‘Manhattan’ Gives J. Lo Newfound Respect For Maids

Romantic comedy 'Maid in Manhattan' opens December 13.

Though she insists she’s “still Jenny from the block,” it’s hard to imagine a time when the glamorously bling-blinged Jennifer Lopez ever had to scrub a bathroom floor.

So when it came time to prepare for her role in “Maid in Manhattan,” a little training was in order. “I didn’t have to go to [maid] boot camp,” J. Lo said, sitting comfortably in a hotel room without a cleaning utensil in sight, “but they have this instructional video, where they show you exactly how you have to fold the corners of the bed and line up the towels and how to clean and what you have to do. You know, it’s real, they’re very militant, actually.” (Click for photos from “Maid in Manhattan.” )

Once Lopez finished filming, none of that militancy rubbed off at home. “I’m a very neat person, OK? I don’t need maids in Manhattan to teach me how to clean my house.”

Similarly, just because J. Lo’s “Maid in Manhattan” character is a doting mother that doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing a Ben Jr. running around anytime soon. “No, not right now,” she said. “I mean, one day. We’ll see. That kind of thing will happen naturally one day.”

As a pop diva who spends a lot of time in hotel rooms, one effect making the movie did have on Lopez was helping her to pay a bit more attention to the folks who clean her luxurious accommodations.

“I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels in my life. I actually lived in a hotel when I was making my first and second albums, those three years. And you go about your life and your business and you have so much on your mind, and everybody who stays in hotels knows this. You go in and out and you go to hang out, and you come back and you don’t really notice everything that’s going on around you … the life of the hotel and all these people that make it work and make sure the chocolate is on your pillow and that kind of stuff.

“So doing this movie really made me stop and take notice, because in the movie, the character I play, Marisa, would be on the floor on her knees, scrubbing the floor. A guy would come in and not even notice her, ’cause she’s in this maid uniform and just kind of like discards her and whatever, moves on with his life. … He’ll see her an hour later dressed up in Dolce & Gabbana and say, ‘Oh my God, this is the woman of my dreams!’ You just missed her! She was on the floor of your bathroom!”

At various points titled “Uptown Girl” and “The Chambermaid,” “Maid in Manhattan” is a by-the-numbers Cinderella-style romantic comedy starring Lopez opposite Ralph Fiennes, who was last seen as the creepy William Blake-inspired killer in “Red Dragon.” The movie hits theaters December 13.