Jennifer Lopez Reflects on 20th Anniversary of ‘This Is Me… Then’ & How Ben Affleck ‘Knows All the Words’

It’s been 20 years since Jennifer Lopez unveiled her third studio album, 2002’s This Is Me… Then, much of which was inspired by her then-relationship with Ben Affleck. Now, the singer is reflecting on the album and her rekindled romance with her now-husband.

“It is a little bit like the Twilight Zone. It doesn’t happen,” Lopez told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe this week. “That album, This Is Me… Then really captured a moment in time where I fell in love with the love of my life. It’s all right there on the record. I didn’t even realize what was happening and what I was doing. It was just every day going from the set to the recording studio, doing the thing, being in love, him coming into the studio, writing ‘I’m Glad,’ […] Me tweaking the lyrics with him. Every single song that we wrote there, me writing ‘Dear Ben’, it was such a special moment in time to have captured.”

As expected, the Good Will Hunting actor “loves” the album. “He knows all of the words. It’s crazy. He also was with me while I was creating it,” she shared. “You’re listening to the demos in the car. You’re listening to the mixes. ‘I wrote this today. What do you think of this?’ It was that over and over again for two years while we were together. He knows it so well and he loves it so much. He’s my biggest fan, which is awesome, and supporter. When he came back into my life again, the same thing happened where I felt so inspired and so overtaken with emotion that it was just pouring out of me.”

Lopez also shared that her 2004 breakup with Affleck was the “biggest heartbreak of my life.” “I honestly felt like I was going to die,” she said, noting that she couldn’t perform songs from This Is Me… Then because it was too painful. “It sent me on a spiral for the next 18 years where I just couldn’t get it right. But now, 20 years later, it does have a happy ending. It has the most would-never-happen-in-Hollywood ending.”

Now, the multihyphenate is gearing up to release her new album This Is Me… Now, which was inspired by her marriage and how much she has grown over the years. “I think what the message of the album is very much if you were wondering if you have, like me at times, lost hope, almost given up, don’t. Because true love does exist and some things do last forever and that’s real,” she said.

Watch the full interview below.