Jennifer Lopez shared that the entertainment industry changed her in a way that she didn’t want it to when she first started acting.

Jennifer Lopez has been in the business long enough to experience the ups and downs of fame. After the years she put into the business, the actor admitted that the industry ended up changing her. But it was a change she initially tried to fight against.

Jennifer Lopez once felt she couldn’t be herself because of her fame

Jennifer Lopez posing at the Independent Spirit Awards.Jennifer Lopez | Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez was once known for being very open and candid about her life experiences. At first, the Marry Me star felt comfortable enough in the spotlight to be herself. But after a while, she discovered that being herself wasn’t compatible with her newfound celebrity.

“You thought that you were just gonna be able to be yourself and be true to yourself, and you were just like, ‘I’m not gonna change,’” Lopez once said in an interview with Oprah. “But the media has changed drastically. I’ve seen it change in the past 10 years. And they won’t let you be yourself anymore.”

Lopez began to notice that the gossip surrounding her personal life even began to take focus away from her profession.

“I love what I do so much,” she continued. “And the idea that that image, that craziness, that soap opera that they try to create all the time—that that would be more important than what I’m doing?”

How fame changed Jennifer Lopez

The Hustlers actor once acknowledged that she’d become less open about her relationships when speaking to the media. This was because Lopez wanted to take the attention away from her personal life, and hone it back on her work as an actor.

“In terms of avoiding the limelight, I’m just trying to get the focus back on what I do, what I do as an artist and not what I do when I’m at home,” she once said in a 2007 interview with Movieweb.

She also touched on how the media taught her to be less transparent than she used to be. This was a huge change for the actor, who was used to letting others in.

“I’ve always had this attitude – maybe it’s the Bronx in me or whatever – where I’ve always been out there. I’m very open. I’m a free spirit by nature so I didn’t think about what I was doing. But this business has changed me. I didn’t want it to but it changed me,” she added. “It made me a much more reclusive, private person. As you get older – and I’ve been in the business over 15 years now – and as you experience and go through different things you realize you have to set boundaries. You have to for your life.”

Jennifer Lopez once considered leaving Hollywood because of all the attention

The Selena actor once confided that she’d gotten to a place in her life where she paid a lot less attention to the stories about her.

“It’s funny, from the beginning, I’ve been really picked out and plagued with that. Lots of stories, lots of lies, lots of things where you’re trying to figure out, ‘How did this happen? How did I become that person?’ What I’ve learned is that none of it matters. And it doesn’t really bother me anymore,” she said in The Hollywood Reporter.

However, Lopez also asserted that at one point her fame had gotten so overwhelming that she considered quitting the business.

“I’ve learned that I know who I am, I know what I do, I know I’m a good person, I know I’m just out here working my ass off and trying to fulfil myself creatively. There was a time in my life when it was such a big part and it was so hurtful and so hard that you think, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore, I don’t want to be the person on the cover of the magazine every week for two and a half years, I don’t. This is crazy. Why me?’”