Jennifer Lopez strips down in Hustlers

Jennifer Lopez stars in the film Hustlers, based on the true story of a group of New York strippers.
Jennifer Lopez stars in the film Hustlers, based on the true story of a group of New York strippers.

Jennifer Lopez turned 50 in July but she is not ready to wind down her extraordinary career.

Her latest film, Hustlers, is proof.

Having just signed up to perform February's Super Bowl halftime show alongside Shakira, Lopez also has a long list of film, music and fashion projects on the horizon, including a live TV version of the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie.

Oh yeah, she also has 11-year-old twins Max and Emme and is engaged to retired New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez.

It will be her fourth marriage.

"People are so ready to write women of a certain age off, but I just feel like my best years are ahead of me and the more I learn and the more I live, and the more I'm open to growing the better my work gets," Lopez told reporters in Los Angeles recently.

"I feel that even as a singer, as a performer, as an actress, as a producer, I'm able to bring something new and better every single day.

"It's a great thing to be at this point in my life and career and being able to say that."

Hustlers was one of Lopez's greatest acting challenges and there has been some early buzz over a possible Oscar acting nomination for her role as veteran stripper Ramona Vega.

The film is based on the true story of a group of New York strippers who were cashing in until the 2008 financial crisis struck, and the money their Wall St clientele tossed at them each night dried up.

Vega and her stripper colleagues - played by Constance Wu, Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart - come up with an illegal plan to drug and drain the bank accounts of their male clients.

Rappers Cardi B, Lizzo and Usher also have roles.

The film was based on a New York magazine feature article about the women and Lopez jumped on the script as soon as she saw it.

As well as her starring role, Lopez was a producer with her longtime business partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

They ensured Hustlers was dominated by women, with Lorene Scafaria writing and directing the film.

"Let's forget about the story and the script for a minute," Lopez said.

"It's women producers.

"It's a woman director, a woman writer, starring women, a woman editor.

"This was going to be a great thing and this is a real, gritty movie.

"It goes dark, has great characters and it is beautiful."

Lopez is no stranger to the rigours of highly physical dance routines and global concert tours, but her six months of pole dancing practice for Hustlers took her to a different level.

"I work out, lift weights and I'm a dancer and I do all this type of stuff and I've done lots of different sports, but I've never done acrobatics like that," she said.

"It takes a different kind of strength."

Cirque du Soleil performer-choreographer Johanna Sapakie was given the job of training Lopez and at first the singer thought she wasn't capable.

"Johanna said, 'I think you can do this' and she goes upside down and her legs are like wide open and I'm like 'I don't know if I'm that flexible'," Lopez laughed.

"She was like 'no, you can do it'.

"Johanna was amazing."

Hustlers is playing in Australian cinemas.

Australian Associated Press