Jennifer Lopez Raves Over Tarsem's "Cell" Visuals

Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez returns to the big screen this weekend with her highly anticipated sci-fi thriller, "The Cell," Lopez's first film (not including her vocal appearance in the animated flick "Antz") since 1998's "Out Of Sight," co-starring George Clooney.

For "The Cell," Lopez worked with director Tarsem Singh, who's making his feature film directorial debut after directing such highly stylized music videos as Deep Forest's "Sweet Lullaby" and R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion," [RealVideo] for which he won an MTV Video Music Award in 1991, and more recently turning out commercial spots for Anne Klein, Smirnoff, and Lee and Levi's jeans.

In "The Cell," Lopez portrays Catherine Deane, a psychologist who has been experimenting with a radical new therapy that takes her into the mind of a killer (played by Vincent D'Onofrio), a setting that provides Tarsem with

a chance

to display his distinct, painterly visual style in the killer's mindscapes.

"There was a lot of license for creativity [in the way the film was shot]," Lopez said, "which is why it was so great that Tarsem did it, because he's such a visual artist. But to me [it didn't interfere with the story].

"When I was sitting there at the end of the day, I thought to myself as I [was] watching it at first, 'Oh, this is good... Oh, cool, I'm still into it.' Then, at one point I was like, 'God, the visuals. I've never seen anything like this.'" [RealAudio]

Lopez also indicated that while working on "The Cell," she tried not to get caught up in some of the movie's dark and twisted "mental" imagery after her first read of the script, penned by Mark Protosevich.

"I thought it would be worse that it was," Lopez said of filming certain

violent scenes. "The first time I really see [those images] was when I read it on paper, and when I first read it, I thought this is going to be creepy."

"Then when I saw the visual references that Tarsem was going to use, I thought that this is going to be really creepy," she added. "But when you're filming it, it is a different experience. You're concentrating on things that don't really freak you out like that."

Lopez is back at work on her next solo album, the follow-up to 1999's multi-platinum "On The 6" (see "Jennifer Lopez Offers New Album Update"), and has two more movies, "The Wedding Planner" and "Angel Eyes," due in theaters next year.