! Meryl Streep’s career took off after she was 40. Tina Turner, after she was 40. Cher.

“It’s not that (those women) weren’t who they were before that. But as they got older, they blossomed in a way they hadn’t before, right?

“They came into their own power, and they started realising, like, ‘I am the scarce asset, I am the prize. I have something beautiful to offer to the world that’s only mine’. And I feel the same thing!

“There is no reason to ever be ashamed of where you’re at. Not when you’re doing your best. Not when you’re in your best moment.

“There’s always gonna be people to tell you no. Or ‘You can’t’. Or ‘You shouldn’t’. It’s gonna happen. No matter what anybody says, you just have to still be like, ‘I’m still doing this. I’m still gonna succeed. I’m still gonna do my best’. Defy the odds. Why not?”

Lopez, who has been named icon of the year by the magazine, also addressed how her fiance Alex Rodriguez has pushed her, saying: “I mean, we’re very similar.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez (Ian West/PA)

“We’re really alike in our drive, in our ambition. He’s an athlete. He wanted to be the best. I’m the same way. I just want to be great at what I do. We’re both like that.

“We’re both super-hard workers. We’re driven by our passions. And we have a tremendous amount of respect for each other.

“Everybody in the room can be talking, and if he says something, I key in on it, and if everybody in the room is kinda in his ear and I go, ‘I don’t think that’s the right thing’, he’ll hear me, he’ll listen.

“He knows I only have his best interest at heart, and I only want him to thrive and succeed and to be his best self.

“And I believe that he wants that for me. He wants me to be seen and to get what I deserve. Like, he’s made his half a billion. And he’s like, ‘I want you to have that’.”