Showbiz / JLo, Constance Wu & Cast of “Hustlers” Celebrate Empowerment On Twitter Canada’s #SheInspiresMe Panel

JLo, Constance Wu & Cast of “Hustlers” Celebrate Empowerment On Twitter Canada’s #SheInspiresMe Panel

Showbiz Sep 13, 2019

To a standing room-only crowd, Twitter Canada’s #SheInspiresMe panel discussion had the cast of Hustlers which included Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu, share candid stories about the women who inspire them,  breaking the old boys club of film sets and how women get stuff done and fast. 

With the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival’s energy buzzing in the city, all eyes were on Saturday, September 7th as the global premiere of the movie Hustlers, starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart was taking place in downtown Toronto. With such an iconic women-centric star cast led by director Lorene Scafaria this was a film TIFF 2019 cinephiles were eagerly awaiting!

Earlier that afternoon, at Chef’s Assembly Hall hours before the premiere, Twitter Canada hosted a #SheInspiresMe panel discussion with the stellar cast of the Hustlers geared to encourage a space issues that concerns women in the film and creative world including creating a network of support, inspiration and strength.

 #SheInspiresMe
#SheInspiresMe: A lovely afternoon by Twitter Canada celebrating the power of women by women at the Chef’s Assembly Hall. Photo Credit: Hina P. Ansari

This initiative was extremely fitting given that September 7th was also the 2nd year of TIFF’s campaign #ShareHerJourney. So it was no surprise that this particular afternoon attracted a slew of noted movers and shakers from the Canadian media and film industry.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Stacy Smith, founder, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and Nolan Weinstein, Twitter’s Global Head of Culture, Engagement & Experiential.who opened up the panel by encouraging everyone in keeping with the #SheInspiresMe theme to tag and share their journey about their hustle and what inspired them.

Major themes that stood out in the hour-long discussion focused primarily on the theme of women empowerment, inspiring and supporting each other. The ladies all took turns sharing their own personal journey of inspirations and mentorships throughout their career. For Lopez, her mom was her biggest mentor especially in a family where the strength of women are very strong including that of her mom and her sisters, “I was raised all around women. I had my dad as well who was amazing. I really felt the strength of the females in my family.”

 #SheInspiresMe
#SheInspiresMe: The cast of Hustlers taking in some Twitter love. L-R: Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Constance Wu and writer/director of Hustlers, Lorene Scafaria. Photo Credit: Twitter Canada

She explained how dancing was how she entered the business which then led her into acting. “I danced my way to this seat and I’m still dancing in this movie”.  She also understood the generational differences when it came to career aspirations for women and how her mother emphasized the need for her three daughter to be independent women. “She taught all three of us to be independent women. We all support ourselves. She also made us feel that we could do anything. Job doesn’t have a gender. That was something that really stayed with me and made me dream so much bigger than the kids around me because I had a mom who supported me.”

#SheInspiresMe
#SheInspiresMe: The cast of Hustlers along with moderator Dr. Stacy Smith. Photo Credit: Twitter Canada

She also continued about expanding her expertise to various spaces. “I don’t keep myself in a box. I felt that was something that was in the realm of possibility because of my mom.”

For Wu, her hustle was all about trying and listening to your heart and while she admitted to making mistakes, she focused on just trying. When it came to looking for similar sources of inspiration, she looked to other artists for inspiration as she was the only person in her family who followed a creative path. “I had to look elsewhere for artistic support. To look to other artists who say why they did what they did and why they do it. They kept me from feeling alone in my passion.”

#SheInspiresMe
#SheInspiresMe: Jennifer Lopez shares personal stories of strength and support at Twitter Canada’s #SheInspiresMe panel discussion. Photo Credit: Twitter Canada

For both Palmer and Reinhart, they also mentioned their mother’s always standing behind them while Palmer went further and talked about how she would look to Queen Latifah (with whom she co-starred when she was just nine, in Barbershop 2) and watched how Latifah treated other people. “She taught me how to treat others”.

The later half of the discussion shifted into the dynamic of an all female cast and film crew and marked differences from a traditional male-heavy environment. Dr. Smith highlighted the harsh facts that only four per cent of female directors have worked in the top 100 films and praised the environment she witnessed upon her visit to the Hustlers film set, “I was blown away”.

Scarfaria elaborated on this dynamic taking into consideration the lightening speed that this film was made, with only 8 months from it being green lit to release date— including head-spinning 29-day shoot. Lopez jumped in and noted that having women director and producers in addition to the female-centric cast, everyone was in problem-solving mode. “We all turned into moms on the set and got shit done. And fast.”  Scarfaria added that we “need to be proud of the men who worked on this set because “When you have men that are willing to work for women they are different kinds of men”.

#SheInspiresMe
#SheInspiresMe: Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart and writer/ director of Hustlers Lorene Scafaria. Photo Credit: Twitter Canada

Wu added that she noticed that she as able to be herself on the Hustlers set. “Being in an all-women set meant that I can be myself.” As compared to when she’s in movie surrounded by men. “I have to be cute and unassuming to even stay in the room. When that dynamic changes and it’s all women I don’t have to act like one of the boys. And when I need a tampon it’s no big deal. When there’s a male crew, there’s a competitiveness there.”

#SheInspiresMe
#SheInspiresMe: Jennifer Lopez with our very own Ruchika Bindra Anand at the close of the event. Photo Credit: Ruchika Bindra Anand

 

#SheInspiresMe
#SheInspiresMe: JLo posts a shot of her on the Hustlers TIFF 2019 red carpet. Photo Credit: www.instagram.

 

#SheInspiresMe: Jennifer Lopez at the Audi Canada, Sofia and World Class post-screening event for Hustlers. Photo Credit: GP Images/Getty Images for Audi Canada

The film premiered at night with raving press reviews and is officially getting released today on September 13, 2019.

Main Image Photo Credit: Twitter Canada 

 

 

Ruchika Bindra Anand

Ruchika Bindra Anand

Author

Ruchika Bindra Anand (@ruchika.bindra.anand) is a journalist & media personality in Toronto. From print to camera and now podcasts, she loves sharing, exploring and telling stories. In her free time she loves being out in nature, having a good laugh with friends and relaxing with a nice glass of...

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