It may look glamorous and flawless up on the big screen, but Jennifer Lopez spent more than six hard weeks learning how to work the pole for her starring role as Ramona in the stripper drama Hustlers.
The proof is in a 13-minute behind-the-scenes video the singer posted on Thursday (Sept. 5), in which she shares the hard, often painful work that went into perfecting her character.
Working with a professional pole dancer on a pole set up in her living room, Lopez learns the A.B.C.s of stripping, working her way up from the most basic spins to more acrobatic, high-flying moves. “This is just hard as anything I’ve ever learned,” Lopez says, pointing to bruises on her inner thighs and shins. “It might be one of the hardest.” The grueling practice pays off, though, as evidenced by a proud call she makes to boyfriend Alex Rodriguez at one point in which she brags, “Baby, I was upside down on the pole today!… Very difficult lifting yourself up, but we did it!”
Unlike strippers who have every night to perfect their craft, Lopez had less than two months to make it look like “I’ve been stripping for a while,” taking advice from her co-star — and former stripper — Cardi B, who told Lopez that it took her years to get her game down. “I’m going to get money and these guys come in here adn they want sexy, slutty, dirty fantasy,” she says describing her dedication to getting the tone right. The practice pays off once Lopez is on set, strapping on her towering, shimmy heels to practice those moves IRL while weighing in on where to put the cameras for maximum sexy. The video ends with Lopez limbering up for her big day and finally taking the stage in a glittering bikini for her showstopping performance.
Hustlers tells the story of a group of NYC strippers living in the fast lane and finessing Wall Street’s richest out of thousands of dollars every night. In addition to Bronx natives Cardi and J.Lo, Keke Palmer and Lizzo also make appear in the Lorene Scafaria-directed movie, which hits theaters on Sept. 13.
Watch the video below.