celebrity couples

Jennifer Lopez on Taking Ben Affleck's Last Name — and Her Message for Critics

"We’re husband and wife," she said. "I’m proud of that"

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
Michael Buckner/WWD via Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez shared why she decided to take her husband's last name — and why she was surprised by the backlash around it.

In an interview with Vogue, Lopez responded to The New York Times opinion piece that chided her for taking Ben Affleck's last name.

"What? Really?" she said. "People are still going to call me Jennifer Lopez. But my legal name will be Mrs. Affleck because we’re joined together. We’re husband and wife. I’m proud of that. I don’t think that’s a problem."

When asked if she would have wanted Affleck to take her last name, she said no.

"It’s not traditional. It doesn’t have any romance to it. It feels like it’s a power move, you know what I mean? I’m very much in control of my own life and destiny and feel empowered as a woman and as a person," Lopez said.

"I can understand that people have their feelings about it, and that’s okay, too," she continued. "But if you want to know how I feel about it, I just feel like it’s romantic. It still carries tradition and romance to me, and maybe I’m just that kind of girl."

Lopez, 53, and Affleck, 50, rekindled their romance last year after Lopez and baseball star Alex Rodriguez called off their engagement. She told Vogue how she reconnected with Affleck in 2021.

"Obviously we weren’t trying to go out in public," she explained. "But I never shied away from the fact that for me, I always felt like there was a real love there, a true love there. People in my life know that he was a very, very special person in my life. When we reconnected, those feelings for me were still very real."

The Afflecks swapped vows in July and followed up their Vegas ceremony with a wedding in August at Affleck’s estate in Georgia. The pair dated in the early 2000s and became engaged in 2003, but they called off their engagement the following year due to "excessive media attention."

Lopez told Vogue she wouldn't recommend this path of reconnection for everyone.

"Sometimes you outgrow each other, or you just grow differently. The two of us, we lost each other and found each other. Not to discredit anything in between that happened, because all those things were real too," she said. "All we’ve ever wanted was to kind of come to a place of peace in our lives where we really felt that type of love that you feel when you’re very young and wonder if you can have that again."

Lopez married singer Marc Anthony in 2004, with whom she shares twins Emme Maribel Muñiz and Maximilian David Muñiz. The pair split in 2014, marking the end of Lopez's third marriage.

Affleck was previously married to Jennifer Garner from 2005 to 2018. They share three children together: Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 10.

Affleck said that even after all this time, he loves Lopez because she's remained "boundless with love."

"There is something innately, magically kind and good and full of love at the heart of who Jennifer is," he told Vogue. "That’s exactly the person I remember from 20 years ago. Maybe she sees all the changes she’s made, whereas when I see her, mostly I just see someone who has retained, against the odds, the thing about her that always made her the most incredible to me: a heart that seems boundless with love. She is my idea of the kind of person I want to be."

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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