Jenny From the Block received the Generation Award and her acceptance speech didn’t leave a dry eye in the house. “I look at those movies and I see all the wonderful people that I’ve been blessed to know and to work with. You’re only as good as the people that you work with,” she stated after a montage of her film clips played behind her. “And if you’re lucky, they make you better. And I have been very lucky in that regard. As an actor, I’m not any of the women that I’ve played, but there’s a part of what is deeply true to me in each one of those characters.”
The Hustlers actress added, “And since you cannot create truth unless you’ve really lived it, I have a different kind of list of thank-yous tonight. I want to thank all the people who gave me this life. I want to thank the people who gave me joy. And the ones who broke my heart. The ones who were true and the ones who lied to me. I want to thank true love. And I want to thank the way that I lied to myself, because that’s how I knew that I had to grow. I want to thank disappointment and failure for teaching me to be strong and my children for teaching me to love. I want to thank all the people who told me to my face or when I wasn’t in the room that I couldn’t do this. I really don’t think I could have done it without you! And I know I couldn’t have done it without the fans.”
She also considered her longtime manager, Benny Medina, to be “the true meaning of ride or die.”
According to MTV, the Generation Award celebrates “beloved actors whose diverse contributions to both film and television have turned them into household names.” Previous recipients include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Jamie Foxx. Lopez is best known for her roles in Enough, Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner, Selena, and, most recently, Marry Me.
Watch J. Lo’s full speech below.