Jennifer Lopez befriended erotic dancers to research Hustlers role

The singer and actress said her shoulders and back were "still recovering" after filming.

Jennifer Lopez got to know a few erotic dancers as she was preparing to play a stripper in new movie Hustlers.

The singer/actress visited strip clubs and spent time with the performers backstage in between their acts.

"I listened to what it was like to have a career as a dancer," she told WENN. "I soaked up the atmosphere and wanted to learn how to do things authentically, including pole dancing."

J.Lo then trained for almost six months in preparation for the film, erecting a portable stripper pole in every city she visited.

However, she admitted learning to pole dance was really tough: "I was using a group of muscles I hadn't ever tested before, so I walked away with fresh bruises after every session. My shoulders and back are still recovering!"

And she came away with a new respect for strippers.

"Most of these women are just trying to get by. Their struggles are 100 per cent relatable. They want to take care of themselves and their families," the 50-year-old commented. "I think everyone deserves respect, consideration, and the ability not to be judged based on choices they've made, even bad choices. The truth is we're all hustling, negotiating, striving to get through the day to win the battles we must fight. Women are constantly sexualised, but when they find a way to profit from that, all of a sudden, it's a problem.

"In movies, strippers are painted as throwaways or just background characters. Hustlers digs into the stories of these women's lives and shows the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think people are going to appreciate the realness of this movie and its characters."

Hustlers, based on Jessica Pressler's 2015 New York Magazine article titled The Hustlers at Scores, also stars Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Cardi B, and Lizzo. The film is set to hit cinemas from 13 September.

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