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Jennifer Lopez once famously teamed up alongside actor Ralph Fiennes for the 2002 feature Maid in Manhattan. But the movie was a huge departure for the actor, who realized it was the type of film he just couldn’t deliver on.

Ralph Fiennes explained what he thought about ‘Maid in Manhattan’

Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes on the set of 'Maid in Manhattan'.
Ralph Fiennes and Jennifer Lopez | Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

Fiennes is known for starring in films with heavy subject matter and complex storytelling. Many fans recognize him as some of cinema’s most sinister characters such as Voldemort from Harry Potter or Amon Goeth from Schindler’s List. But he took a break from starring in his usual films to do a romcom alongside Jennifer Lopez in 2002. The famous feature saw Jennifer Lopez playing a maid who ends up being paired with a wealthy politician by chance.

Although it was one of Lopez’s most successful films, Fiennes hasn’t looked back on the flick too kindly. 

Maid in Manhattan was thin on the page and even thinner in the flesh. There was nothing there except to be the fantasy for the Jennifer Lopez character,” Fiennes once said according to Irish Examiner

Fiennes also believed that Maid in Manhattan showed him the one type of film that he can’t do.

“But I felt I’d always gravitated toward parts with a lot of angst or intensity to conflict – even if that’s not how I see them, that’s how they’re picked up,” he continued. “I suppose I wanted to see if I could play a blithe – uncomplicated role. And I don’t know that I can do it.”

But the experience didn’t completely discourage Fiennes from doing another romcom. He was open to revisiting the genre under one condition.

“I would like to do another,” Fiennes said in a separate Irish Examiner interview. “But next time I might look for a romantic comedy with a little more edge. Maid in Manhattan is charming but it’s not going to shock anyone. Maybe I’ll look for something with a little more spice in it.”

What did Ralph Fiennes think of Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Maid in Manhattan’ performance?

Unlike Fiennes, Lopez was already accustomed to doing romcomsMaid in Manhattan was just one of many lighthearted Lopez features that fans could find in her filmography. In an old interview with Details, Lopez might’ve been one of Fiennes’ favorite parts of the film.

“I enjoyed making it and have huge respect for J.Lo, who was, I think, terribly good in it. But that sort of light comic thing is probably not my strength,” Fiennes said.

But Fiennes confided that he was often impressed by actors who could lose themselves in movies like Maid.

“It’s a simple enough part. That’s probably a challenge for me – to do what someone like Hugh Grant does so well. That sort of effortless, just-being-present-and-let-the-comedy-happen thing. I admire that. I find that hard. I can access inner tension quite quickly as an actor, but to have that guy thing – ‘Yeah, yeah, that’s fine’ – it’s not second nature to me,” Fiennes said in a 2005 interview with the New York Times.

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Fiennes went into a little more detail about his time acting alongside Lopez. He wasn’t only impressed with her as an actor, but he seemed to find Lopez’s personality just as attractive.

“She’s got all kinds of appealing attributes,” Fiennes said. “She’s a very attractive woman, and she’s a great screen actress. I have to say that I was a little on the nervous side because I’ve never done light romantic comedy but I found her very inspirational to work with. She has a wonderful, natural ease.”

Fiennes would find himself locking lips with his co-star in the feature. But the Harry Potter villain wouldn’t have minded doing that for free.

“I don’t want to tell you too much about the kissing, because Ben Affleck’s a big and strong man,” Fiennes continued. “But I would kiss her again for nothing. She’s quiet, unassuming, gentle and very generous as an actress. There was no diva-ish behavior, none.”