“I look at those movies and I see all the wonderful people that I’ve been blessed to know and to work with. You’re only as good as the people that you work with,” Lopez said during her acceptance speech after a montage of clips from her films played. “And if you’re lucky, they make you better. And I have been very lucky in that regard. As an actor, I’m not any of the women that I’ve played, but there’s a part of what is deeply true to me in each one of those characters.”
She added: “And since you cannot create truth unless you’ve really lived it, I have a different kind of list of thank-yous tonight. I want to thank all the people who gave me this life. I want to thank the people who gave me joy. And the ones who broke my heart. The ones who were true and the ones who lied to me. I want to thank true love. And I want to thank the way that I lied to myself, because that’s how I knew that I had to grow. I want to thank disappointment and failure for teaching me to be strong and my children for teaching me to love. I want to thank all the people who told me to my face or when I wasn’t in the room that I couldn’t do this. I really don’t think I could have done it without you! And I know I couldn’t have done it without the fans.”
She then went on to thank her manager, Benny Medina, who she said was “the true meaning of ride or die.”
The Generation Award celebrates “beloved actors whose diverse contributions to both film and television have turned them into household names,” according to MTV. Past recipients include Scarlett Johansson, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Pratt, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Wahlberg, Sandra Bullock, Jamie Foxx, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey and the Fast & Furious franchise, among others.
Lopez has established herself in film, music, TV and business, with a cumulative worldwide box office gross of more than $3 billion and 75 million records sold. She was named to the TIME 100 list and Forbes’ Most Powerful Celebrity list and was the first to be on the cover of People Magazine for the Most Beautiful Woman in the World.
Most recently, she starred in Marry Me opposite Owen Wilson and Maluma, which set record-breaking viewership numbers on Peacock. Her next film, Halftime, a documentary about her career, will premiere on Netflix on June 14.
Watch Lopez’s speech below.