Christian Serratos Shares What She Hopes 'Selena' Viewers Will Take From the Show

Selena Barrientos
·10 min read
Christian Serratos Shares What She Hopes 'Selena' Viewers Will Take From the Show

From Good Housekeeping

Twenty-five years after her death, Selena Quintanilla continues to be remembered for her cultural impact around the globe.

The Queen of Tejano Music was an artist with a talent for creating hit after hit. With songs like "Como La Flor" and "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," she became a successful Grammy-winning vocalist and music sensation.

But Selena's legacy isn't solely defined by her accolades — it's also defined by her strong-held belief that "the impossible is always possible." Selena and her family exemplified this idea, putting everything they had on the line for music. Through grit and passion, Selena always found a way to overcome even the toughest challenges. In the end, her determination did more than pay off for her own career — her perseverance and love of her Mexican-American heritage inspired millions to proudly embrace their identities.

Photo credit: Left: Michael Lavine/Netflix. Right: Getty Images
Photo credit: Left: Michael Lavine/Netflix. Right: Getty Images

On December 4, the world will come to know more about her journey when Selena: The Series is released on Netflix. In the show, created by Moisés Zamora, actress Christian Serratos transforms into the beloved icon, complete with Selena’s signature bangs, hoop earrings, and red lips. Meanwhile, actors Ricardo Chavira and Seidy López portray Selena’s parents, and Gabriel Chavarria and Noemi Gonzalez play the artist's siblings. Lastly, actor Jesse Posey depicts Selena’s husband, Chris Perez.

Below, the cast of Selena: The Series talks to Good Housekeeping about fulfilling their own dreams by telling the music legend's story. Through art, they hope to show others that, like Selena once proved, there are no limits when it comes to pursuing your dream.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Victor Ceballos Olea/Netflix
Photo credit: Victor Ceballos Olea/Netflix

"A young Mexican-American woman dominating her industry is a story that needs to be told. It's also about a hard-working Mexican-American family trying to accomplish their dreams for their child. That can resonate with everybody. We only see the star, the icon, and we love that icon. But there was so much that went into getting to where she ended up. It was such hard work. I want people to see that she fought and she was gracious the entire time. She graciously demanded what she deserved and she got it." — Christian Serratos

"Selena represents the American Dream. It's an American story. It's about a family that lives in America. They were born in America. And they happen to have our [Mexican] heritage. She's very important to our culture. It was really beautiful to see that Selena grew up in the States, but then she started embracing her roots. She certainly loved it and identified with it and showed it with pride to our people. That's very special because she's that connection between the Mexican side and the American side and how it can just be one big, beautiful, strong entity." — Seidy Lopez

"In terms of Latin culture in Hollywood, Selena and the Quintanilla family’s story is important to tell the next generation. To see this beautiful soul, this beautiful human being who had a dream, chased her dream, and became who she became. It’s a huge honor for us to be able to retell this story in a deeper, more detailed way. I feel truly blessed and honored to be part of that." — Gabriel Chavarria

Photo credit: Michael Lavine/Netflix
Photo credit: Michael Lavine/Netflix

"Her story is being told right now because it is needed. We need all the positive representation we can have for the Latino community specifically. A lot of our shows are not celebrated, and Selena — her legacy, her music — is just such a huge example and pillar of Latino culture, especially bi-cultural culture. I think people feel seen when they know about her and her music." — Noemi Gonzalez

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

"She was just a person who cared about her craft. She worked diligently on her talent and her singing. She cared so much about family. She was well known throughout the industry as a wonderful person. Very kind, very compassionate. She was an incredible human who already had such a confidence in who she was at such a young age." — Moisés Zamora

Photo credit: Sara Khalid/Netflix
Photo credit: Sara Khalid/Netflix

"You see this love for music. This little girl going through this journey that's so huge yet she's so brave and so full of life. Then you transition to teenage Selena, who's excited, nervous, and sometimes scared. When you see a movie star, a famous performer, you always see them up there and they just take over the spotlight. But they're people too, and they're human. It's really beautiful that with this piece I've gotten to see that side. To see possibly how she felt behind the stage." — Seidy Lopez

"One of the biggest things that I learned was how humble their beginnings were. There was a specific scene where [Selena's father] Abraham has to take his family to go live with his brother and they’re all crammed into one bedroom — the kids are sleeping on the floor and the parents are in the bed. That was me and my family whenever we would go to my abuelita [grandmother]. All my other tías and tíos [aunts and uncles] would be there with all my primos [cousins], so there would be 10, 12, 14 of us kids in sleeping bags on the linoleum floor in the living room. I remember using the bathroom and there was no drywall. You could see the studs, the electrical, the plumbing. The floor was only half done, so the half that wasn’t done, you could see the dirt. There are situations like that in our scripts, in the series, the absolute humble beginnings. Just trying to provide for your family. Forget about success, I just want to be able to have my kids eat." — Ricardo Chavira

