Skip to content

Jennifer Lopez Slammed Several Big-Name Female Actors in Wild '90s Interview

See who she called "a lucky model who's been given a lot of opportunities" to a reporter in 1998 .

As stars have become more open about some aspects of their lives thanks to social media, many celebrities have also become less outspoken in their interviews, because every little comment has the potential to go viral. Need some evidence? In 1998, Jennifer Lopez gave an interview to Movieline that it's impossible to imagine the actor and singer giving today. (And not only because Movieline no longer exists.)

In the interview, Lopez gave her unvarnished opinion about several other actors. While she threw in a compliment here and there, the star also critiqued their work in a way that she definitely wouldn't do publicly today. Read on to see what Lopez had to say about Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, Madonna, and more, almost 25 years ago.

READ THIS NEXT: Resurfaced Video Shows Cameron Diaz Being Forcibly Kissed at Awards Show.

Lopez had recently become a major star.

Jennifer Lopez at the 1997 Oscars
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

At the time of the Movieline interview, Lopez was 28 years old. She had recently starred in both Selena and Anaconda, and Out of Sight, co-starring George Clooney, was going to be released in a few months. She told Movieline that she considered herself at "the bottom of the A-list of actresses."

But she was also very confident. "I work really hard," she said. "I'll just get better as I go along because I'm open to getting better. If you have the goods, there's nothing to be afraid of. If somebody doesn't have the goods, they're insecure. I don't have that problem."

She said Gwyneth Paltrow was forgettable.

Gwyneth Paltrow at the 1999 Oscars
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

During the interview, the Movieline journalist ran through a list of A-list stars, and Lopez shared her impressions of them. When it came to Paltrow, she basically called the actor's movies forgettable and said she was getting more attention for her relationship with Brad Pitt.

"Tell me what she's been in? I swear to God, I don't remember anything she was in," Lopez said. "Some people get hot by association. I heard more about her and Brad Pitt than I ever heard about her work."

At this point, Paltrow had been in movies including Seven and Emma. One year later, she would win the Oscar for Best Actress for Shakespeare in Love.

Cameron Diaz was a "lucky model."

Cameron Diaz at the 1998 Oscars
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Lopez said of Cameron Diaz, "A lucky model who's been given a lot of opportunities I just wish she would have done more with."

That said, Lopez was a fan of one on Diaz's 1997 movies. "She's beautiful and has a great presence, though, and in My Best Friend's Wedding, I thought, 'When directed, she can be good,'" she said.

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

She compared herself to Salma Hayek.

Salma Hayek at the 1998 Writers Guild Awards
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Lopez had quite a bit to say about Hayek, including that they had been up for the same rom-com.

"We're in two different realms," Lopez said. "She's a sexy bombshell, and those are the kinds of roles she does. I do all kinds of different things. It makes me laugh when she says she got offered Selena, which was an outright lie. If that's what she does to get herself publicity, then that's her thing. Columbia offered me the choice of Fools Rush In or Anaconda, but I chose the fun B-movie because the Fools script wasn't strong enough." Hayek co-starred in Fools Rush In with Matthew Perry.

In 2020, Hayek again said that she was offered the role of Selena during an episode of Watch What Happens Live. "They offered it to me like a week after the Tejano singer died. They were already planning on making this movie," Hayek said, explaining that she found it distasteful. "I think Jennifer did a great job, and I really didn't think it was for me."

Madonna was called a bad actor but "a great performer."

Madonna at the 1998 Golden Globe Awards
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

"Do I think she's a great performer? Yeah. Do I think she's a great actress? No," Lopez told Movieline when asked about Madonna. "Acting is what I do, so I'm harder on people when they say, 'Oh, I can do that—I can act.' I'm like, 'Hey, don't spit on my craft.'"

Her co-star Claire Danes wasn't spared, either.

Claire Danes at the premiere of "The Mod Squad" in 1999
Brenda Chase / Stringer / Getty Images

Lopez worked with Claire Danes on the 1997 movie U Turn, but she was still comfortable sharing her criticism of her.

"A good actress. Her emotional and inner life are available to her, which is a good start," Lopez said. "But I feel like I see a lot of the same thing with every character she does. She's not that way in U Turn, though."

Lopez had one reason for liking Winona Ryder.

Winona Ryder at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Lopez said she wasn't that into Winona Ryder but that she had a reason for being drawn to her.

"I was never a big fan of hers. In Hollywood she's revered, she gets nominated for Oscars, but I've never heard anyone in the public or among my friends say, 'Oh, I love her,'" Lopez shared. "She's cute and talented, though, and I'd like her just for looking like my older sister, Leslie."

She commented on a couple of male co-stars, too.

Sean Penn at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Elsewhere in the Movieline interview, Lopez commented on a couple of male actors she had worked with. She called Jack Nicholson, her Blood and Wine co-star, "a legend in his own time and in his own mind—like the rest of us are peons."

She was particularly fond of U Turn co-star Sean Penn. "He has a lot of strength and we got along great, actually," Lopez said. She even admitted that if she wasn't married—at the time she was with Ojani Noa—Penn would have been the co-star she was interested in.

She continued of U Turn, "Working with Sean and Nick Nolte, too, who is a truly amazing, great actor whom I respect so much—that was top of the line. I could never work with better actors."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under