Jennifer Lopez’s Netflix documentary, Half-time, premiered at the Tribeca Festival on Wednesday (June 9) and took viewers on an inside look at her preparing for her set during the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show, during which she shared the stage with Shakira. While their co-headlining set made history for Latina representation, the film showed that Lopez was initially frustrated with the amount of time that the NFL gave her and Shakira to put on their show.
Lopez’s manager, Benny Medina, appears in the documentary to provide perspective on the matter, and shares that often, Super Bowl performers have the option to choose which guests they would like to bring out during their set. “Typically, you have one headliner at a Super Bowl. That headliner constructs a show, and, should they choose to have other guests, that’s their choice,” he says in the film. “It was an insult to say you needed two Latinas to do the job that one artist historically has done.”
Ultimately, Lopez suggested to Shakira that they divide their performance time evenly — roughly six minutes for each of their sets.
“I know that the Super Bowl people want us to be weaved throughout the show. I haven’t had a confirmation about how many minutes I’m going to have,” Shakira tells Lopez during a phone call. Lopez replies, “Let me address that really quick. They said 12 minutes. I got kind of a good confirmation that we could have an extra minute or two, so now we’re at, like, 13, 14 minutes. I think, Shakira, what we should have is you should have half the time and I should [have half].”
While Lopez was willing to have an equal amount of time, she was dissatisfied with the time crunch. “If it was going to be a double headliner, they should have given us 20 minutes,” she adds in the film. “That’s what they should’ve f–king done.”
As shown in the documentary, which premieres on Netflix June 14, Lopez worked closely with her music director, Kim Burse, to help conceptualize how to mix several of her hit tracks into six minutes. Stressing about the limited amount of time, she airs her frustrations with the NFL and says it was “the worst idea in the world” for them to have co-headliners for the Halftime Show.
“We have six f—ing minutes. We have 30 seconds of a song, and if we take a minute, that’s it, we’ve got five left,” she tells Burse. “But, there’s got to be certain songs that we sing, though. We have to have our singing moments. It’s not going to be a dance f–king revue. We have to sing our message … This is the worst idea in the world to have two people do the Super Bowl. It was the worst idea in the world.”
The total performance — which included a brief cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” sung by Lopez’s now 14-year-old daughter, Emme — clocked in at 14 minutes and five seconds, and earned the pair critical acclaim for embracing political undertones regarding race during their set.
The halftime show also brought the co-headliners Emmy nominations for outstanding variety special (live), which they shared with executive producer Ricky Kirshner and supervising producer Jesse Craine.
Watch the Half-time trailer, and revisit Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s performance for the Super Bowl Halftime Show below.