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Jennifer Lopez Is a ‘Mama Bear’ to Her Kids, ‘The Mother’ Costar Omari Hardwick Says: ‘Very Nurturing’ (Exclusive)

Art imitates life. Jennifer Lopez didn’t have to dig too deep to play a protective parent in The Mother, according to costar Omari Hardwick.

“She’s very nurturing,” the actor, 49, exclusively told Us Weekly of the Grammy nominee, 53, ahead of their movie’s May 12 Netflix debut. “She’s a mama bear.”

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Hardwick noted that he and Lopez both “enjoy being parents.” The Power alum shares daughter Nova, 10, and son Brave, 8, with his wife, Jennifer “Jae” Pfautch, while Lopez shares twins Emme and Max, 15, with ex-husband Marc Anthony.

Jennifer Lopez Is a Mama Bear to Her Kids The Mother Costar Omari Hardwick Says
Jennifer Lopez and Omari Hardwick Netflix (2)

“A lot of people don’t wanna run back home after they’ve left set or left a concert or left a big event or just traveling around the world. … They’re not dying to go back home,” he told Us. “But I think she and I both really feel safer there. So … she’s perfect to play this role with everything asked of the tricks that she has in her bag. She’s perfectly cast for this part.”

The New York native stars as a former assassin in the upcoming action flick directed by Niki Caro. Her character — simply named The Mother — comes out of hiding to protect her estranged daughter, who she had to leave behind years prior.

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Hardwick, who plays William Cruise, described Lopez’s character as “a broken woman” who “knows a lot of stuff that we don’t know.” He told Us that he could “definitely relate” to his own character — but the role was still “challenging” to get right.

The Sorry to Bother You actor went on to praise his “successful” costar for bringing her A-game to the project, telling Us he was “really appreciative” that the duo’s dynamic came across so well on screen.

Jennifer Lopez Is a Mama Bear to Her Kids The Mother Costar Omari Hardwick Says 3
Omari Hardwick and Jennifer Lopez. Courtesy of Netflix

Lopez attended a screening of the film at the Whitby Hotel in New York City on Thursday, May 4, and got candid about how the role helped make her a “better mother” to her kids in real life.

“I think that there are some beautiful themes in here about what it is to be a mother, what it is to want to protect something with your entire life, as we do with our children,” she said of the drama, which also stars Joseph Fiennes and Gael García Bernal.

Jennifer Lopez Is a Mama Bear to Her Kids The Mother Costar Omari Hardwick Says 2
Jennifer Lopez Eric Milner/Netflix

The Second Act star teased that filming The Mother was “cathartic” for her, adding, “It was a great experience to have her mouthing off to me on the set and then go home and have the same experience at home. But it really was a kind of growing experience for me.”

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While she’s in charge at home, she has help from husband Ben Affleck when it comes to raising a blended family. The couple, who were initially engaged in the early ’00s, tied the knot in Las Vegas in July 2022 before hosting a second ceremony in Georgia the following month. (Affleck, 50, shares Violet, 17, and Seraphina, 14, and Samuel, 11, with ex-wife Jennifer Garner.)

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Courtesy of Jennifer Lopez/Instagram

“[My kids] love Ben,” Lopez gushed on the Wednesday, May 3, episode of the Today show. “He’s a wonderful, wonderful father. And a father figure to them as well, because he has his own three beautiful children, and then there’s us. … He really steps up to the challenge of what that is and what that means. And they love him. They love him. And they appreciate him, and so do I.”

The Mother hits Netflix on May 12.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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