You Won't Be Able to Get Enough of These Secrets About Jennifer Lopez's Most Underrated Movie

Jennifer Lopez learned Krava Maga to play a waitress who steels herself to fight back while on the run from her abusive husband in the 2002 thriller Enough.

By Tierney Bricker Jul 24, 2022 12:00 PMTags

2002 couldn't get enough Jennifer Lopez.

In that year, J.Lo starred in the beloved rom-com Maid in Manhattan, released two hit albums and her first fragrance, opened a restaurant and, you know, got engaged to Ben Affleck. You never forget your first Bennifer, especially when the couple got married twenty years later, exchanging vows in a surprise wedding ceremony at the A Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas on July 16.

Also released in 2002? The underrated thriller Enough, which finds the superstar, who turned 53 on July 24, playing a wife on the run with her young daughter who ultimately learns to fight back against her abusive husband, played by Billy Campbell. Released on May 24, the Michael Apted-directed movie debuted at No. 5 at the box office and went on to gross $51.8 million worldwide.

But despite the disappointing numbers, including only a 22 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Enough has amassed a cult following over the years, thanks to Lopez's gritty performance. But the making of the movie took an emotional toll on the actress, who later revealed she suffered "a kind of nervous breakdown" during production.

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Check out these 15 secrets you might not know about Enough, including which Oscar winner was initially slated to be the lead and the co-star Lopez picked to be in the movie after meeting him at the Golden Globes...

1. The movie is based on the 1998 bestselling novel Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen.

2. Sandra Bullock was initially set to star as Slim in Enough, but had to back out due to scheduling conflicts with another film, according to a 2001 Variety report.

3. In a 2002 episode of E!s Behind the Scenes: Enough, director Michael Apted admitted he was initially hesitant to work with Jennifer Lopez after rumors of her diva-like behavior began to surface. 

"You hear all the legends about his difficult she is and its going to be hard to get through it and all this kind of stuff, and then we met and we got on," Apted explained. "But then there was a kind of gap between us agreeing to do it and starting to rehearse and during that time I could never get a hold of her. She was always so busy. And I thought, oh my god, this is a big, tough job and if she isn't going to be around, how are we going to get through it?"

But Apted quickly discovered his star was "very focused on what's in front of her. If you're in her peripheral, forget it ,you won't get the time of day," he continued. "Up until when we started rehearsing, I was very much in the peripheral of her life. But once we started, she was incredibly focused. What I love about her is that she's gifted, but she's also very hardworking."

4. Preparing for the emotionally and physically demanding role took a toll on its lead. "It was a really emotional roller coaster for me during that time," Lopez told E! in 2002. "You do take it home with you. It's hard to not."

5. Lopez later admitted she suffered "a kind of nervous breakdown," while filming Enough.

"It was about five in the afternoon in my trailer and I just sat there. I remember telling my assistant at the time to go get the director Michael Apted and I asked if I could go home because I was feeling so, so sick and weird. I kept saying, 'I'm not weak, I'm not weak,'" she told The Daily Beast in 2008. She was driven to a doctor, who prescribed medication, which she refused. "He told me to go back to work on Monday after a weekend of sleeping because if I waited longer that I would only get more panicked about working. So that's what I did. I've still never been to a shrink. I'm not a shrinky person."

6. Billy Campbell was cast as Slim's abusive husband Mitch after Lopez met him at the Golden Globes and told the filmmakers she liked him for the part. But after meeting with the director and producers, Campbell told Conan O'Brien in 2002 that he still had to "go to J.Lo's house to get approved." Admitting he was "quite nervous" because he too had the rumors about the star being not the easiest to work with, Campbell said, "In order to attempt to appear calm, I found myself on all fours playing with her chihuahua."

7. Campbell was so intimidating in the movie that Lopez's grandmother had a strong reaction to the actor after its premiere.

"He said, 'Your grandmother beat on me,'" Lopez told Diane Sawyer in 2002. "She was like, 'I no like you,' because she doesn't speak any English. 'I no like. Very, very bad,' you know."

8. Known at the time for playing a loving father on the hit TV series Once and Again, Campbell relished his turn to the dark side. "I was thrilled to play a villain," he told E!. "It's something no one has ever really given me the chance to do before and I leapt at it. It was just as much fun as I thought it would be."

9. To prepare for the film's intense fight scenes, Lopez trained for three months to learn Krav Maga, a military self-defense and fighting system that combines elements of boxing, karate and wrestling.

"[Krav Maga] levels out the playing field between men and women," Lopez told MTV News, "where it doesn't matter how big or tall or strong you are. You can actually maneuver around that. It's about getting out of the way, counter attacking and using whatever you can to get the upper hand."

10. The climactic showdown between Lopez and Campbell left both actors banged up after they were "hammering each other" while filming the scene, Campbell told at the movie's premiere. "I have to say that she got the better of me," he added. "I bruised her arm—I'm pretty sure about that. And I know for a fact she bruised my ribs. She may have separated them."

11. Lopez recorded the song "Alive," which she co-wrote with her then-husband Cris Judd, for the film, though she was initially hesitant about the idea.

"Well, they wanted me to do it," Lopez told NY Rock. "They wanted me to do something for the movie. But I can't force those things. It kinda just has to happen."

But after hearing Judd tinker around on the piano with a melody she found "really beautiful...and a little haunting," she continued, "I said to myself, you know what, I can write something to that right now. And we can use it in Enough."

12. Curiously, though "Alive" is the film's theme song, it wasn't included on the soundtrack album—but it did later make the cut as the only original song on her 2020 album, J to tha L–O! The Remixes.

13. While Slim cuts her hair in order to hide from her abusive husband, Lopez wore a wig.

14. Lopez bonded with her co-star Juliette Lewis while filming, telling E! News, "We had a really great time. We'd talk about music and life and boys and all kinds of stuff and marriage. We really got along."

Lewis was also quick to gush over Lopez, saying, "She invested herself in this part 100 percent. She worked her ass off to do a good job and I respect that."

15. Tessa Allen made her acting debut as Lopez's on-screen daughter and the scene in which Slim has an emotional monologue in her car while her child is sleeping turned out to be very real: The filmmakers waited until Allen took a nap to make the scene feel as realistic as possible. 

(Originally published Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 5:00 a.m. PT)