Jennifer Lopez On Finding ‘Meaty’ Roles For Latina Actresses 20 Years After ‘Selena’

Jennifer Lopez says it’s “still a struggle” for Latina actresses to find “meaty” roles, twenty years after her breakout performance portraying the late Tejano icon Selena Quintanilla-Pérez.

“[Selena] was a meaty role, but it was few and far between, especially for Latinos to have a role like that,” the 47-year-old actress revealed during an interview with Variety about the biopic, which chronicled the young icon’s rise to fame and tragic death at the age of 23.

“I think it’s still challenging for women, especially being Latina,” Lopez added. “Thinking about Selena 20 years ago, and to have a role like that, I was very lucky. I was very fortunate. But it’s still a struggle for women.”

The World of Dance star went on to add that she now takes pride in creating her own opportunities and has learned not to let limited chances to stop her career.

“At this point, you have to create your own opportunities and I think that’s why I got so much more into producing and taking into our own hands as an artist,” she said. “I think it’s the second phase of your career — you kind of make a name for yourself and show everybody what you do and where your talents lay, and then you have to take it into your own hands and be the artist that you want to be.”

She added, “I think [the industry] is still moving and growing, and it’s always a challenge for women.”

J.Lo is the executive producer and star in NBC’s cop drama series Shades of Blue. She will also appear as a judge in upcoming reality dance competition World of Dance and she is set to star in live TV musical Bye Bye Birdie Live!, an idea she pitched herself to NBC. She also has a musical residency show, “All Of Me,” at Planet Hollywood’s AXIS Theater in Las Vegas.