Aficionados of Latino music, particularly of Tejano or Tex-Mex, and specifically of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, the “Queen of Tejano music” who was murdered in her prime back in 1995, could follow the beginnings of the story of her life in the Netflix original “Selena: The Series.” Older fans however might prefer the 1997 feature-length film from Warner Bros., and starred Jennifer Lopez lip-synching, dancing and visually presenting as Selena on concert scenes, before she became a pop icon herself. The movie covers the same ground as the Netflix series, but condensed as films are, and got mostly positive reviews from critics following its premiere. And it is now 24 years old.
Entertainment Tonight tells us that Jennifer Lopez, pop star and the lead of Warner’s old “Selena” biopic, celebrated the film on its latest anniversary (released March 21, 1997), just one year short of a Silver milestone. The singer-actress took to her Instagram page this past Sunday, March 22, with a heartfelt ode to the “Selena” movie, her cast-mates, and the woman whose life she portrayed onscreen. That post would be the first of a series, with subsequent entries being clips of J-Lo as Selena in key music scenes from the movie: “I Will Survive” medley, “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” and “I Could Fall in Love.”
“I can’t believe it’s been 24 years since the release of ‘Selena’,” Lopez posted on Instagram, gushing about how proud she was to be part of the production and of the overall Selena legacy. She also related how she practiced for her Selena portrayal by studying minute details of her performances, only for costar Edward James Olmos (playing her father Abraham Quintanilla) to advise her to “just let everything go,” when they were filming the film’s intro scene at the Houston Astrodome concert. “So I did and just did my thing,” continues Lopez. “The rest is what you see in the movie!! Thank you Selena!!”
Jennifer Lopez’ star billing in “Selena,” after some supporting roles and stints as backup dancer and choreographer, was what cemented her as a bankable movie star, and become one of the first prominent Latinas in the industry for the 1990s. This was two years before making her second break as a recording artist, like the Queen of Tejano that she played. More of Selena can be seen in “Selena: The Series” on Netflix, which is getting new episodes in May.
Image courtesy of Head Topics