A.J. Johnson says she gave Rosie Perez and Jennifer Lopez their big breaks in Hollywood.
Johnson was originally chosen as the choreographer for “In Living Color’s” dance group, the Fly Girls — but she landed a role in iconic ’90s comedy “House Party” before “In Living Color” even went on the air.
“The schedules conflicted between ‘Living Color’ and ‘House Party,’ so [the show’s creator, Keenen Ivory Wayans,] was like, ‘You have to choose.’ And I said, ‘OK. I’ll play the lead in a movie,’ ” she told Page Six. “And I said, ‘I’ll do you one even greater — I’ll find you my replacement so you’re not missing anything.’”
Johnson said that she knew Perez “from dancing in the city” and called her to tell her she could have the gig. “But then Keenen said, ‘And I want you to replace yourself as a dancer as well.’” So Johnson said she called Perez again and said, “‘Rosie, bring the heavy chick — the Puerto Rican girl’ — and that was Jennifer.”
Perez had already starred in “Do the Right Thing” by then, but “Living Color” made her — and Lopez — household names.
Johnson stars in the new show “Stuck With You” on UMC.
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