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25 Crazy Facts About ‘Selena’ You Probably Didn’t Know (Including One About Brownface)

Twenty-three years have passed since Tejano music legend, Selena Quintanilla-Perez’s death. The movie about her life and career came out just 2 years after her death and helped to solidify the continuation of her legacy.

Here’s a look at the top 25 facts you probably didn’t know about the movie!

1. The film was protested when it was announced Jennifer Lopez was taking on the role.

Selena’s fans began protesting the film once they learned that Jennifer Lopez was taking on the role of their beloved singer. Many thought that Lopez, a Puerto Rican from New York, was unfit to play the Mexican-American from Texas.

2. Abraham Quintanilla needed convincing when it came to portraying Selena’s relationship with Chris Perez.

Selena’s father didn’t want Selena’s younger fans to get the wrong idea about eloping. So, he initially pushed to have the scene of Selena and Chris’s marriage cut out.

3. Six other women gave J.Lo a run for her money.

Three women from the open call were selected and three other actresses including Salma Hayek and Bibi Gaytán were considered.

4. Jackie Guerra lied about her talents

Jackie Guera who played the role of Suzette, wanted the role so badly that she lied at her audition and said that she was an expert drummer. Suzette later gave her private lessons.

5. “Selena” almost became a victim of brownface.

CREDIT: D23M74 Selena – Ein Amerikanischer Traum Selena Pete Astudillo, Art Meza, Jennifer Lopez, Jacob Vargas *** Local Caption *** 1997 —

The film’s director had to fight to get Lopez the role of Selena. At the time, Warner Bros was considering a non-Latina actress to take on the role.

6. Jennifer Lopez lip-synched

Creators feared that fans would be upset if they saw Lopez singing the song on her own. So Lopez was coached to lip-synch instead.

7. Abraham Quintanilla didn’t want to show Selena’s murder.

The film which came out just two years after Selena’s death was likely a very hard project for Abraham to work on. He didn’t want to show his daughter’s death but the films’s director convinced him it was necessary.

8. Constance Marie could be Jennifer Lopez’s sister

Lopez and Marie play mother and daughter in the movie. But in real life Marie is only 4 years older than Selena.

9. Actually, there was a lot of age-skewing on set.

Lupe Ontiveros was 54-years old when she played Yolanda Saldivar. At the time of Selena’s death, Saldivar was actually only 34.

10. Salma Hayek turned down the role of Selena

Hayek was gearing up to play the role of Frida.

11. You’ve seen this cast together before.

Most of the film’s cast had starred together in the film “My Family.” That’s right, it wasn’t the first time Jennifer Lopez starred alongside Edward James Olmos, Jacob Vargas, Constance Marie, or Lupe Ontiveros.

12. Constance Marie wanted to be Selena.

Marie played the role of Selena’s mother in the movie. She originally auditioned to play the part of Selena.

13. Roles were flipped.

In “My Family,” Edward James Olmos and Constance Marie play the role of Jennifer Lopez and Jacob Vargas’s children.

14. Constance Marie was also extremely close in age to her other daughter in the movie.

Marie is just 46 years younger than Jackie Guerra who plays Suzette. In real life Suzette was 4 years older than her sister.

15. Jennifer Lopez did her best to do Selena’s accent.

Selena’s Southern accent wasn’t totally noticeable but fans knew it was there. Selena did her best to portray the singer’s Texan accent in the interview portions of the film.

16. Jennifer Lopez got really close with Selena’s family

CREDIT: Jennifer Lopez in “Selena”

To prepare, J.Lo lived with Suzette before shooting. The experience made the two closer and they’re still friends to this day.

17. The casting call got crazy

CREDIT: Selena / Warner Bros.

Over 20,000 girls turned up to audition to fill the role of Selena at different ages.

18. Jennifer Lopez broke history with her role

The young Latina star was paid $1,000,000 for her role. She instantly became the highest paid Latina in history.

19. The move got Lopez to pursue her side gig.

Lopez had pursued acting for the good part of her young career when she first landed the role. It was acting in this film that got her to seriously pursue singing.

20. Lopez only sang three words in the movie

Creators feared fans wouldn’t be too happy to see someone other than Selena singing her words. The only words Lopez sings are when she starts to sing “Como La Flor.”

21. Edward James Olmos packed on the pounds for his role.

CREDIT: Jennifer Lopez in “Selena”

The actor who played Abraham Quintanilla gained 50 pounds in order to portray the realities life Abraham more accurately.

22. Constance Marie spent a lot of time in the make up room.

Remember, Marie was much younger than Marcella was in the movie. To look the part Marie spent four hours in the makeup room.

23. Plans for a movie happened soon after her death

Five months after her death in March, plans for the film were announced.

24. The movie made major history.

The biopic on Selena’s life has become a classic and favorite amongst her fans. So much so that the film is known as the 10th highest-grossing biopic in history.

25. Chris Perez made an actual appearance.

In the scene where Chris Perez auditions to be part of Selena’s band, the director found Jon Seda couldn’t really keep up. They pulled the real Chris onto set to show Seda how to get the job done but ultimately used the take of his real hands.


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Victoria Cruz Sees Hope For The Future Of LGBTQ+ Rights 50 Years After She Witnessed The Stonewall Riots

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Victoria Cruz Sees Hope For The Future Of LGBTQ+ Rights 50 Years After She Witnessed The Stonewall Riots

iamsamkirk / Instagram

The history of Gay Rights in the country date back to the late ’60s and the epicenter was Manhattan. The core fighters of the LGBTQ community include Marsha P. Johnson, Scott G. Brown, Sylvia Rivera, and a slew of other pioneers. The sad thing is this generation has passed or will very soon, which is why we have to honor their legacy while they’re still alive. One of those people is an inspiring person in our Latinx community.

