Jennifer Lopez is an icon, hands down.
But the singer, dancer and actress remembers her early attempts at movies and how the industry pushed back because of her ethnicity.
"Maybe 30 years ago, it was very 'Oh, you're the Latin girl. You'll do Spanish roles; you'll play maids; you'll only be limited to this little box,'" she told Variety.
The J-Lo we know and love wouldn't let that kind of discrimination keep her down.
"It's about getting people in the business — the agents, the managers, the Tommy Mottolas of the world — to believe this girl can do more. But you have to prove yourself too," she added.
Eventually she was cast in "Selena" and says that film "made the impact that it needed to make," inspiring a generation of future Latin actresses and stars.
Lopez spoke to the magazine to promote her new, empowering film, "Hustlers." Almost three decades after she got her start, the industry is now heading in the right direction, she said.
"There are so many smart, talented women out there, in front of and behind the camera, and I think we're at a point where our voices are not stifled as much," she said.
She continued, "Because of the #MeToo movement, it's 'We are equal, and we want to be treated that way.' We've been making our own opportunities, and as you prove your worth and value to people, they can't put you in a box. You hustle it into happening, right?"