December 31, 1999 12:00 PM

Pin a label on her and she’ll shrug it off. “I audition for roles that are considered Latin and for roles that are, not considered Latin,” Jennifer Lopez told PEOPLE in 1997. “It should be that way with all actors.” In fact, this Bronx-born diva of Puerto Rican descent refuses even to settle for one profession. Deluged with movie offers after her sexy turn in last year’s Out of Sight with George Clooney, the voluptuous Lopez, 30, threw Hollywood a curve this year by opting instead to launch a singing career. The result? A Top 10 album, On the 6, and a single, “If You Had My Love,” that took the fast track to No. 1. “She has the right stuff on all levels,” says Gregory Nava, who directed Lopez in her breakthrough acting role in the 1997 film Selena. “She’s so focused and talented that she’s forced people to accept her for who she is.” And who is she exactly? “A tough chick,” says director Oliver Stone, who cast Lopez in 1997’s U-Turn. “Fun, swift, funny and street-smart.” For her next acting gig, playing a psychotherapist opposite Vince Vaughn in The Cell, due out next year, Lopez reportedly will receive a cool $5 million, making her among the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. And that’s on top of a lucrative contract, signed last year, to be a spokesmodel for L’Oréal. Even on the romantic front, the former In Living Color Fly Girl sticks to her own flight plan. While she and record producer Sean “Puffy” Combs deny the persistent rumor that they’re engaged, Lopez (divorced last year from L.A. nightclub manager Ojani Noa) keeps fans watching and wondering. Where she’ll venture next is anybody’s guess. “She’s just not someone who will do the obvious or logical choice,” says Cell producer Julio Caro. “She’s always pushing that envelope.”

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