Jennifer Lopez is the star of not one but two primetime TV series this summer, and reveals why one of them is ending its run while the other drew her back to a place she didn’t think she’d ever be again: behind the judging table on a TV reality competition.
Yet that’s precisely where the former “American Idol” judge finds herself on NBC’s “World of Dance”, in which she also serves as executive producer.
In an interview with IndieWire’s “Turn It On” podcast, the 49-year-old star revealed that she initially had no plans to be a judge on the show, currently airing its second season. But…
“I was a producer on it, so naturally it came up,” Lopez said, admitting she was hesitant. “I didn’t think so, and we started trying to interview people and put them together… [but] the chemistry was never quite right. Until they were like, ‘Think about it, it’s your show, you produce it, you own it.’ I was like, ‘I want it to have its best shot and I know how to do this.’”
Eventually she softened to the idea. “I thought maybe I could be that anchor since I’ve got experience, and I’ll surround myself with other interesting people,” she said of her strategy, which brought in fellow judges Derek Hough and NE-YO, along and host/mentor Jenna Dewan.
“It’s time to move on and we always knew this would have a finite run,” she said of the show’s impending end. “When we got to the third season, I was like, ‘I think we’re done with this.’ And the way the season ends, I think this is it. I did three years in Vegas [with her residency] and three years on ‘Shades’ and it seemed perfect to move on to the next chapter for me.”
Still, Lopez admits she’s going to miss playing conflicted cop Harlee Santos. “I really loved this character and could have done it another couple of years, easily,” she added. “They would have. But it was time. This character, of all the characters I’ve played, is probably my favourite. And one that affected me the most. Permeated my soul. She was so complex and deep down a good person that was so playing outside the lines of morality and her own ethics and integrity and really struggling all the time. That struggle is something we all go through and it made me examine my own struggles and my own life and help me grow.”
Meanwhile, you can listen to JLo’s interview in its entirety below: