Christian Serratos Talks Pressures of Portraying Selena (Exclusive)

Christian Serratos is getting candid about the pressures of playing an icon.  

The 30-year-old actress, who portrays Selena Quintanilla in Netflix’s Selena: The Series, discussed taking on the role, and what she wants fans to get from the series. 

“I felt so much pressure to be and bring Selena back to the screen,” Serratos confessed to ET during a recent set visit. “I know what an important role this is and I know how important it is for all her fans and her family, so I definitely worked really hard to try and be as honestly Selena as I could.”

Serratos was so committed to transforming into the Tejano legend that she started working with a dialect coach, and a singing coach, before officially landing the role. 

“I had never had this much responsibility before, and I just wanted to use every resource that I could,” she explained. “So I started working with a dialect coach on my own before I had the job, which I think was really helpful. I started working with my singing coach, who I love so much, Eric Vitro, before I booked the job, and he also helped me with the audition.”

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Some of the more challenging scenes for Serratos to film were the performance sequences, mainly because she put herself in the shoes of the late singer’s fans. “I feel like those are the moments where they’re gonna say like, ‘Come through! Show up as Selena, let’s go!’ Those are the moments that are most fun but also I know are gonna be the most work, because I have to do what the fans want, I have to be her. And that’s a lot of pressure,” she shared.

The Southern California native noted that Quintanilla had an “incredible impact” on her life. “Not only was she someone that I could look up to as a Mexican American woman, but I got to see her accomplishments and any time there is someone who looks like you that comes from where you came from and has accomplished so much, it is very inspiring,” Serratos said.

Serratos also credits Jennifer Lopez with paving the way, and feels honored to follow in the “incredible footsteps” of the 51-year-old entertainer, whose breakout role was in the 1997 Selena biopic. 

As for the finished product, Serratos hopes that fans will be “proud” of the series. “I hope they see the hard work that we have put into it as a crew, and I hope they see the hard work that we have not gotten to see before from Selena,” she said. “I hope they see that it started at such a young age and that you can make a choice at a very young age to do whatever you want to do and you can do it.”

Executive produced by Quintanilla’s father, Abraham, and sister, Suzette, the highly anticipated autobiographical series follows the star’s rise from a small town in Texas to topping the Spanish-language music charts and crossing over into the American music market, prior to her death in 1995. The show’s cast includes Seidy Lopez, Gabriel Chavarria, Noemi Gonzalez, and Desperate Housewives star Ricardo Chavira. 

Selena: The Series debuts on Netflix on Dec. 4. 

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