Part two of the series details the singer’s struggles with fame
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez would have celebrated her 50th birthdaye anniversary this year. Instead, she remains forever frozen in time as the living, beautiful and musically gifted Tejano queen that she was when she died at just 23 on March 31, 1995.
Executive Produced by the Quintanilla Family, Netflix’s
Part Two of nine episodes kicks off today, exactly five months after Part One premiered in December. The first part was about the early years of the Quintanilla family and their musical beginnings. Before the world knew Selena’s name, she was a young girl from Texas with big dreams and an even bigger voice.
The story resumes as Selena is on the verge of stardom. The now famous singer is happy in her career and is very much in love, but with fame comes many new challenges. Here, two of the show’s stars talk about everything they’ve learned on the family’s bumpy road to success.
“The show is definitely more uplifting and brilliant than I thought it would be,” Christian Serratos, who plays Selena, said in a recent phone interview. “There was so much more to her than I knew before working on this project.”
One thing Serratos quickly discovered was how funny Selena was. “I also realized that we have the same sense of humor. Seeing that and how beautiful her family life was, I understood why we are doing the show. I was such a fan growing up and realized there was so much to learn about her and I think that was the point.
Fans of the Grammy-winning singer continue to enjoy her English and Spanish hits with over 213 million streams on Spotify this year alone. Selena is considered the most successful Latin artist of all time. His fifth and final studio album was his crossover Dreaming of you which was released posthumously in July 1995. The album went down in history as one of the best-selling Latin albums of all time with millions of copies sold. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it 59 × platinum (Latin field) and the album was ultimately certified gold.
His legion of fans also contributed to the huge success of Part One; episodes one through nine were # 1 in the US and Latin American markets. The series was at the top of the Top 10 Streamers list for its first seven consecutive days on the platform.
“What I liked about playing her was that she was like everyone else,” adds Serratos. “She was very complex. Nothing was perfect in her life, but she was one of those people who turned everything into something she could learn from or find joy in. I liked it about her. It was an incredible thing. She found joy in the struggles and the people around her. We would do a scene and I would think about how she was having so much fun right now, so I need to have fun right now. It made me a little childish.
Gabriel Chavarria, who plays Selena’s brother AB Quintanilla on the series, said in a recent phone interview that he learned about how talented and essential he is to the family’s success. “I learned how much he wrote songs. He wrote so much of his hits! He’s a musical genius.
But, he adds, it was really a family business. “Each member was essential to the success of the group. One thing that is so beautiful to know about them is that they have always taken care of each other.
As one of 11 children born to Honduran immigrants, Chavarria can relate to the family dynamic close to Selena. “The details of their history and their struggles are so inspiring. And then their eventual success, well that’s amazing. What really opened our eyes was their general tightness as a family. They would not let anyone stop them from achieving their goals.
Serratos and Chavarria hoped to meet the Quintanilla family during filming, but neither got the chance. However, after production of the series ended, each got a chance to connect with a family member.
“I met Suzette. She was the only one, ”Serratos says. “She was happy with the result. All I wanted to do was honor Selena. For the rest of my life, I will be grateful to you. Selena and her family have done so much for their community. You felt like you knew them and that was part of the magic.
Chavarria said plans were made at various times but things just kept pushing and then the pandemic made planning an in-person meeting difficult. “I spoke with AB on the phone after filming was over and we’ve been close friends ever since. We certainly talk a lot. The two have yet to meet but plans are in the works.
As for AB, Chavarria says he was extremely happy with the way the show went. “He told me it really took him back in time. For me, it was the icing on the cake. The fact that the family loved the show, well, that’s just the ultimate out there.
Selena: the series comes from executive producers Jaime Dávila, Rico Martinez, Hiromi Kamata, Suzette Quintanilla, Simran A. Singh and Moises Zamora. It was created by Zamora with Don Todd (It’s us) consultation. Serratos and Chavarria play alongside Ricardo Chavira, Noemí Gonzalez, Seidy López, Jesse Posey, Julio Macias and Natasha Perez.