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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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Jennifer Lopez Is A Red Carpet Queen! Here's 25 Of Her Most Iconic Looks

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Jennifer Lopez Is A Red Carpet Queen! Here’s 25 Of Her Most Iconic Looks

When it comes to style, Jennifer Lopez knows how to make a statement. Just as the Nuyorican singer/actress/designer/everything can do it all on the stage or in the board room, she’s also shown she can take it from street style to couture when she’s rocking the red carpet. Her looks are so iconic they’re seared into our memory, and we may have even tried replicating them with lesser success. But, hey, at least we tried!

Here’s J.Lo’s 25 most iconic looks!

25. Her minty green Valentino gown at the 2003 Academy Awards

CREDIT: Photo credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

This gown had major ’70s vintage glam factor! From its caftan cut, to the sparkly embellishments, to the perfect hair, this look was head-to-toe perfection.

24. Her golden goddess Michal Kors gown at the 61st annual Golden Globes

CREDIT: Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc.

She showed up on the red carpet rocking one of the statement looks of 2004 – the Grecian toga-style gown. The marigold color popped on her bronze skin, and the silver leather embellishments added a touch of edge.

23. The show stopping Julien McDonald stunner at the Billboard Latin Music Awards

CREDIT: Photo credit: Alexander Tamargo/WireImage

We get it. Miami is a hot city, and J.Lo probably wants to ensure she can stay cool. This barely there number worn in 2017 proves that Florida’s hot, hot heat is nothing compared to the fire Lopez radiates. I mean, damn! It’s not even fair.

22. More Valentino Haute Couture at the 2017 Met Gala

CREDIT: Photo credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Lopez loves herself some Valentino, and can’t resist a ’70s throwback look! And she does it so damn well. She showed up to the Met Gala radiating high-end “I Dream of Jeannie” realness that made this stand apart at even one of the most avant garde red carpets the fashion world sees.

21. Wearing a Black Anthony Vaccarello at the 2013 Grammys

CREDIT: Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

It’s pretty rare for Lopez to wear black. She loves bright, statement prints and colors, but this black gown is right in line with the cuts and styles she usually goes for. If there’s a Studio 54-esque one-shoulder gown out there, J.Lo is gonna want it.

20. Her Mini, Baby Pink Marchesa Frock

CREDIT: Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Again, if it’s got some vintage glitz to it, J.Lo is all over it. This feathery mini dress she wore at a Golden Globes after party in 2011 has the mod spunk and glamour that only she can pull off.

19. This Gold Marchesa Gown With Plunging Neckline

CREDIT: Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Something Lopez has that so many other red carpet mainstays wish they had is the ability to do diva level glitz and major sex appeal, all while keeping it totally classy. This 2009 Golden Globes look could easily be way too much for a mere mortal to rock, but Lopez is a goddess.

18.  The Sparkly Cream Mini And Head Scarf At the VMAs

CREDIT: Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

This is a lot of look, and most people couldn’t handle even just one element of this outfit. And yet, J.Lo hits that red carpet doing all three, handing out a smoldering look to the cameras. It’s got that ’70s glam she loves too!

16. Bright Yellow Giambattista Valli Haute Couture at the 2016 Golden Globes

CREDIT: Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Lopez does not shy away from color. In fact, she revels in it. When she stepped out in this bright yellow gown at the Globes, there wasn’t a head that didn’t turn.

15. Black Lace Dolce & Gabbana At An NYC Fashion Event

CREDIT: Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage

You can always tell when Lopez caught “Valley of the Dolls” playing late night on TV. This look has evil ’60s doña written all over it and I AM HERE FOR IT. It’s so dramatic and kind of silly, but so, so good.

14. In Dark Green Pucci Dress She Wore to the BAFTA’s in 2011

CREDIT: Photo by Valerie Macon – Pool/Getty Images

As always, even when J.Lo does understated there has to be a statement piece to her look. That sparkly sleeve turned this simple gown up a notch, and that’s literally what she does everywhere. She elevates the glam.

