Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony: Movie Offered Life Lessons

Anthony says portraying salsa legend Hector Lavoe taught him to play it safe

For Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, life is full of lessons.

For starters, Anthony says he’ll play it safe now that he’s researched the downward spiral of the late Puerto Rican salsa legend Hector Lavoe, whom Anthony plays in the new movie El Cantante, which costars wife Lopez.

“He painted this clear picture of what you could be if you put your mind to it, but how painful a life you could live if you made the wrong choices,” Anthony, 37, tells the Associated Press about Lavoe.

Kicking off his concert tour in San Juan this weekend, Anthony admitted to feeling a personal connection to Lavoe, who rose to the heights of stardom by bringing salsa to the U.S. – only to fall into drug addiction and die in 1993 at age 46.

The project began five years ago, when Lavoe’s widow approached Lopez with a script and asked that the star play her in the movie.

“Once I read the script, I knew there was something about their life, the relationship they had, that was compelling to watch,” Lopez tells AP.

El Cantante premiered earlier this month at the Toronto Film Festival – where Lopez, who also co-produced the picture with Anthony, planted a kiss on her husband at the debut. The film is set to open in theaters early next year.

As for Lopez’s other big project, her upcoming Spanish-language album which Anthony is producing, she says it also offers reflections on life. “It just talks about maybe I’ve rushed, maybe I’ve made mistakes … but you know my only sin is that I was loving the way a woman loves,” she tells AP.

Lopez anticipates that the album, to be called Como Ama Una Mujer (“How a Woman Loves”) will be released in February or March.

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