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This Is Me… Now Director Explains Jennifer Lopez’s New Film


It took two acclaimed directors—Dave Meyers and Jason Bergh—and stellar music producers to successfully launch superstar Jennifer Lopez‘s $20 million grand opus about self-love and self-acceptance. Lopez did everything most industry people would advise her not to do: finance a bold endeavor that included the musical film This Is Me… Now: A Love Story, a more personal companion piece documentary, The Greatest Love Story Never Told, a new album, and this summer’s behemoth concert tour. This Is Me… Now and The Greatest Love Story Never Told are currently streaming on Prime Video.




Award-winning music video director Dave Meyers is at the helm of This Is Me… Now. Having worked with the likes of Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Coldplay, Usher, Kendrick Lamar, and other top talent occupying the music megastar space, Meyers knew he was embarking on a bold undertaking. But This Is Me… Now was so different than most projects he’d done—a fictional musical movie that mirrored J.Lo’s life in the tabloids and uncovered her highs and lows with love. This Is Me… Now features cameos from Jane Fonda, Trevor Noah, Jenifer Lewis, Fat Joe, and others. Meyers speaks frankly about working with Lopez, too, in Jason Bergh’s The Greatest Love Story Never Told. But in excerpts from this exclusive MovieWeb interview, Meyers opens up about his collaboration with Lopez, the creative “chaos” he moved through, hanging out with J.Lo and Ben Affleck, working with Taylor Swift, and much more. Dive in.



Some ‘Chaos’ and Green Screen, and J.Lo Home By Dinnertime

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“I think I’m a high-risk kind of person,” Dave Meyers admitted, but even he may have been surprised by the mammoth undertaking of This Is Me… Now. In interviews for Jason Bergh’s The Greatest Love Story Never Told, Meyers is candid about working with Jennifer Lopez. He told MovieWeb that initially he “wasn’t freaked out” about the J.Lo’s project, adding, “but I did definitely know that we were swinging big and at a speed… I guess the speed of it all freaked me out. I think we had six weeks to prep it all, and so, there wasn’t necessarily a stable control of what was happening. It was just kind of chaos.”


He credits the solid partnership he formed with Lopez and the trust they developed with one another, noting:

“That was kind of a blessing that kept the chaos organized. So, while people couldn’t get to Jen but were, you know, only feeling like Jen’s word was all that they would listen to, I felt comfortable representing what me and Jen wanted, and Jen would always back up when she would show up. That was how we got through the chaos, as I was able to represent her synonymously… Sometimes when we had to divide and conquer, she would go to the choreography sets while I would go to the actual choreography rehearsals. It was weird because we were partners creatively,” he added, “but she was also the star, so she was wearing quite a lot of hats.”


One way Meyers was able to move through the challenges of the shoot was to lean on his music video skills and use a green screen, which “gets artists in and out quickly,” he said. “Jen wants to be home to eat with her family by seven and wants to show up at a certain point on set. And so, we had to go, go, go. There was no waiting around. And also, knowing that she’ll work every second that she’s available… green screen was really the only way where I could be in a kind of a pre-lit environment and get that many shots that quickly with, you know, three cameras shooting her at any given moment.”

He also said Lopez trusted that there was a green out there and that he would make “something out of it.” Two months after the extensive shoot, Meyers revealed that Lopez “didn’t really know what she had. I think the documentary even speaks to it a little bit—that she’s a little worried about what she has just done. And then that all changed. I had a screening where I showed her 80, 90 precent of the green screens filled in. And she and her team were just really wowed.”


Just Hanging Out With J.Lo, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon

Having spent a great deal of time around people of interest to the world, Meyers was used to star power—having worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift to Ariana Grande, Harry Styles, and Sza—but this journey Lopez felt different as the artist allowed him into the “inside workings” of her mind.

“Even in the videos that I had done previously, it always felt a little more like I was on the outside… still creating visions and whatnot, but it wasn’t as substantial,” Meyers explained. “From the very beginning, Jen invited me in with a level of intimacy and trust. I was at family dinners with her and Ben and the kids, and having lunch with Matt Damon and Ben and Jen while we were talking about [it]… I was inside the bubble in a way. I was there because this is a very important moment for Jen.”


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He went on to say that initially, he was trying to keep up with what Lopez was shaping creatively, hoping to honor her expression while building his “expression of all the crazy worlds [in This Is Me… Now].” He added:

“She would share stuff or Ben would share stuff, and I would keep putting it into the script as much as possible to capture as much of a portrait of the real Jen. That was the thing I was most curious and satisfied by… she’s a very hard worker and I’m a really hard worker, but… she does the math of this game exponentially louder and faster in a way that I marvel. And by almost default, she’s become a mentor. I’ve seen someone who can do life the way I do it but do it on such a grand scale of multitasking and succeed with it. Succeed without dropping balls and keeping everything going, keeping her family going at the same time, which is something I deal with… That’s something some people give her credit for… and some people don’t understand—critics or whatever.”


