With her untimely death at the hands of her former fan club president Yolanda Saldivar, the 18-episode narrative of singer-songwriter Selena Quintanilla’s (played by Christian Serratos) ascent to popularity came to an end (Natasha Perez).
Netflix’s biopic was meant to be a tribute to her and her music and family, thus the horrific shooting was left out of the story. In contrast, Selena steadfastly defended Yolanda and stuck by her side even when her father Abraham (Ricardo Chavira) revealed Yolanda was embezzling.
In response to Yolanda’s call, she accompanied her to a motel, where the narrative perspective shifted to that of a housekeeper in another room.
Eventually, the much-reported argument between Selena and Yolanda ended with a gunshot heard off-screen. However, the show did not depict the argument between the two, nor did it follow Selena when she called for aid and identified Yolanda as the shooter, as was also claimed.
She Slowly Passed Away.
Instead, the show shifted to Selena’s perspective as she lay on a gurney during transfer to the hospital, with flashbacks to prior images and events to represent her life flashing before her eyes as she slowly passed away.
Serratos, a “die hard” follower of Selena even before she was cast in the role, said that she felt the emotion of her being taken too soon when she put on the outfit for the final pre-death scene.
Putting on the clothes and riding in her pickup, “it hit me like a tonne of bricks that I was walking in the footsteps of somebody who was about to have something horrible happen,” she explains.
Filming the Footage of the Interview Selena Delivers that Finishes the Series
Serratos acknowledges that she fought to “keep it together” at times when filming the footage of the interview Selena delivers that finishes the series, in which she is asked how she wants to be remembered.
For sequences set after Selena’s death, the cast had to draw on grief, sadness, and, in the case of Chavira, guilt, while Serratos was required to portray them straight, without any feeling of dread or dismal emotion.
“[Abraham] realises that if Chris marries Selena, they’re a pair and if he gets in her head about a solo album or anything like that, it’s going to undermine this whole enterprise that he’s constructed,” Chavira says of Abraham’s fear that Chris’s love for Selena could derail the dynasty Abraham is constructing. It’s possible he doesn’t want this for his daughter, but he accepts it so that he can keep an eye on it and be in charge.
Simultaneously, there is another person from very far away who ingratiates herself with the family and, more specifically, with Selena, but Abraham is so preoccupied with Chris and this other stuff that he lets his guard down over there. It’s not the band, it’s not the music, but he lets other people manage it because he thinks it’s beneath him, and that’s what brings down the whole empire.
Performer challenges were more obvious in scenes based on actual events from Selena’s life, such as interviews, performances, and the Grammys, where she accepted an award but failed to thank her husband by name. Serratos says, “easier since I had a Bible” — in other words, actual video to study.
In contrast, the technicality of such scenes is elevated because “production wanted them to be identical [and] we were doing things down to at what second she switched hands with the microphone.” When eyes are on you, it’s more challenging.
These kinds of events happened all the time in season two, from the Grammys to the Astrodome show. In contrast, Serratos claims that “not a lot of fact-checking that people could do” was possible during Season 1 due to its emphasis on her time spent on the road prior to her true rise to popularity.
Because of the familial connection, we knew some things, and I had access to private video and stills that were unavailable to the general public. A part of me wishes they could believe this is genuine.
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“Selena: The Series” not only explored the close-knit Quintanilla family, but also showed Selena’s emergence as a successful businesswoman.
When Abraham formed his children into a band, Selena followed her own dreams by starting a boutique and designing a line of clothing. As the second season progressed, we saw her struggle to meet everyone’s expectations, but we also learned that she was determined to accomplish everything she could before “what if it goes away?”
Serratos comments, “I related to it because I’ve been in this field since I was a kid, but it still feels like the rug can be pulled out from under you at any point. I don’t know what to do with my life now that Selena is no longer in it. I feel the need to stress that this was no isolated incident.
And I plan to keep doing that forever. It’s likely that I’ll still be working as an actor when I reach my 70s and realise that I need to establish my legacy in the field. I can relate to the drive to improve upon one’s own performance. “Prove yourself, prove yourself, prove yourself; speak your tale and have your voice heard,” is a message often directed at women, and especially Hispanic women.