Eileen Condon meets Jenny from the block...
You have to hand it to Jennifer Lopez. Even though her film career hasn't exactly set the world on fire, she keeps coming back for more.
Her last film Monster-in-Law, got a lukewarm reception but that was nothing compared to the mauling the critics gave her for mega-flop Gigli, in which she starred alongside her then fiance Ben Affleck.
It would be enough to make lesser mortals crawl back to the day job. But the 36-year-old star is determined to hold her head up high.
"I've done about 20 movies now and I don't know an of actor's career where every movie they do is great," she says brightly.
"You try to pick the best material that you can get your hands on and do your best. I just feel fortunate to be still doing it. I think so long as I keep challenging myself and doing good work and doing the best I can in that movie, then I think I'll be OK."
The Bronx-born actress and singer seems to have applied the same "if at first you don't succeed" attitude to her relationships as well.
Undaunted by two failed marriages and an extremely high-profile split with Affleck, Jennifer walked up the aisle again almost two years ago with singer Marc Anthony and it looks as if it could be third time lucky.
Despite marrying him just five months after the break-up with Affleck, Jennifer reckons she's happiest she's ever been.
"I feel lucky every day," she beams. "My husband makes me slow down, with him I feel I should relax, and that's a first for me.
"I've never not made time for relationships but it was never quite balanced to feel really good. But I've been working on this for a while now and I think I've got much better at it."
Recently the star admitted she wanted to take time out from her hectic schedule to start a family. Rumours persist that she's expecting her first baby, but she's not confirming or denying anything.
All she'll say is: "Family is the most important thing for me and I have a feeling it will be my most important project."
For now though, the busy star is concentrating on her film career, which, like the third marriage, might just come good with her latest movie An Unfinished Life.
It boasts a stellar cast, including Robert Redford, Josh Lucas and Morgan Freeman and comes from acclaimed director Lasse Hallstrom.
Not surprisingly, Jennifer admits she leaped at the chance to join such an esteemed line-up.
"A Lasse Hallstrom film is world class," she enthuses. "He's just top level, cream of the crop director. It doesn't get any better than him, when you work with him you know why.
"I was just totally captivated by this project. When I read the script I fell in love with it."
The film stars Jennifer as Jean, a woman on the run from an abusive relationship with her boyfriend - played by British actor Damien Lewis.
Along with her 11-year-old daughter, she tries to find refuge with her former father-in-law Einer (Redford). However, she's not exactly welcomed with open arms when it's revealed that he blames her for the death of his son.
The down-at-heel and depressed character she plays couldn't be more different from her own jet-set lifestyle, but the star says Jean's vulnerability resonated with her, along with her ability to pick herself up.
"Jean is a very guilty, grief-stricken character. When she decides to go back to the place where the best and worst all happened she's just so desperate and has no place else to go.
"Though she can't quite get her own life together, she knows that she has to do something right for her daughter, so she picks herself up and goes back to her father-in-law's ranch."
Jennifer credits her own survival instincts to her own mother Guadalupe, who she says has always been her most ardent fan.
"She made me believe I can do anything. I could be the President of the United States if I wanted to. If I worked hard enough," she smiles.
"You know Puerto Rican girl from New York. It seems so far-fetched but when people make you believe that. You're less afraid to try things anyway."
As the highest-paid Latina actress, she's certainly managed to live up to her mother's expectations.
And the work ethic instilled in her as a child has resulted in an enviable CV which boasts acting, fashion designing, dancing, fragrance boss (her signature scent Glow is a best-seller) and, above all her music.
She's got six films coming up, with hard-hitting Bordertown next to hit screens, as well as being lined up to play Sue Ellen Ewing in the big-screen version of Dallas.
While she may have made one or two slip ups with her acting, the star has barely put a foot wrong with her pop career. With four chart-topping albums under her belt and a clutch of awards including two prestigious Grammy nominations, it does beg the question how the non-stop star juggles it all.
"The most important thing for me has always been acting and my music, so you have to mark out the time because you can get very bogged down with the everyday things that come up in all of those different ventures that I'm involved with."
I've learned because I do many different things that there is time for everything," she adds with a calm smile.
Looks like there's just no stopping Jenny from the Block.
* An Unfinished Life opens on Friday June 16