The Truth About ‘Hustlers’ Drama Between Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu

Constance Wu will admit to having caused controversy in the past when she lamented the renewal of Fresh off the Boat last year. But when it comes to an alleged feud with Jennifer Lopez on their new movie Hustlers, Wu and the movie’s director say “Don’t you believe it.” 

The alleged feud began, so the story goes, when Wu demanded top billing over Lopez. Although Lopez is the bigger star, Hustlers is really Wu’s character’s story. In the end, though, everybody wins, because Hustlers has turned into an even bigger hit than expected. 

What was going on between Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez?

Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu
Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu | James Devaney/GC Images

Was there a feud? According to Wu, no such feud existed. In an interview with The Guardian, Wu says she knows exactly how this rumor came about and how it has been blown out of proportion. 

“I wasn’t demanding anything,” Wu told the paper. “The reason that happened was because people on the team were calling journalists because they were not putting me in [their stories about the film]. It wasn’t anything I asked them to do.”

Director Lorene Scafaria, whose credits include The Meddler and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, took exception to the story that the actors were feuding on her movie because that would reflect poorly on her.

“Honestly when I heard about it, it was such an insult to my set, because I don’t run things like that,” she told BuzzFeed. “I love to work with actors of all kinds who need different things, but everybody got along so great on this.

Constance Wu has been the center of controversy before

It’s not hard to understand why the gossip-mongers started circling this story, because Wu created buzz earlier year when she openly decried the renewal of her hit show Fresh Off the Boat. When that renewal was announced, Wu tweeted, among other things: “So upset right now that I’m literally crying.”

Wu later clarified that she was upset not so much about the renewal, but about missing out on another project she had her heart set on. And that explanation itself was seen as tone-deaf. All the same, she did apologize to people on the show upset by her tweets.

“I don’t regret being messy and imperfect in public,” she says, “but I do regret not taking into account how it might have affected people I care about, like the kids on the show. I love them. I had a talk with each kid.”

She went on to assert that all was well between her and her co-stars.

Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez have a hit, regardless of any ‘feud’

Wu and company can take solace in two things: First, that this is an example of the ongoing narrative that women supposedly fight with each other. This has been going on for decades,  from Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane in 1962 and Jennifer Lawrence supposedly making a dig at Jessica Chastain on the 2012 Oscar race to now with Wu and Lopez. And it surely won’t be the last time either. 

When speaking to The Guardian, Wu had nothing but praise for Lopez, saying: “Jen is such a big star that it was amazing to see what a down-to-earth kind of person she was. She’s really cool.”

Now, everyone associated with Hustlers can laugh all the way to the bank, because the movie made $33 million at the box office last weekend, which is far more than many expected. It was Lopez’s largest live-action opening of all time and Lopez got her best reviews in years, with talk that an Oscar nomination may be in the cards for her.