Jennifer Lopez stars in thriller

Singer-actress takes on varios roles; she portrays therapist in 'The Cell'

— You know those thoughts people have lurking in the corners of their minds? The really, really, REALLY private musings that no one would ever dream of sharing?

What if you could go into someone else's head and see those thoughts?

What if that person was a killer?

That is the premise of "The Cell," a psychological thriller starring Jennifer Lopez as therapist Catherine Deane, who uses a new technology to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer to find the location of his latest victim.

The singer-actress has also appeared in "Selena," "Anaconda" and "Out of Sight."

"As an actress, you want to be able to play all different kinds of parts," Lopez said in an interview to promote the film. "I've made a conscious decision to choose things that were going to allow me to be able to play different things, so that I wouldn't be pigeonholed."

That has meant taking her time and waiting for the right projects.

"I always choose my project because it speaks to my heart, it speaks to my soul, it's something I relate to," she said. "It's material that I've responded to, and that's the only time that I work."

Her upcoming films include "The Wedding Planner" with Matthew McConaughey and "Angel Eyes" with Jim Caviezel, who starred in "Frequency."

Lopez and Marc Anthony are the nominees for best pop performance by a duo at the first Latin Grammys, to be awarded Sept. 13 in Los Angeles. She is working on "A Passionate Journey," which follows her 1999 debut album "On the 6."

What did you like about "The Cell" script the first time you read it?

At that time, it read like "Silence of the Lambs." ... When I went back and read it again, I liked it just as much, and I felt that there was room for artistic and creative license. " There's been a lot of serial-killer movies, but sort of going into a serial killer's mind and seeing what that is or exploring what that is, is an interesting premise for a film.

If you really could see into anyone's mind, whose mind would it be?

I wouldn't want to be hooked up to a machine and go into one person's mind. I would like to have a little chip so you could walk around and see into everyone who passed by you.

How did you prepare for your role?

I went and saw a therapist -- I didn't tell her I was working on a movie -- just to see how a woman therapist would be with a patient and how she handled things. It was quite enlightening and it did help, I did learn things.

Were you planning to do this kind of movie?

It was just an interesting thriller to me. It was a thriller with a spin on it, which was the dream sequence of going inside the killer's head. I knew, once I met (director) Tarsem and realized what he was going to do, I knew he was going to take the script to another level. Did I know how scary or exactly what the movie was going to look like? No, I didn't see that until the end.

So what did you think when you saw the completed project?

It was quite amazing. I remember sitting there, and I don't do this at my own movie because it's hard when you watch your own stuff to sit there and actually be taken by surprise or impressed in a way, you know, like, "Wow, this is good." There was actually a point where I looked at it and I go, "I've really never seen anything like this in a movie, the approach, the visual. It's amazing."


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