Jennifer Lopez’s 5 Most Head-Scratching Roles As a White Woman, Ranked

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.

5. Angel Eyes

Jenny from the block plays a Chicago cop named Sharon Pogue, a name as Irish as bullocks. We’re all for her landing a part originally written for a White woman, but could y’all at least connect the dots a little bit better?

4. The Wedding Planner

Jennifer Lopez got called out in reviews of this reviled rom-com not because she played Italian-American Mary Fiore, but because she did so even when the script that could just have easily made her Latinx without changing anything instrumental — a trend of intermittent whitewashing that would continue throughout her career.

3. An Unfinished Life

Booking a role with a prestigious director like Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, Cider House Rules) is a big step in an actor’s journey. Unfortunately, this time around it meant playing Robert Redford’s daughter-in-law … in Wyoming … where Morgan Freeman shows up and issues pearls of wisdom that come dangerously close to magical territory.

2. The Cell

Much of Tarsem Singh’s sumptuous psychological thriller happened inside the mind of a serial killer — which must be the same place the idea was hatched to insist that J-Lo’s character was a White lady named Catherine Deane.

1. Out of Sight

Karen Sisco started as a blonde, blue-eyed Florida girl in the original Elmore Leonard book, and judging from the fact that Dennis Farina played her father in Steven Soderbergh’s film adaptation, they didn’t do anything to change that. But who cares about whitewashing — have you seen that hotel bar scene with George Clooney recently? Twenty-two years later, it’s still hotter than … well, Jennifer Lopez. Pull this one out for movie night with wifey and put the “freak” back in “sex-free quarantine.”

Tech culture writer and podcaster, now freelancing in Texas. Bylines: Washington Post, WSJ, CNN, NPR, Texas Monthly. Here for all your wordy needs.

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