December 10, 2018 07:55 PM

Before Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper dazzled audiences in A Star Is BornJennifer Lopez and Will Smith once considered tackling the lead roles.

The 49-year-old Second Act actress spoke about Cooper’s directorial debut to Extra saying she and Smith had “talked about it and talked about developing the script.”

It just never took off,” she explained. “Projects are like that.”

Despite the missed opportunity, Lopez said she was “really proud of Bradley” for “directing his first film and doing it.”

“We’re friends, and watching Lady Gaga do her thing in the movie, it’s just great,” she added. “Everything happens in its own divine timing.”

While Lopez may not have starred as Ally, she is starring as another woman who pursues her dreams of leading a better life in her film Second Act.

Lopez portrays Maya, a woman struggling with unfulfilled career goals who gets a new shot at success when she lands a job at an elite company.

The role is close to her heart she revealed in November, while at a panel in New York City following the film’s screening.

Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith
John Sciulli/Getty; Frazer Harrison/Getty

“You know, I’ve really become — and I think from being in this business, I don’t let the opinion of others really influence how I think about myself,” Lopez shared. “And that took a long time. Because in the early part of my career, I did, and it made me feel really bad about myself.”

While the singer and actress was experiencing massive success at the time, with her debut film Selena and her debut album On the 6, Lopez said she received criticism that made her doubt her talents.

“I’m killing it, and then everybody’s like, ‘She can’t sing, she can’t dance, she can’t act, she’s just some pretty face or her butt is big’ or whatever they were saying about me and I started thinking, ‘Yeah, that’s true,’” she recalled. “And it really hurt me for a long time.”

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Despite feeling down about the early backlash, Lopez said she “just kept going.”

“I just couldn’t allow myself to let that become who I was. I was like, ‘No, I’m gonna make another record, I’m gonna make another song, I’m gonna make another movie,’” she shared. “‘I’m a great actress, I’m a great singer, a great dancer, I’m great at this stuff! And I’m gonna keep going!’ And I did. And that’s all I did. I just kept going. And I just started working harder and harder than everybody else.”

“I started believing in myself,” she added. “I started believing in the fact that I wasn’t an imposter, that I wasn’t a fake.”

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