The EPs and stars of Selena: The Series gathered for a virtual ATX panel on Saturday, to reflect on their tribute to music and fashion icon, Selena Quintanilla.
“Selena forever!” said creator and executive producer Moisés Zamora, who noted that making this show was a “once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
Returning with its second and final set of episodes in May, Selena: The Series followed the late Mexican-American singer from her childhood through her rise to fame, as the most successful female Latin artist of all time, watching as she and her family were forced to make life-altering choices, during her journey to the top.
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During the conversation, Zamora further touched on the outsized impact the musician had before her untimely death, at age 23, and following it, saying that she was “all light.” (The singer was shot and killed in March of 1995 by her friend, Yolanda Saldívar, who at one point managed her South Texas store, Selena Etc. boutiques.)
For Serratos, it was an honor to portray the music legend. At the same time, though, the job came with a great sense of responsibility. “Not only is there pressure [you put] on yourself, and [from] your community, because this woman is so beloved, but there’s also a history of really great biopics about musicians,” she said. “So I just wanted so badly to do a great job. Everyone wanted to give 110%.”
From the actress’s perspective, it wasn’t just Selena’s music that made her great. “You admire [her] because she’s an incredible singer and gives incredible performances, but then you see she’s also doing fashion, and trying to do different styles of music in different languages,” she explained. “She just knew exactly how to get done what she wanted to get done, and I thought that was such an admirable quality.”
While her performance was very much her “homage” and “Thank you” to the star, though, “for everything she gave to us,” the actress says her “pinch-me moment” with the series hasn’t happened just yet. “I think my pinch-me moment will happen probably in a few months, once everything is completed and I’m not required to discuss it anymore,” the actress said. “[Then] I’ll finally be able to sit by myself and think, ‘I got to play someone I looked up to my entire life.’”
During the panel, moderated by Entertainment Tonight’s Deidre Behar, the team behind Selena went beyond the singer’s life and legacy, and its impact on their lives, to talk about other highlights from their time making the two-part drama. “This project was majority produced, acted, directed by Latinx [artists], so it was an incredible opportunity to be able to showcase our talent, not just to Latin American communities, but to the entire world,” said Dávila. “[You’d] just imagine young girls all over the world being inspired by the story of an outsider who worked hard and made it.”
Elsewhere in the panel, Chavira touched on his preparation for the role of Abraham Quintanilla. Additional topics broached included shooting during the pandemic, and the specific Selena songs that resonate most powerfully with the panelists, to this day.
Debuting on Netflix in December of 2020, Selena: The Series also starred Gabriel Chavarria, Noemi Gonzalez, Seidy Lopez, Madison Taylor Baez, Juan Martinez, Brandol Ruiz, Daniela Estrada, Aneasa Yacoub and more.
The show was produced by Campanario Entertainment. Its executive producers were Zamora and Dávila, as well as Rico Martinez, Suzette Quintanilla, Simran A. Singh and Hiromi Kamata.