Jennifer Lopez said her and Ben Affleck’s breakup 20 years ago was so “painful” that she thought she was going to “die.” In a new interview, the singer opened up about her latest Affleck-inspired album and what the actor-director had to say about some seemingly personal lyrics.
Lopez, 53, spoke to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe about her forthcoming album This is me nowa sequel to her 2002 hit project This is me…then.
“Twenty years ago, I fell in love with the love of my life,” Lopez explains. “Now the most amazing, incredible, incredible thing has happened… the reason we’re here is because I want to capture this moment in time, because it’s even better than the first time.”
Affleck and Lopez tied the knot (twice!) over the summer after rekindling their relationship. The Gigli co-stars initially called off their engagement in 2004.
“It was so painful after we broke up. When we called off that wedding 20 years ago, I was — it was the biggest heartbreak of my life. I really felt like I was going to die,” Lopez recalled. “It sent me into a spiral for the next 18 years where I just couldn’t do it right. I couldn’t do it right. But now, 20 years later, it has a happy ending. It has the most would-never-happen- in-Hollywood ending. “That would never happen. We’re not going to write that because no one would believe it’ ending.”
Lopez said that when she and Affleck got back together, he scolded her for not performing songs that were about him on This is me…then.
“I was like, ‘You’re right. It was painful.’ It was then a part of me that I had to put away in order to move on and survive. It was definitely a survival tactic,” Lopez recalled. (By the way, she said Affleck “knows all the words” of the songs on that album.)
“This is me…then really captured a moment when i fell in love with the love of my life. It’s all on the record. I didn’t even realize what was happening and what I was doing,” Lopez recalled. “Every song we wrote there, as I wrote ‘Dear Ben,’ it was such a special moment to capture.”
Lopez said the media frenzy surrounding their relationship “destroyed” us all those years ago.
“That was part of what destroyed us was the outside energy coming at us. And we loved each other, it was hard. It felt unfair at times, but neither of us are that person to be, woe is me So we were like, ‘Well, we just need to dust it off and keep it moving.’ And I think, in the weirdest way, it motivated both of us to then become and do the things that we ended up doing, which is kind of hyper-acceleration,” she said, pointing out that they “needed to do it separately.” He went into hyper acceleration and I went into hyper acceleration. But not together. We had to do it separately… It fed us in a weird way that we felt like we had to prove ourselves again.”
Lopez hinted at that This is me now will feature similar personal lyrics to its predecessor.
“We captured this moment when I was reunited with the love of my life and we decided that we would be together forever. The whole message of the album then is that this love exists. This is a real love. Now I have i think hard what the album’s message is if you’re wondering if like me sometimes you’ve lost hope, almost given up don’t do it Because true love exists and some things last forever and that’s really,” the Marry me star shared.
“I want to get that message out to the world and that takes a lot of vulnerability. But I couldn’t stop myself and some parts of it scared me. And I think parts of it scare Ben too. He said, ‘Oh, do you really want this all say?’ And I’m like, “I don’t know how else to do it, baby,” Lopez teased.
This is me now coming out in 2023.
MORE: Jennifer Lopez says private video of her Ben Affleck wedding performance was ‘stolen’