Jennifer Lopez Was Pleasantly Surprised By Keke Palmer's Performance In 'Hustlers'
The all-star cast of the upcoming film Hustlers features plenty of heavy hitters, but it seems Keke Palmer shines the brightest.
Speaking with Billboard last week, Jennifer Lopez dished about what fans can expect in her upcoming film. The all-female led feature was inspired in by "The Hustlers at Scores", a New York magazine article about a real-life group of former exotic dancers who teamed up to overthrow their Wall Street clientele.
While Lopez got tips from visits to the strip club and chats with Cardi B, she enjoyed Palmer's gift of improvisation. "She was great at improv, and not everybody has that knack, you know what I mean?," she said. "But they were all great. I expected Cardi to be good, I expected Lizzo to be good, but I didn't know enough about Keke. I had seen her audition tape. I did a little bit of research on her when they were thinking [about her role]. We went through so many people for that part, so many people."
Palmer kicked off her acting career at the tender age of 9, with leads in films like Akeela & The Bee, Jump In! and starred in her own series True Jackson, VP on Nickelodeon from 2008 to 2011. She's also stolen scenes in Ryan Murphy's Scream Queens and the live rendition of Grease. But it was her bubbly personality that caught Lopez's (who executively produced the film) eye.
"When I saw her -- I had watched a couple of interviews of her and stuff like that -- I was like, 'This girl has something. She has personality,'" she said. "And she was awesome. We had fun from the first scene. I was like, 'OK. We're gon' have fun!'"
Lopez recently shared with Entertainment Tonight some of her biggest challenges in the film like pole dancing.
"Learning pole dancing was probably one of the most challenging things I've ever done for a film," Lopez said. "But it was worth it. I love this character. I love this story. It's a really gritty New York story with women at the forefront -- the thing actresses dream of -- and to be able to produce it and star in it was very special."
Hustlers opens in theaters Sept. 13. Check out the trailer below.