12/11/1995 at 01:00 AM EST
ACTRESSES DON'T COME FRESHER, OR BRASHER, than 25-year-old Jennifer Lopez
. During the filming of Money Train
, she discovered that her character, transit cop Grace Santiago, was packing a .38mm revolver, but her partners, Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, were toting 9mms. "A .38 is such a girl gun," says the actress, who once dated a cop. "I'm not gonna carry some sissy revolver."
Lopez got the gun she wanted. But that's not the sort of ammo she needs against the publicity that erupted four days after the action-comedy's Nov. 22 opening. In the film a pyromaniac squirts a flammable liquid into subway token booths, igniting them. On Nov. 26, a clerk at a Brooklyn subway station was attacked in the exact same way, suffering life-threatening burns. On Nov. 29, an unsuccessful attack was made at another station. As patrols were added to beef up security—token booths had already been equipped with flame-smothering devices following pre-Money Train attacks—Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who has made Hollywood morality a favorite theme in his presidential campaign, took to the Senate floor and urged Americans to boycott the film.
Lopez, like her costars, is upset by the attacks. "It's a terrible crime, and our hearts go out to the victim," says the actress, a Bronx native. (Her father, David, runs computer operations for an insurance company, and her mother, Guadalupe, is a kindergarten teacher.) But she says she is also baffled. "[People] see so many violent movies. Why would they pick that scene from Money Train?" she asked. "In a way...you think the film is responsible, but it's not. It's the [criminals]."
For now, Lopez—a former Fly Girl on Fox's In Living Color
—has all the high-profile movies she can handle. The actress, who lives in Hollywood with her boyfriend David Cruz, a movie production assistant, has wrapped Francis Ford Coppola's Jack
, with Robin Williams, and she's now in Miami on Blood and Wine
with Jack Nicholson. Even there, though, the subway attacks were on her mind. "It just made me more conscious of what I would do in other movies," she said. "You have such an influence over people, it's kinda scary."