‘Hustlers’: Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu Reveal How It’s About Feminism

Jennifer Lopez has a knack for choosing interesting, original projects, and her latest one — Hustlers — is certainly creating a lot of buzz. The film set to hit theaters on September 13th and features Lopez in the lead role as well as an impressive roster of female talent alongside her: Cardi B, Lili Reinhart, Constance Wu, and Lizzo. While the film has received some backlash for the subject matter, the stars recently sat down to discuss the film and why, despite appearances, Hustlers is actually about feminism. 

What is ‘Hustlers’ about?

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez | James Devaney/GC Images

There have been a lot of stripper-centric movies over the years, some fairly well-received (like Demi Moore’s Striptease in the 90s) and some not-so-well-received (like Showgirls). It seems that the time was ripe for another film that centered around the hardworking women who make their money in the harsh world of gentlemen’s clubs.

The movie Hustlers is actually based on a 2016 magazine article called “The Hustlers at Scores.” The article told the story of a group of enterprising strippers who began “hustling” and scamming their wealthy clients.

Lopez became interested in the story and got actively involved. She ultimately starred in Hustlers, as well as executive producing. She put herself through some seriously strict training in order to prep for the movie, including cutting out sugar and carbs. She also became an expert pole dancer, discovering through rigorous training just how intense stripping can be.

In fact, Lopez said that learning to pole dance for her role as Ramona in Hustlers was for sure “the hardest thing” she’s ever done. Her training paid off, and her coach on the film stated that she pole dances like an “absolute master.” In addition to her physical preparation, Lopez put herself in the mindset of her character by spending a lot of time in New York City, where the movie was set and filmed, talking to and spending time with strippers and nightclub dancers, learning all about their lives and stories. 

Why is ‘Hustlers’ a feminist movie?

Lopez is behind Hustlers one hundred percent, and as the film prepares to hit theaters, she’s been touting its praises to the public and press. Recently, both Lopez and co-star Constance Wu sat down with a journalist to discuss the film and how it can be defined. When asked whether or not she would consider Hustlers a feminist film, Wu responded immediately that she would. Wu says the basis of the film comes down to humanity, which to her is the true spirit of feminism.

Lopez chimed in and stated that Hustlers is a universal story about life and greed and desperation and “what people do.” She also acknowledged that she’s very proud of the film, especially considering how hard it is to get films made about women. 

‘Hustlers’ could be the surprise hit of the year

There’s no doubt about the fact that Hustlers is generating a lot of awards-show conversation, especially for Lopez, who is said to be amazing in her role as Ramona. The film is also getting good reviews in advance of the nationwide release, which speaks well for how it will do in theaters. Plus, Hustlers has the benefit of a boatload of talent. Real-life musicians Lizzo and Cardi B are in the film, and Riverdale star Lili Reinhart comes into her own, playing a sweet, blonde stripper. 

While there’s no telling how the film will ultimately end up faring, either on the awards circuit or at the box office, the advances for the film are all good — it is entirely possible that Lopez has yet another hit on her hands.