Photo credit: netflix
Photo credit: netflix

"Growing up, the only thing that I knew about Selena was her music and her unfortunate death, but she means more to me now. The more I learned about her, the more I started to appreciate who she was, what she did, and what she stood for ... Once I started digging and doing research to play A.B., it was great to learn all these different things about who he is and what he meant to Selena and her family. He was her older brother, but he had this connection with her musically and you hear it in the music, you see it in the performances." — Gabriel Chavarria

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

"I remember specifically the strong memory of being handed Selena's Amor Prohibido album. Seeing the iconic pirate shirt, black leather jacket, red lip of Selena, and then just putting it on the stereo and playing that CD over and over. I remember singing to it and dancing to it with attitude in the mirror before I knew what sassiness and attitude were. I remember my mom having a very strong connection to the Selena y Los Dinos. We were raised Jehovah Witnesses just like the Quintanilla family. My family also had a sibling pass away at a very young age, actually very close to when Selena had passed, so we grieved, and we grew with the family. So, it's a very layered, very intimate personal experience with Selena for me." — Noemi Gonzalez

Photo credit: Sara Khalid
Photo credit: Sara Khalid

"A long time ago, she was mostly inspiring for the young Latina crowd, because that's who she was. She grew up in a Latino family in a small town in Texas, and she became this huge icon. It wasn't common that someone like her would make it, given where she came from, so she had a lot of weight on her to be a good role model for young kids. But now, she's reached everybody. It doesn't matter what culture you come from, what background. It's hard not to be inspired by her. I wish I knew about Selena years ago, because anytime I'm faced with adversity or I don't have enough confidence, I think about Selena." — Jesse Posey

"This experience has kind of taken me back home. When you grow up, you get married, you have your kids, you just start developing and transitioning, and you start changing. Coming back and revisiting this story in this way and as her mom, it's just been a great gift for me. It's kind of brought me back to my childhood and my connection with my family and my pride." — Seidy Lopez

Photo credit: netflix
Photo credit: netflix

"I was born in Austin, raised in San Antonio, Texas. I knew everything about Selena's success because as it was happening, I was the same age. My father was this huge Tejano Conjunto music fan … I remember being in high school and then college and getting in my dad’s truck. He would always have KTXN or Radio Festival playing on his radio and you heard a Selena song on there all the time. I also remember the day she died when I was in college. Her boutique was about half a block away and about half a block down from her boutique was the bus that I caught to go home. I remember walking by that day and seeing people putting flowers and seeing the news camera out there. Then heading home, opening the door, and my dad was like, 'Come, sit down and watch the news. Selena was shot.' It’s massive what she means to me, what she means to South Texas ... But it [her story] is also something that’s specific because this is a Mexican-American family from South Texas. That’s me, that’s who I am, that’s what my family is. This is partly my story, too, and it means so, so much." — Ricardo Chavira

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

"I hope viewers see the pioneer she was. She wanted it all, she wanted everything, and she got it because she worked really hard for it. I want people to just have fun when they watch the show because it’s Selena. We love Selena, we love the music, and we love the fashion and all these really iconic moments. Who else made cow print as popular as Selena?" — Christian Serratos

Photo credit: Michael Lavine/Netflix
Photo credit: Michael Lavine/Netflix

"This is going to open up doors for more Latino-based television shows to be on Netflix. A lot of people are going to find similarities in Selena and themselves and they're going to see there's a way out. There's a way out of their discomfort, there's a way out of their normal everyday lives. There's a way to reach their goals, and they're going to find more confidence in themselves the way Selena found in herself." — Jesse Posey

"The Quintanilla family and I think their story is the real star of the show. I think fans will recognize that and they’ll be able to relate. Family is the most important thing and that is why Selena became Selena. It was because of her family." — Gabriel Chavarria

Photo credit: netflix
Photo credit: netflix

"For my Latino Mexican-American South Texas viewers, I hope they take away that we have some representation. This isn’t just a Latino show, this is a Mexican-American show. And if it’s one thing that we’ve learned lately is that you can’t just generalize us as Latinos anymore. You have to be specific about how you’re addressing our community because if you’re not specific with it, we’re not going to listen to you. The entertainment industry needs to start grasping this. It’s still a long road, but this will help, and through specificity comes great storytelling." — Ricardo Chavira

"This powerful Mexican-American woman, Brown woman, is up there on their screen as proof that Latino dreams are valid and are possible. I want everyone to embrace [themselves] so they can go out there and continue pursuing their goals and dreams, no matter what the world tells them. No matter the violence, no matter the hate. It's that hard-driven pursuit of the dream." — Moisés Zamora

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

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