Triple-threat superstar Jennifer Lopez sat down with Vogue to talk about everything from learning “how to be a fighter” growing up in the Bronx, all the way to her romantic fairytale ending with fellow actor Ben Affleck. The conversation does not disappoint, particularly her comments about her decision to take Affleck’s last name — a move criticized by some. 

Like with many other interviews, Lopez spoke candidly, exhibiting the warm, inviting, energetic spirit that has made her a household name — and made her that much more charismatic in iconic movies like “The Wedding Planner” and “Monster-In-Law” (A.K.A. the classics). That being said, she talked about learning how to be more hush-hush and “guarded” than before, after realizing “[the media] will fillet you.”

The “All I Have” star remembered her start with Ben Affleck back in 2002, which led to their first engagement with that legendary 6-carat pink diamond. A match made in heaven maybe, but not without its difficulties: “We were so young and so in love at that time… We were just living out loud, and it turned out to really bite us.” She remembers, “There was a lot underneath the surface there, people not wanting us to be together, people thinking I wasn’t the right person for him.” 

Now, Lopez has “learned,” but is still shedding light on intimate subjects, such as her childhood. She describes her mother Guadalupe Rodríguez’s parenting style as strict, explaining, “We respected her, but we also feared her… She did what she needed to keep us in line.” Meanwhile, her father worked nights, and Lopez committed time to sports at her Bronx high school and Sunday church.

While keeping quiet about specific, possibly-traumatizing experiences growing up, the powerhouse star forces her fans to read between the lines with: “Who your mom is and who your dad is and how they love you and teach you to love become the positive and negative patterns that you have to overcome in life.”

Currently at work on her first album in almost 10 years, she views it as “a culmination” of who she is “as a person and an artist.” She continues, “There’s a part of me that was hiding a side of myself from everyone. And I feel like I’m at a place in my life, finally, where I have something to say about it.” As “Ain’t Your Mama” stans through and through, we honestly can’t wait. The star is also working on new Netflix sci-fi film “Atlas,” apart from a plethora of business ventures including her JLo Beauty skincare line, but true to form, the star still carves time out for love.

She talked about reconnecting with former flame Affleck back in 2021 after a chance email encounter, describing, “I always felt like there was a real love there, a true love there… When we reconnected, those feelings for me were still very real.” Now happily married, Lopez is on cloud nine — but was recently criticized for taking Affleck’s last name. 

Regarding the critiques, Lopez simply replied, “We’re husband and wife. I’m proud of that. I don’t think that’s a problem.” And when asked about the possibility of husband Ben Affleck becoming Mr. Lopez, the Puerto Rican star exclaimed: “No! It’s not traditional. It doesn’t have any romance to it. It feels like it’s a power move.” 

As Lopez says it herself, she is “empowered” and “very much in control” of her life, but sees taking her husband’s last name as “romantic.” As the star explains, “It still carries tradition and romance to me, and maybe I’m just that kind of girl.”

Of course, her attention to her family is always at the forefront, and describes being “emotionally tied up” in just about every way possible when it comes to raising her twin children Emme and Max, 14. Still, she reflected on how there’s no doubt her childhood was very different from her kids’ upbringing, a fact that comes with both its pros and cons. 

“It’s hard, in its own way, when you don’t have to fight for things, because then you don’t learn how to be a fighter.” Reflecting on her own childhood, Lopez says she “had to learn how to be a fighter” and wanted to give her kids the life she “didn’t have.” Still, they “don’t get to have the experience of something that is also helpful, which is developing that survivalist mentality” like she did growing up. 

And about adopting her mother’s fear tactics when it comes to raising her kids? That’s not for Lopez. “I really wanted to find a better way than having to put the fear in them. It’s like, I can hold a boundary with you but also be your ally.”

As husband Affleck himself explained to Vogue, the “Let’s Get Loud” singer has a “heart that seems boundless with love,” and we really believe it.