The time-tested bond of friendship between Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini is a beacon of brightness and joy in Hollywood — and it turns out that their connection was super strong even from the very first time they cross paths.
ET’s Nischelle Turner sat down with the best friends, and Second Act co-stars, to talk about their upcoming romantic comedy, and Remini opened up about how their famous friendship first emerged.
“I was friends with Marc Anthony, and then he started dating Jennifer, and he was doing a film. I went to the premiere and he said, ‘You have to meet Jennifer!’ And he was telling Jennifer, ‘You have to meet Leah and Angelo [Pagan],’ my husband,” Remini recalled.
“So we went to the premiere hoping she was gonna be ugly in real life,” Remini joked. “And then, when I was approaching her, I was like, ‘I hope it’s the lighting. Maybe she just looks good in here,’ and as I got closer I was like, ‘Oh damn, there’s a lot of light right here and she looks really pretty.”
“I even said that! I said, ‘Goddamnit, why the f**k why are you so f**king pretty?’ And she laughed,” the sitcom star continued. “[Then] I was like, ‘Ugh, I hope she’s dumb, ya know? I was like, ‘She could be dumb!’ I wanted to find something and I didn’t.”
“And we fell in love right there,” Lopez added with a smile.
“Her sense of humor, the fact that I could bust her balls and she wasn’t caught up on herself, said something to me,” Remini explained.
According to Lopez, their friendship was essentially solidified right off the bat after meeting at that fateful premiere.
“It was one of those instant chemistry things, where you just feel like, ‘I love this person. I love being around this person. This person makes me laugh,'” Lopez shared. “She’s cool and we also have very similar upbringings. That’s why we work well together.”
While the pair have been besties for years, Second Act marks their first time working together on a movie, in which Lopez and Remini play Maya and her best friend Joan, respectively.
As for why it took so long for the pair to act opposite one another, Lopez said, “Everything happens in its perfect divine timing. So let’s not question the universe on that.”
“Maya and Joan’s relationship was so much like my and Leah’s relationship,” explained Lopez, who helped develop the script alongside her producing partners and screenwriters Justin Zackham and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas. “So we begged her to do it.”
“We were like, ‘If she does it, I know that it would be something special.’ Because the relationship that Maya and Joan have is very special, and the relationship that we have is very special,” Lopez added. “I knew that if we could capture our real honesty, our real love, our real humor, then that would be something really entertaining and fun for everybody to see.”
Second Act— also starring Milo Ventimiglia and Vanessa Hudgens, and directed by Peter Segal — opens in theaters Dec. 21.
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