It Was ‘Dangerous’ for J.Lo to Admit Ben Affleck Is Her True Love

By all accounts, This Is Me… Now is a bold undertaking. From the production value to deep dives into folklore, spirituality, self-esteem issues, and self-acceptance. When asked if he felt the musical film was Lopez’s most daring project to date, Meyers said:

“Yeah… she was being more vulnerable here than I’d ever seen her be. She might be vulnerable through characters she plays and whatnot, but this was really dangerous to talk about herself, to talk about Ben being her real true love… to just put that out there is a very dangerous thing to do. Her steadfastness in wanting to do it stemmed from a pure place of happiness and a compelling need to share her struggles with the world and other women or anybody that relates to it. She felt that was part of her purpose—to be vulnerable at this moment and to let people know that she’s gone through whatever she’s gone through, and to normalize that she’s not some princess at the high tower. She’s also got real feelings and gone through her struggles, so that people might be inspired by that.”


Why Taylor Swift Is a Rare Artist

Dave Meyers struck a high note working with Taylor Swift on creating the popular music video, ME!, which garnered more than 415 million YouTube views and MTV honors. Having also worked with Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, and Dua Lipa, among others, Meyers came to appreciate working with top female talent with bold creative visions. Of his experiences with Swift, in particular, he shared:


“Music videos is a slightly different dynamic. I’ve done 400 of them for 30 years. So, when a Taylor or a Meg, or someone like that calls me, they go into a mindset of what can I do for them in this moment that they’re in. I’ll usually look at how I’m being approached and then piece together what I’d like to do… Taylor really believes in music videos, and I mean that on a both creative and a financial standpoint. She’s not someone who is OK with a cheaped-out video. She’s someone who’s all in. Those are rare these days. Jen’s one of those people. Beyonce’s one of those people. There’s only a handful of artists that really double down on their visual presentation. So, when you get a phone call from her, that’s usually what goes through my head, is like, ‘Oh great, we’re going to do something epic here, and just trying to align with what she thinks is epic with what I think is epic. Very similar to sort of the foundation of the Jen relationship, except that with Jen we were going for a longer form.”


Gus Van Sant Had a Monumental Effect on His Career

A custom image of Jennifer Lopez in This Is Me... Now with wet hair and wearing a wedding dress with a groom

Serendipity came into play early on in Dave Meyers’ career. Initially, he set out to be a filmmaker, with dreams of telling grand stories. But he soon had a chance meeting with Oscar-winner Gus Van Sant, who has directed episodes of Feud and created brilliant films such as Milk, Elephant, My Own Private Idaho, Last Days, and Good Will Hunting, which changed everything in the 1990s.

“You know, coming out of film school, you’re kind of myopically focused on just wanting to… live the dream of being a filmmaker that’s making meaningful films,” he said. “So, to meet Gus when he was doing To Die For—I was at a screening for To Die For—and my friend from school recognized him, and he took the time to sit with us, which was powerful. To have your first contact with someone who’s… actually succeeding, successful, [an] active director, and to have them take time out of their day and speak to us as young, bright-eyed filmmakers in the making… and to suggest that I do music videos was kind of catastrophic… decided to make a shift in my mind because I didn’t want anything to do with videos. I was writing scripts and really focused on a movie career, and so, hearing from a legitimate movie director that there’s value in videos opened my eyes and obviously had a huge impact on the road ahead.” Looking ahead, Meyers expressed an interest in possibly making a grand sci-fi/adventure.


“I’m very compelled
by the

Dunes

,

the Marvel films, and
Star Wars
. I’m a
Star Wars
kid…
Blade Runner
… blending a great character study within the world of sci-fi or fantasy is probably my sweet spot.”

Meyers continued, discussing the impact of smaller stories. “I’m also compelled by personal small stories and popcorn rides that may not be the most compelling character, but it’s just a wonderful popcorn ride… an epic great character. Indiana Jones or Ethan Hunt. Dune is exploring that currently. I’ve actually liked a lot of TV as a result of that. There are really some epic TV shows that are being done, like Foundation, I love, and these world-building but very deep dives into character intimacy is fascinating to me.” In the meantime, there’s This Is Me… Now: A Love Story, currently streaming on Prime Video. Watch the trailer below.




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