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Jennifer Lopez reveals how she chooses roles & which scene was cut from Atlas

Jennifer Lopez reveals how she chooses roles & which scene was cut from Atlas

Jennifer Lopez in Atlas
Netflix

Hold onto your popcorn, because Jennifer Lopez, who spoke to Out, is about to take us on another cinematic thrill ride!

After dazzling us with This Is Me…Nowand The Mother, Jennifer Lopez is back with a bang in a sci-fi extravaganza that'll have you glued to the edge of your seats.

In Atlas, Jennifer Lopez plays the enigmatic Atlas Shephard, a data analyst with a serious grudge against artificial intelligence (AI). When she's thrust into a high-stakes mission to capture a rogue robot, she's forced to confront her deepest fears and embrace the technology she despises.

Teaming up with powerhouse co-stars Simu Liu and Sterling K. Brown, this film isn't just a peek into the future… it's a pulse-pounding plunge into a world where man and machine collide in the most thrilling way possible.

In a conversation with Out, the stars discuss the film, the good and bad sides of bringing AI into our daily lives, and why the game of chess is a pivotal theme in Atlas.

Out: If you could have any celebrity's voice as an alarm clock to wake you up, who would it be?

Jennifer Lopez: I would say Morgan Freeman. I would love to hear him say 'Good morning, Jennifer. It's time to get up' [laughs].

Sterling K. Brown: I'm gonna go with Scarlett Johansson just cause I liked her voice in Her. It was very soothing.

Simu Liu: Sir Ian McKellen [laughs]. I would spring right up.

If there's one area where fans love to see you, it's definitely in acting. How do you continually refine your craft, and how do you choose roles that bring out your acting prowess to the fullest?

Lopez: I only do movies or roles that I feel immediately connected to in some way. Of course, the story has to be great, and you want a great director and all of those things, but if all those things come together, the things that really get me to do it is when I feel something in my heart about the character.

Whether it's tremendous empathy or an identification, I relate to what they're going through, or I understand exactly what they've been through, or it's totally different, but it makes me feel something for them, and I want to tell their story. That's kind of how I choose the acting roles.

What's one thing that connected you to the character of Atlas that you can share with our fans?

Lopez: I love the relationships. The first time I read the script, I cried like a baby at the end. I loved the relationship between Atlas and Smith… I really loved the way he kind of chipped away at her very hard shell. She's disconnected, so distrusting, so, you know, not part of society even.

Nobody wanted to deal with her or talk to her [laughs]. She was smart and had this passion about this topic and expert on Harlan and all of that and how little by little, an AI of all things got her to open up and finally allow her to let somebody in and trust somebody for the first time, probably since she was a little girl. I love that.

What's the significance behind the abundance of chess analogies in the film? Why is the game of chess closely intertwined with its narrative?

Liu: Chess is a big part of Harlem and Atlas's relationship. It hearkens back to their relationship, with Harlan being corrupted with the ideas of having to eradicate humanity but what I think really grounds our relationship and what hopefully will make audiences care at the end when they do battle is that once they were extremely close, and they were, almost like since the beginning, have been playing a massive intergalactic chess game of themselves between the two of them, where one is on the side of humanity and one is on the side of the artificial intelligence. There's all of these fake outs and gambits and trade offs and things that happen.

Lopez: It was a big part of the story to begin with. Some of the scenes got cut with young Atlas and Simu's character, Harlan, where they were playing and he was teaching her how to play chess and be better at it and she wondered if she could be better at chess or smarter. When Atlas drops the chess piece at the end and the whole time, like you said, it's kind of this big game between the two of them, like, who's smarter and who's gonna get the last thing. When she drops the chess piece at the end, it ends their journey.

Atlas is now streaming on Netflix.

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