A star is reborn
Jennifer Lopez feels rejuvenated with a new album, new
movie, new husband and new fashion line
By Chris Betros
Jennifer Lopez can always count on unusual questions when
she visits Japan.
Here to promote her fifth album Rebirth, the 34-year-old Latina
star was asked whether she realized that her Shall We Dance?
co-star Richard Gere resembled Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
Breaking into a laugh, all she could say was, Im
sorry, I dont know your prime minister. Thats
Its been four years since Lopez last visited Japan.
Her three-day stay reportedly cost ¥70 million. Whether
her new album and movie will recoup those costs is debatable,
although Rebirth has been selling well since its February
23 debut. When a new album comes out, it is always scary
because you never know how it is going to be received. Knowing
it is already a hit here makes me very happy, Lopez
Rebirth signals a new chapter in her life. I had taken
six months off, my first real break since high school. I came
back with a rejuvenated sense and I think this album reflects
that. It is a mix of pop, hip-hop, R&B, but is more soulful,
with funkier elements. Its a bit riskier for me.
She also has a new film, a new fashion line and a new husband,
singer Marc Anthony. Although they married last June, the
singer only publicly acknowledged it last month. However,
questions about her private life were out; instead, Lopez
wishes to focus on her career. She has released five movies
and four albums in the past three years. Thats
why I wanted a break. Rebirth felt like the first album all
over again. She spent several months planning it, getting
involved in every aspect of its production. In the music video,
she appears as eight different characters.
While Lopezs albums have sold millions of copies, her
movie career chugs along, a hit here, a bomb there. In Shall
We Dance? (a remake of the 1996 Japanese film), she plays
a ballroom dancing instructor helping accountant Richard Gere
alter his staid lifestyle. I loved the original,
she said. We had a great ensemble cast and I got to
dance with Richard. I grew up watching him in the movies.
Despite being trained as a dancer, Lopez found the role a
challenge. Ballroom dancing is very different. Its
like trying to teach a hip-hop dancer how to do ballet, so
it was hard for me.
She will next be seen in Jersey Girl, followed by An Unfinished
Life and Monster-in-Law. How does she balance movies, music
and fashion? I think loving what you do is the key.
That and finding a balance between your life and your career.
Oscar Fashion Night
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(clockwise from left): cinema personality Kuro Erikawa;
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Don Konishi with celebrities Makoto Nonomura and Emiri
Beauty tips from the family
Hiroshi Uemura isnt just part of the shu Uemura family
group; he is also president of UTOWA, a cosmetics business
he started in 2003 that manufactures original products and
distrubutes overseas brands such as Paula Dorf and Vivienne
So you recently relocated from the US?
I lived on Long Island for eight years because my father sent
me to New York to relaunch the Shu Uemura beauty business.
What is the concept of UTOWA?
We focus on unique cleansing, skin toning and moisturizing
products. Our original UTOWA brand is for professional makeup
What is a typical day for you?
I take my children to school and then come here. I live within
walking distance from my office. Im in and out, sometimes
visiting department stores and other cosmetics shops.
Do you have a lot of meetings?
I set a rule, not to exceed 45 minutes. I was a soccer player
and can concentrate only for 45 minutes. What was it like
growing up in a family business? My father was very busy and
had no time to be with me. I want to be different and spend
time with my 10-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son.
Did you feel pressure to join the family business?
When I was young, I joined an advertising agency. But my father
asked me to come into the family business.
What about your kids?
I dont mind if they go their own way. My son, who was
born in New York, loves ice hockey and wants to be in the
Do the staff in the Shu Uemura stores know you?
Most know me, but one time when I visited the Tamagawa Takashimaya
store, an employee approached me, saying Irasshaimase.
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