Selena. J-Lo. J-Lo playing Selena in a bio pic. 20 years ago this month a little known fly girl dancer from In Living Color and up in coming actress/singer named Jennifer Lopez graced the sliver screen in her first major role playing the Tejano music legend Selena.
Selena was a promising young singer from Corpus Christi, Texas were she became the biggest star in Tejano music up until her untimely death at just 23 years old in 1995. Just two years after her death Warner Brothers pictures teamed up with Selena’s family to do a bio pic on the young star. Many tried out for the coveted role to play her but Jennifer Lopez won out and this changed the career of Jennifer and brought the legacy of Selena to a whole new generation.
When I was a kid I watched this film so much I think by now I know it by heart. Over the years this film has become one of my favorites of all time. Before watching this movie I had no idea who Selena was or what she meant to music & I also didn’t know who J-Lo was. Since this movie came out I have learned a lot more about Selena and the impact she had not just on Latin music but music in general. To me I don’t think a lot of the music out today would be here without her from style to fashion to the music. I also learned more about J-Lo after this movie and her first album On the 6 was my everything at 8 years old. Jennifer became an idol for me growing up and I loved her in everything she did which is how Selena’s fans felt and do feel about her all these years later.
So why do I love this movie? Selena’s story is an admiral one as she was a women with a vision who new what she wanted and worked hard for it. She became the first big female Tejano singer to become a cross over star in a male dominated industry. Plus her fashion was timeless taking from the past and making it her own. Her voice was incredible and even though most of her songs were in Spanish and I don’t speak the language something about that voice and the passion she had in it was intoxicating plus when you watch one of her performances in the movie and in real life she just made you wanna get up and shake your hips. Her beauty was out matched yet from what I saw in the movie and in interviews she seemed like that down home girl from down the block who could hang with the boys and still be girly when she needed to.
The acting and of course actors/actresses in the movie were incredible. Jennifer Lopez felt spot on in her part as Selena and even little Selena in the film was amazing. Chris Perez in the film played by Jon Seda who I know I had a crush on in this film and I’m sure others did as well. It was just something about him and playing along side Jennifer that was just like picture perfect and you could see the love Selena and Chris had for each other. Casting was pretty spot on with other characters too like Selena’s dad Abraham played by Edward James Olmos which was a great fit for him as he is one of the biggest Latin-American actors on the big and small screen.
Also like I said this was first introduction into Jennifer Lopez and I love her to this day. Her music is now timeless and her movies and TV shows are just incredible. After Gloria Estefan & Selena paved the way for female Latin stars Jennifer started the new wave of young Latin stars in America with her music and acting along with Mark Anthony, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias & Shakira among others. Her first three projects she does are so good with hit after hit and the way she crossed over between r&b-pop/dance & Latin music. Plus for the most part her music is positive telling young girls they don’t need a man with money (making sure you’ve got your own) or who cheats and to always remember where you come from. To this day Jennifer is still going strong with her music, TV show on NBC and executive producing the amazing show The Fosters. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without her playing Selena and she often says that she was the inspiration for all that she does and says that if not for this role she wouldn’t be where she is today.
This movie was also the best bio pic I have ever seen not saying I’ve seen a lot but of the ones I have seen this one was the best. The way to get a bio pic just right is to involve the family and friends of the person who’s story your telling, make sure their music, art work, movies or whatever they do are present in the film and if this person has sadly passed away always feature the tragedy of it their death and if you can the after effects of their loss in this world and how the people they love deal with that. Another great bio pic that did that right was the TLC story. They got all of these pieces right and because this film was done by TLC the casting was on point, the story was real and their music was in the film. A bio pic that did this wrong was the Aaliyah story that Lifetime did which was horrible. They couldn’t use any of Aaliyah’s music in the movie, they didn’t have permission from Tim or Missy or her family to do this film, the casting was terrible and they skipped over the death like it never happened.
All and all though Selena and J-Lo are two incredible souls who’s music and acting came into my life thanks to this beautiful film about a young Tejano music star taken from us way too soon.
Bidi Bidi Bom Bom
Como La Flor
Is It the Beat?
I Could Fall in Love
Dreaming of You
No Me Queda Mas