J.Lo On Life After 'Gigli'

On Friday, moviegoers finally get to see the mob comedy "Gigli," the film that brought Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck together.

Lopez recently sat down with The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen to talk about the film and the transition from co-stars to Hollywood's hottest couple.

In the film, Lopez is Rikki, a lesbian coming out of a relationship, and a low-level mobster on an important assignment. So for her character, Lopez says, she had to build a lot of back-story.

She says, "You really have to get detailed with certain aspects of your character's life, so then you can portray more and more in an honest way -where you actually have specific things that you're thinking about at different times."

In Lopez's mind, Rikki was "maybe a dancer or something, and wanted to be a songwriter. And she basically fell into this because of her girlfriend. I think she's open. I think she's kind of a free spirit, trying to find her right path, tying to do the right thing, but somehow life is kind of getting in the way a little bit," she says and laughs.

In other words, Rikki is a mobster with a "with a conscience," Lopez says.

As for Ben Affleck's Gigli, it has been said that he is very intimidating, and very vulnerable. So what does Lopez think about her fiancé's role?

"I think this character has a mix of kind of putting on airs and being macho and tough, and what he thinks that is. And I think underneath, he's very lost, and doesn't quite know who he is, and has a good mother, who cares about him. And you needed somebody who could mix the vulnerability with the toughness. That you had to read that underneath, that there was something lost about his character," Lopez explains.

Does that mean that Affleck is in real life both vulnerable and tough? Lopez says, "I think when you play a character, it's because you have parts of those things. When people put you, and they're like, 'She's perfect for that,' it's because there's something about you that has it; may not be who you are, that character, but there are aspects of that person that you actually possess, in a way."

On a romantic level, the first kiss that ever transpired between Lopez and Affleck was on-screen. Asked if it was weird, Lopez says, "They're always weird. I know everybody says this, but they're always kind of weird. You never know what to expect."

But, she notes, when they started working together she just knew she liked him more than on a professional level.

She says, "We became really good friends. And I knew that he would be one of the few people I've worked with that [I'd see]afterwards because you know, you make these little families on films, as you go. And then you walk away.

"And I remember my first two movies I ever did, like, I cried. And I was like, 'I can't do this every single time.' With Ben, I really felt like, 'God, we became friends.' This is somebody -- him and actually Justin Bartha as well -- it's like, these are two people whom I could see myself being friends with afterwards. We actually connected on that level. And that's what I think makes the movie special, is the chemistry between not just mine and Ben's character, but all three characters," Lopez says.

Now with marriage on the horizon, Lopez predicts a lot of compromise. She says she and Affleck are "two very strong people, who have very busy lives.

"It's all about compromise, and how much you want to make it work," she says. "It's just a lot of stuff to juggle. And you know, family has to come first. And I think that's going to be the difference, because we've both been kind of loners up until now, where work has always come first. And we've always come first in our lives. We haven't had to consider too many other people. It's just that drive. And we have that in common. And so, this is going to be a whole new experience, I think, for both of us."

So far, she's got a good start. Affleck's mother was quoted as saying that Lopez is the perfect daughter-in-law. Could it be because family is so important to Lopez?

She says, "Probably. Probably the most important thing is that she likes to see him happy, like any mother likes to see their son or daughter. And we're happy. So, I think she has a certain ease about it. She knows we care about each other. That it's not some fabricated, weird thing."

Featured