Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini’s friendship goes back decades, and now the two have brought their friendship to the big screen. Earlier this month, while promoting their upcoming film “Second Act,” Lopez and Remini opened up to Entertainment Tonight about how they met and formed such a close bond years ago.
According to Lopez, her ex-husband Marc Anthony—the father of her 10-year-old twins Max and Emme—introduced them at the 2004 premiere of “Man on Fire.” Remini was close friends with Anthony at the time and tried her hardest to find something “ugly” about Lopez when the two were introduced.
“I was friends with Marc Anthony and then he started dating Jennifer, and he was doing a film,” Remini told Entertainment Tonight. “I went to premiere and he said, ‘You have to meet Jennifer!’ And he was telling Jennifer, ‘You have to meet Leah and Angelo [Pagan],’ my husband.”
Remini joked that she was hoping Lopez wasn’t going to be as beautiful in real life as she was on television. “We went to the premiere hoping she was gonna be ugly in real life. And then, when I was approaching her, I was like, ‘I hope it’s the lighting. Maybe she just looks good in here.’ And as I got closer I was like, ‘Oh damn, there’s a lot of light right here and she looks really pretty,” Remini said. “I even said that! I said, ‘Goddamnit, why the f–k why are you so f–king pretty?’ And she laughed. [Then] I was like, ‘Ugh, I hope she’s dumb, ya know? I was like, ‘She could be dumb!’ I wanted to find something and I didn’t.”
Lopez chimed in, saying that their bond formed immediately. “And we fell in love right there. It was one of those instant chemistry things where you just feel like, ‘I love this person. I love being around this person. This person makes me laugh,'” Lopez said. “She’s cool and we also have very similar upbringings. That’s why we work well together.”
Remini added that their similar sense of humor, plus the fact that she can “bust [Lopez’s] balls” combined to create an amazing, lifelong friendship. Lopez even named Remini the goddaughter to her twins.
Despite decades of friendship, the two have never worked on a film together until now. As Lopez and Remini promoted their recently-released film “Second Act,” the pair says that the timing just wasn’t right to make a film together until now. “Everything happens in its perfect divine timing. So let’s not question the universe on that.”
In the film, Lopez portrays a big-box store employee named Maya who gets a second chance at landing her dream job after faking her resumé. Remini plays her best friend Joan. Check out the movie trailer below:
“Maya and Joan’s relationship was so much like my and Leah’s relationship,” Lopez explained, saying that they begged Remini to take the role after writing the script.
“We were like, ‘If she does it, I know that it would be something special.’ Because the relationship that Maya and Joan have is very special, and the relationship that we have is very special,” Lopez added. “I knew that if we could capture our real honesty, our real love, our real humor, then that would be something really entertaining and fun for everybody to see.”
“Second Act,” also starring Milo Ventimiglia and Vanessa Hudgens, and directed by Peter Segal, opened in theaters Dec. 21.
The two often give bestie shoutouts on social media, using the hashtag “luckybesties” while tagging each other in cutesy posts and uploading best friend bikini pictures. Lopez was incredibly supportive of her bestie while Remini competed on 2013’s Dancing With The Stars.
“Here at #DWTS to support my girl @LeahRemini!!!” Lopez wrote on Twitter after surprising Remini at her opening performance. “She gave it her all and couldn’t be more proud of her!!!”
Remini, a former Scientologist who defected from the religion in 2013, told the Daily Beast that the Church of Scientology tried to recruit Lopez during Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes wedding, but failed because her best friend “makes her own decisions” and saw through the group. Remini also said she tried to “run interference” for her friend to keep the church from getting close to her at the event.