Don't ask so many questions, says the Selena actress, now George Clooney's co-star in a new movie, Out of Sight. Be "like a sponge" -- you'll get answers.
ennifer Lopez, 27, takes pride in her ability to find meaning in small details. "You learn more by observing people than by asking questions." In Out of Sight -- her new movie, based on the Elmore Leonard novel -- she plays a federal marshal who falls for prison escapee George Clooney. For research, "I tagged along with these tough-guy cops." She smiles at her word choice: These "guys" were actually women.
Lopez didn't ask much. "I just observed -- like when a female cop is standing with a male cop, people talk to the male cop. So women find ways to demand respect. They don't let men one-up them in anything. They banter with them line for line. They shoot with them shot for shot."
To prepare for her charismatic portrayal of Selena in last year's biopic, Lopez moved in with the slain singer's family. After a few days, "they said, 'Why aren't you asking about Selena?' I told them I wanted to know what it was like to live there. It's much more interesting to see what people do or say, rather than what you pry out of them."
Crying with Selena's parents, husband and siblings as they watched home movies, Lopez took to heart what they learned the hard way: "You have to let people know now how you feel about them, because you never know what'll happen."
Lopez, a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, says making Selena heightened her awareness of many things. "I'm always saying, 'Look at how beautiful it is today. Look at the sky! Smell the air!' '' Her loved ones roll their eyes, but she hopes they're observing her and getting this message: "You can't take life for granted."
Test that dress:
As a presenter at this year's Oscars, Lopez almost tripped on stage in her gown. So before a big event, "test your dress by walking fast.''
On pricey cars:
Lopez wants to buy a silver convertible Porsche. "My manager says, 'Are you sure? You should test-drive it and see how it feels.' I know how it will feel. It will feel like I just wasted $80,000."
When a man comes on too strong:
"Give him the shut-down vibe, the I'm-not-interested vibe. You need to have a vibe that says: Go away."
The secret to salsa:
"You need a certain rhythm. Not everybody can find it. You almost have to have it in you." For the movie Blood & Wine, she taught the salsa to Jack Nicholson. "He did fine."