After a literally pregnant pause in her career—having not released a movie or studio album since 2007 in order to have twins Max and Emme, Jennifer Lopez returns to the screen April 23 in CBS Films’ The Back-up Plan, playing a pregnant-by-choice single woman who's given pause when, just after a fateful visit to a fertility clinic, she meets Mr. Right.
Surely by coincidence, Lopez's next announced film is Columbia Pictures' The Governess, in which she plays a professional thief posing as the nanny for a wealthy widower's three kids. So what's next? The Soccer Mom, followed by Empty Nesters and Mother of the Bride?
"Yes, I will be working on The Governess," Lopez says, “and I have some other film projects in the works… I will also be doing different TV appearances, including 'Glee,' 'Saturday Night Live' and 'How I Met Your Mother' for the promotion of the movie."
Lopez confesses some nervousness about getting back in the cinematic saddle. "As with anything, if you don't do it for a long time you have that fear that you're going to mess up the first time out," she admits. “[But] everything clicked at the table read. I was excited, nervous, scared, happy, and just being there with the other actors was an exhilarating rush in itself."
For his part, first-time feature director Alan Poul—a TV veteran who served as an executive producer of the 2008 CBS drama "Swingtown" and of HBO's "Six Feet Under" from season two on—says Lopez's furlough didn't affect her performance. "I think she said she was nervous on the first day of principal photography, but she didn't show it. She's such an assured performer; she studied the script very, very hard, and showed up every day excited, willing and completely prepared. Nobody thought, 'Oooh, this has to work,' in terms of comeback pressure, or even first-timer pressure on me."
The romantic comedy stars Lopez as Zoe, a New York City professional who's been unlucky at love but still wants a child. When her employee and best male friend Clive (Eric Christian Olsen) turns down her request to be her sperm donor, she takes decisive action at a fertility clinic. And wouldn't you know it, but at the very instant she leaves the facility she meets Stan (Australian actor Alex O'Loughlin, late of CBS' "Moonlight" and films like Whiteout and August Rush) and—after the de rigueur tension—the two fall in love. One baby bump later, Zoe's got this funny story to tell him. Yet although she's knocked up, this isn't Knocked Up—it's not his kid. But Stan sticks around, even though the pregnancy has wacky complications.
Lopez was attached to the project by December 2008, before either O'Loughlin or Poul. In fact, she was attached before The Back-up Plan was even The Back-up Plan: Sitcom scribe Kate Angelo's spec script—one of the first put into production by the recently formed CBS Films—was originally titled Plan B.
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