Victoria Cruz, who is in her 70s, is a survivor of the Stonewall Riots and is still very much a part of the fight for LGBTQ rights.

Instagram/@marinadelbey

Cruz, who was born in Puerto Rico, is one of 11 children that grew up in New York. While Cruz was born a male, she knew since she was in high school that she was a woman. Back in the ’60s, that was no easy thing to admit, yet her Puerto Rican family supported her transition.

While her family and close community were supportive, Cruz faced immense hardships including harassment from the police, and later in the ’90s, she was assaulted.

Instagram/@hispanic_history_

Four of her coworkers physically assaulted her, which left her in ruins.

“I was very angry. Very angry,” Cruz said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2017. “The worst part of it is that I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me, and added that she was “was contemplating suicide,” at the time.

But she overcame that tough time and is recognized as a leader in the movement for Gay Rights.

Yet, despite the hate and violence she faced, Cruz pushed on standing up for her LGBTQ+ family.

“I used to go to St. Vincent’s on my lunch hour…and I would see her,” Cruz told The Advocate. “She called to me, ‘Victoria, come here.’ And she always called me Dickie, you know, so when she said, ‘Victoria come here,’ I knew that she meant business. I sat down, and she looked at me. She said, ‘Try to keep the community together because we are our own worst enemy. And there’s power in numbers.’ And then she said, ‘The world will come up to try to divide us, and when you divide a community, you conquer it. So try to keep the community together.’”

As a trans woman and pioneer of the LGBTQ movement, Cruz said positive change is happening right now.

Instagram/@florentinoreyes

“I’m optimistic, and I’m hopeful that it will change for the better,” she told The Advocate. “There’s power in numbers. If we unite and keep united, we can make the future different, and what we want it to be. By galvanizing one another, we galvanize each other. And with the same frame of mind, the same frame of thought, we can change what’s happening.”

Trans rights are the new frontier in the LGBTQ+ movement. Despite the contributions made to the movement by trans women of color, cis members of the LGBTQ+ community ignore their plight or add to the harassment.

“There is so much hatred directed toward queer people, particularly transgender women of color. For what? Why? I think it may be about people’s own insecurities about their own identities and sexualities. And further, people don’t know their history,” Cruz told BC/Stories. “The transgender experience isn’t new. It’s as old as the human experience, and anyone who does their research would know this. I think society needs to be educated, and maybe after being educated, empathy will follow.”

READ: Zuri Moreno Made Sure The Trans Community In Montana Remained Safe

Keds Latest Designs Proves That Avoiding Cultural Appropriation In Fashion Is Totally Possible

Culture

Keds Latest Designs Proves That Avoiding Cultural Appropriation In Fashion Is Totally Possible

Keds

It’s always really cool to see a big name brand embrace the art of our Latinidad. It’s like a nod to all of the great Latinx artisans who add beauty and color to our culture. In fact, seeing consumers enthusiastically welcome these goods feels like further validation. With this in mind, it makes this new collaboration all the sweeter for us art and fashion lovers.

Keds is collaborating with designers Thelma Dávila and Lolita Mia on a line inspired by the Latina-created brands.

Instagram / @Keds

In what the shoe company is calling a “collaboration fiesta,” Keds released three fun and vibrant new designs.

Some of the shoes borrow inspiration from Thelma Dávila’s colorful Guatemalan textiles. Alternatively, other pairs utilize Lolita Mia’s festive fringe as embellishments. These touches combine with Keds’ original platform shoes to make a unique product.

Of the partnership with these new brands, Keds’ website says:

“It’s so rewarding to be able to be a part of the professional and personal growth of women who decided to follow their dreams. Entrepreneurs (especially female ones) are always brave, they’re risk-takers that believe strongly in themselves. And we believe in them too. We’re so excited to introduce you to our latest for-women-by-women collaborations.”

The Thelma Dávila brand is named after its Guatemalan founder.

Keds

The company specializes in designing and crafting unique pieces by hand. Furthermore, their products utilize Guatemalan textiles, leathers and non-leather materials. Obviously, this collaboration is built on a solid relationship between the two brands. Since last year, Keds retail locations have carried Thelma Dávila bags and products in stores.

On their website, Keds said the design collaborations were intent on “taking geometric design and color cues from [Dávila’s] native culture, our classic Triple Kick gets transformed into a fiesta-ready standout.”

Founded by jewelry artisan and entrepreneur, Elena Gil, Lolita Mia is a Costa Rican accessory brand.

Keds

While studying abroad in Italy, Gil made a significant personal discovery. She realized that ethnic crafts and traditions were very alike across regions. Specifically, they were similar in cultural importance. In light of this, she decided to start her own brand. Lolita Mia’s handmade products embrace what Gil has coined a “Universal Ethnic Luxury.”

Of the collaboration with Lolita Mia, Keds’ website reads:

“[The] aesthetic shines through in these playful renditions of our platforms in the form of fun, festive fringe and punchy tropical shades.”

The Ked × Lolita Mia collaboration has two designs while the Ked x Thelma Dávila collab is made up of one.

Instagram / @lolitamiacr

“Triple Tassel” is a multicolored platform with purple, pink, orange and white tassels attached to the laces. “Triple Decker Fringe” is an off-white platform slip-on with multi-colored fringe and golden embellishments on top. The “Triple Kick” features a neutral platform with Guatemalan textile accents around the bottom.

Each design is priced at $70 a pair. Moreover, they are available exclusively on Keds’ website. Be sure to order yours today and add a little extra Latinx flare to your summer looks.

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