Constance Marie and Jennifer Lopez go way back.
The With Love star guest hosted Monday's Entertainment Tonight, where she reflected on working alongside J.Lo on two major projects, 1995's My Family and 1997's Selena. Chatting with ET's Kevin Frazier, Marie, 56, recalls how hard Lopez, 52, worked at the beginning of her career and what a "powerhouse" she is.
"I could always see it in her eyes, you know. Like, she worked harder than anybody I ever knew. She got up earlier than anybody I ever knew and she wanted it more than anybody I have ever known," Marie remembers. "She’s just, like, a powerhouse!"
"And we had a long journey because she played my mother in…My Family,Mi Familia, and then I played her mother in Selena," she continues. "Just the evolution of Jennifer from beginning to that time, and then Selena on. I mean, honestly, God bless her because she just took the reins [and] look at her!"
It's been almost 25 years since the two worked together, and they've crossed paths a couple times.
"Jennifer and I, girl, she's so busy! I did see her outside of a hotel and I see this big car go by and I see the window roll down and she goes, 'Constance!?' I'm like, 'Oh hey,'" she shares. "And that was it. If I was her, I would not stop because it's like, she's Marilyn Monroe or something. People flock to her and to have some private life has got to be hard."
As for her thoughts on J.Lo and Ben Affleck's rekindled romance? "You know what? Honey, if it works, I say do it! Love is love is love is love and she loves love, so go for it. Who am I to judge?" Marie says.
Selena will always hold a special place in Marie's heart. Reflecting on the late Selena Quintanilla's tragic story, Marie said that "it's the fulfillment of her dream" that inspired so many people and continues to do so.
"There was never a Latin lead that was the star of their own story. That had never happened before, and also in English," Marie expresses. "It’s such a human [story about] pursuing their dreams and every little girl can relate to it. The music and the struggle and the work ethic, it was wholesome too."
Now, Marie stars in Prime Video's With Love, streaming now. The five-episode miniseries follows the Diaz family as they navigate love, joy, and authentic family relationships through multiple generations and holidays. Marie portrays matriarch Beatrice as she and her husband, Jorge Diaz Sr. (Benito Martinez), deal with life as a longtime married couple and trying to keep the flame alive.
"Every single episode is a different holiday, so you get to follow love in the 30s, love in the 50s and love in your 70s, the evolution of the relationships each different episode," she explains. "The Latin community has finally made it to rom-coms and we have scenes that are filled with love and sex and it's funny and it just, honestly, it makes you feel good, and my favorite part is that yes, we have a 50-year-old love story."
"I think women in America are going to be able to relate to this because you get your happily ever after and then 25 years later, then what?" she adds. "Like, who's maintaining the relationship? What’s going on? So I think a lot of people are going to be able to relate to that."
The show -- created and executive produced by One Day at a Time showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett -- also co-stars Emeraude Toubia, Mark Indelicato, Rome Flynn, Desmond Chiam, Isis King and Todd Grinnell.
"I feel like the representation in this show is so important because you’re used to seeing a trans storyline with trauma or a Latin family with drama and all this super conflict," Marie reflects. "All the storylines, all the love relationships, all the diversity, is handled with respect and love. It truly is 'with love,' no pun intended but it is. It makes you feel good, you love these characters, they’re part of us, they’re part of the world. It’s so inclusive and it’s great to be a part of something that does that."
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