13. In White Zuhair Murad at the Golden Globes

CREDIT: Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage

This dress could have easily been a total jealous bridesmaid trying to steal the brides thunder type of look. And it might be just a little bit. But on Lopez, she just makes it shine, and stand out on its own.

12. The Nude Elie Saab Princess Gown At The 2015 Oscars

CREDIT: Photo by Getty / Jason Merritt

This is a lot of dress, but Lopez is a lot of woman and she can carry it. The Elie Saab is nothing short of a fairy tale gown made for running up the steps to a castle, or in Lopez’s case, riding up a glass elevator to a penthouse.

11. The Pink Versace Mermaid Gown

CREDIT: Getty / Frank Micelotta Archive

Lopez made another Versace gown iconic, but we’ll get back to that later. This baby pink, form hugging mermaid-cut gown she wore at the 2002 Oscars was sweet and sexy. The hair was…questionable. Even J.Lo misses the mark sometimes, but reminds us that the prettiest dress can’t hide some truly un-cute hair.  But there’s no disputing Jenny’s got serious moves! Take a look at Jlo’s top 25 music videos!!  

10. Olive Green Jean Desses in 2006

CREDIT: Credit: Getty / Frazer Harrison

This color just pops on Lopez! The cut, dramatic train, and rouching of the dress serves up a mega ’50s look that stands the test of time. It’s just so perfect, and hugs her curves in all the right places.

9. Beaded Badgley Mischka Back In 1997

CREDIT: Credit: Getty / Jeffrey Mayer

When Lopez was still a relative newbie to the red carpet, she still brought the glamour. This beaded gown had a bit of of bridesmaid vibe, but it was beautiful and gave us a glimpse of what was to come from the soon-to-be superstar.

8. Frothy Pink Armani Privé in 2010

CREDIT: Credit: Getty / Steve Granitz

Lopez always makes daring choices on the red carpet, and this pink gown she wore to the Oscars was a touch Glenda the Good Witch in a way that I definitely cosign. She’s not afraid to try something different, and that’s why Lopez is always a favorite.

7. Shiny Zuhair Murad in 2012

CREDIT: Credit: Getty / Michael Buckner

This sexy number screams ’30s bombshell! This is a gown that Jean Harlow would have worn, but thankfully we got J.Lo in it looking like the silver screen starlet she is.

6. The Ultra Sexy Silver Charbel Zoe Gown at the VMAs

CREDIT: Credit: KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE, GETTY IMAGES

Good. Lord. How. How can anyone pull this off? Oh, that’s right. Jennifer Lopez isn’t anyone. This sparkly numbers is the dress we all dream of being able to wear, even to the grocery store.

5. Her 2001 Chanel Gown She Wore At The Oscars

CREDIT: Credit: Getty / Jeff Kravitz

She may have been rocking some arm candy that fateful Oscar night, but Lopez was the real sweet thing in this demure Chanel gown. But because it’s J.Lo and she can’t go around looking too prim, the see-through top proved she still brings the sexy.

4. Her Badgley Mischka That Set Her Path Into Glam

CREDIT: Credit: Getty / Kevin Mazur

This Badgley Mischka number is arguably the first step Lopez took into the sexy, glam looks that would come to be her trademark.

3. Black and Embellished Reem Acra At The People’s Choice Awards

CREDIT: Credit: AFP

Lopez doesn’t wear black very often, but you damn well know if she is going to it’s going to have some POW! And this Reem Acra gown definitely brings that thanks to some steely beaded embellishments. It’s that touch of glitz she always brings to the table. I mean, carpet.

2. Her All-White Sean Jean Look At The VMAs

CREDIT: Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Back when she was dating Diddy, Lopez showed her support by rocking some of his Sean Jean line. The look become an instant classic, showing off the Bronx babe’s street sensibility.

1. THE DRESS! You Know Which One

CREDIT: Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect

Lopez’s career can be timed as BTD and ATD – Before the Dress and After the Dress. the famous green Versace is not just a defining moment for Lopez, but an iconic moment in red carpet history. No one will ever forget it.

What’s your favorite J.Lo red carpet look?