Entertainment

The ‘Selena’ Movie Could’ve Been Completely Different. Here Are 25 Things You Might Not Know About The Film

Twenty-three years have passed since Tejano music legend, Selena Quintanilla-Perez’s death. The movie about her life and career came out just two 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. Fans of Selena protested when they learned Jennifer Lopez was playing Selena.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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 Selena’s relationship with Chris Perez.

Selena /Warner Bros.

Fans of Selena and the pic about her life, are pretty familiar with the fact that Selena’s father Abraham didn’t initially approve of Chris or his daughter’s marriage to him. Afraid that Selena’s younger fans would get the wrong message about eloping, Abraham initially pushed to have the scene of their marriage cut out.

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

Selena /Warner Bros.

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.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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 which would have been AWFUL.

6. Jennifer Lopez lip-synched

Selena /Warner Bros.

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.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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 film’s director convinced him it was necessary.

8. Constance Marie could be Jennifer Lopez’s sister.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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

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

Selena /Warner Bros.

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.

Selena /Warner Bros.

The Mexican actress was offered the role of Selena when producers first started casting. At the time, however, Hayek was gearing up to play her famous role of Frida.

11. You’ve seen this cast together before.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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’ children.

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

Besides being close in age to Jennifer Lopez, Marie is just 46 years younger than Jackie Guerra who plays Suzette. In real life, Suzette was only 4 years older than her sister Selena.

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

Credit: Snakkle

Selena’s Southern accent wasn’t totally noticeable but fans knew it was there. Lopez 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.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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

READ: 11 Reasons Why Selena Is So Special For Us Latinos

17. The casting call got crazy.

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.

Selena/ Warner Bros.

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 a side gig.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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 makeup room.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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.

Selena /Warner Bros.

Five months after Selena’s death in March, plans for the film were announced.

24. The movie made major history.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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.

Selena /Warner Bros.

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 to set to show Seda how to get the job done but ultimately used the take of his real hands.


Recommend this story by clicking the share button below! 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Selena’s Family Says They’re Ready For The Grammys And They’ll Accept The Award For Her

Entertainment

Selena’s Family Says They’re Ready For The Grammys And They’ll Accept The Award For Her

TARA ZIEMBA/AFP via Getty Images

Recently, it was announced that this year’s Grammy Awards were postponed until March thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. The news disappointed many Selena fans who were excited to see her posthumously awarded a lifetime achievement award.

However, her family has reiterated their intent to collect the award on Selena’s behalf, with her brother telling TMZ that they plan to make a family affair out of it.

Selena’s brother A.B. says the family is ready to accept her posthumous Grammy.

Selena’s older broth, A.B. Quintanilla recently spoke to TMZ about the family accepting Selena’s latest Grammy on her behalf. He said with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Selena’s parents will most likely stay home and that he and his sister Suzette Quintanilla will be in attendance if there’s an in-person ceremony.

“Coming on the end of [the pandemic], I would say that it’s not safe for my mother and father,” A.B. said. “They probably would be staying in.”

The Academy recently announced that the award show would be a smaller, virtual event taking place in March. But that’s no issue according to A.B. He said that he’s got grand plans to turn his sister’s award into a family affair and that they’ve got their popcorn ready.

He also says it feels like Selena’s still here whenever she wins an award or sets new records, even though it’s been a quarter-century since she was murdered.

“It’s kind of bittersweet because she’s breaking these records and she’s doing wonderful things but unfortunately she’s not here,” he admits. “It’s strange how people in their mindset, and even with me sometimes, it feels like she is here…I’m just happy to have been a part of it and that people are still enjoying the beautiful art that made because those pieces that Selena made, in the music world, those are van Gogh’s.”

A.B. also spoke about Netflix’s Selena: The Series, which debuted last month.

He said the series sheds more light on how their family played a part in Selena’s success. A.B. was Selena’s primary producer and songwriter and Suzette was the drummer in her band.

It would be great to see the whole family [accept Selena’s award],” A.B. said. “As people are seeing in the series, this was a family effort. A lot of people are in shock going, ‘Whoa A.B.! We didn’t know you were the guy that wrote the hits and you wrote the music and you had so much pressure on you.’ I’m very grateful for the series and for people learning from the series.”

The Grammy will not be Selena’s first.

In 1994, she became the first female Tejano singer to win in the Best Mexican-American Album category. During her award acceptance speech, Selena thanked her family. Her brother and sister helped to write, produce, and also played instruments on the album. Selena’s father Abraham worked as her manager.

Selena was nominated after her first Grammy win in 1995 for her fourth studio album, Amor Prohibido. Though she did not win the award, was thankful to be thought of in such high regard. She told a reporter at the time, “Just to be around these artists who are considered to be heavyweights is an honor.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Lawmakers Want To Include ‘Selena’ In The National Film Registry

Entertainment

Lawmakers Want To Include ‘Selena’ In The National Film Registry

RICCO TORRES/AFP via Getty Images

“Selena” is one of the most influential and impactful movies of our generation. We all remember watching Jennifer Lopez embody the Tejana queen of music. The 1997 biopic is a classic and there is finally talk of including it in the National Film Registry.

“Selena” is one of the most impactful movies of our childhoods.

The 1997 movie was something that we watched over and over when we were younger. We sang the songs and basically learned all of the lines of this movie. It is arguably one of the first times we saw our culture and one of our icons’ stories told for the masses.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is pushing for “Selena” to officially be recognized.

Movies are a crucial part of telling the full story of American life. The National Film Registry is a list of movies that are honored for their cultural impact. “Real Women Have Curves,” “West Side Story,” and “Zoot Suit” are all part of the National Film Registry. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, is the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and wrote a letter asking for the consideration of “Selena.”

“As a next step, we also wish to formally nominate the 1997 film ‘Selena’ for inclusion in the National Film Registry in 2021,” reads the letter. “Directed by Gregory Nava and starring Jennifer Lopez and Edward James Olmos, the film depicts the life, remarkable rise, and tragic death of Tejana music star Selena Quintanilla.”

There is a lot of hope that the Library of Congress will make this happen.

Selena represents that first major and successful jumps from the Latino market to the mainstream that many of us can remember. We finally had someone who looked like us and understood our cultural struggles in a real way. Our story was being told and the film about the music icon was so important in guiding some of us through our own cultural struggles.

“The film also touches on important themes of cultural identity and assimilation faced by Mexican American communities as they navigate their personal connections to two cultures and languages,” the letter continues to explain. “The film has become a beloved icon of Latino culture and has found widespread mainstream success, proving once and for all that Latino stories are American stories.”

Selena is the kind of cultural phenomenon that comes once in a lifetime.

The singer was able to build an impressive legacy that has endured for longer than she was alive. We were raised with her music and told her story over and over to keep us all tuned in to the fact that we could do anything. If Selena could break into the mainstream audience, we could all be that successful.

“Given its importance as a work of Latino cinema, we believe it is deserving of preservation at the Library of Congress. We trust you will give ‘Selena’ careful consideration, and hope to see it included in the titles added to the National Film Registry in 2021,” Rep. Castro further explains in the letter. “We also expect to identify other films which feature the American Latino experience and urge you to devote careful consideration to Latino films when considering films for the registry as well.”

Here’s hoping that “Selena” gets the official recognition it clearly deserves.

We all have our fingers crossed that this movie will earn its place in the National Film Registry because it deserves that kind of praise.

READ: Part 2 Of “Selena: The Series” Has Already Finished Filming And Here’s Everything We Know About The Next Season

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com