Jennifer Lopez in the Mother

Niki Caro Brings The Strength of Women to Life in ‘The Mother’

The Mother brings action-star Jennifer Lopez back into our lives and honestly? It’s an amazingly fun ride from start to finish! The film takes us into the world of an assassin (Jennifer Lopez) who is forced to give up her daughter to protect her from her two potential fathers (played by Gael García Bernal and Joseph Finnes). As her daughter Zoe (Lucy Paez) gets older and is raised by a family, unaware of who her mother is, the men who tormented her mother come back into her life.

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It’s a movie where Jennifer Lopez is a woman of very little words. But she can (and will) kick your ass if it means protecting her daughter. And it helps that director Niki Caro really knows how to make a badass action movie. I was lucky enough to speak with Caro prior to the release of the film to talk about casting Jennifer Lopez as the Mother, the action sequences, and more!

One of the things that I love about The Mother comes from its waves. You’re thrown into the action and we’re there for a long while until the movie suddenly has a more emotional core but it’s earned through that first section. So I asked Caro about mapping out those ups and downs throughout the movie and how she navigated it. “It’s a really good question,” she said.

“I think you have to earn the emotion. When you spend so much of the movie getting to the girl, protecting the girl, making sure the girl’s safe, and then, ‘oh, now I’ve gotta have a relationship with the girl.’ You know, because this mother, she’s a primal force, a primal protective force but she doesn’t know her child. And the fact that she’s had to give up the baby at birth in order to keep the baby safe, it breaks her heart. And so, in this middle part of the movie, she now needs is forced into a relationship with a child she doesn’t know and desperately wants to be a good mother for. And I think the emotional stakes of that are so freaking high. They’re as high as the physical stakes were in the action sequences. So in that way, I think, you know, it’s new, right? That that action and emotion can exist in the same big, thrilling movie. But I also think, particularly for Mother’s Day where you can get all your thrills, but you can get all your feels as well. That’s kind of a magic combination.”

You can see our full chat here:

We also spoke with Omari Hardwick for the movie and you can see our amazing conversation here:

The Mother is streaming on Netflix now!

(Featured image: Doane Gregory/Netflix)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.