Selena: The Series Writer On Capturing The Icon’s Spark

Writer and executive producer of the latest Netflix Series, Selena: The Series has opened up about re-creating the singer’s journey and how it was not a piece of a cake. Moises Zamora revealed it was an impossible feat as he was recreating Selena Quintanilla’s life.

The writer shared how Selena was one of a kind. The singer had passed away back in 1995 at the age of 23. He shared how impossible it is to replicate her and said if they did a good job and people get what they want, they’d have Selena again. The executive producer said it is an impossible feat.

The writer shared how they focused on trying to replicate the most important part of the singer which was her essence and energy. They found that in the actor portraying Selena in the Netflix series, Christian Serratos.

“She’s so talented,” Zamora gushes of the 30-year-old actress. You might remember seeing her role as Rosita on The Walking Dead. “One of the things that Christian does bring to the table is that charm, that spark, that sincerity, that layer of emotion… it’s about her energy, her spark, and I think she’s got it.” 

Moises further talked about the challenges of bringing the singer’s life onto the big screen. They had to work with the late performer’s family, and of course, the comparisons from the 1997 film which starred Jennifer Lopez. He described the experience as interesting when it came to recreating an iconic legend’s story.

“I’m not creating this story line. We’re not in the thick of it.”

The writer shared when one is given such a great responsibility there is always anxiety. However, he said, “But I think that what made all the difference for this project is that it has an incredible team; that also was passionate about the story; and who she represented and what she meant — what she means for Mexican American Latinos.”

The executive producer further added that he feels more nervous now because it feels real because he is not in the room. He explained that he is not creating this storyline and it feels like an out-of-body experience. The writer, however, said he is proud of the work they did and that it was very challenging. He said, “We put our best into it, very much of our hearts. I’m happy to finally share it with everyone.”

Moises shared more about the involvement of the family and said, “Originally when I met with the producer about this particular project; they had already established a relationship with the family and the estate; so I was coming in with a vision that ultimately worked out. It was something that aligned very much with what they wanted; — to focus on the positivity of the inspiration behind her story and their struggle as they achieve the American dream.”

The writer shared that when he pitched the idea, it hit their mark. He described the show as a family drama with some lightness to it that would relate to a lot of people. The producer shared how Selena’s family was in love with the vision and that Netflix also believed in the project. He further added that he interviewed the family and did a lot of research as well.

“She saw her brand and herself as an artist in a 360, holistic way.”

Moises shared how everyone worked together to make sure that those details are portrayed in the way they envisioned it. Further talking about the influence her family members had on the direction, he shared how the family was a big part of the journey. The writer shared he found a lot of things about Selena; and that she would not have been successful without her family.

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He talked about how Selena’s family believed in the dream and her talent and set aside everything. The executive producer shared, “I think that was very essential in the making of Selena; really to recapture the fact that like she had her family with her and they gave her the power to be who she was.”

He said, “And then hopefully in the future episodes after this batch, you’ll see that it all comes into play as she became the independent superstar that she is. She had her own fashion line, her boutique. And she saw her brand and herself as an artist in a 360, holistic way. She learned that from her family and that was vital.”

The writer further reflected on how the icon was incredibly sweet, sincere, and genuine. He said how respected, loved she was and that she was generous with her time, kindness, and her compassion. The executive producer further reflected on the fans who are so protective of the legend.

Moises shared, “I do remember that time when the choice of Jennifer was not as welcome, but she did just such an incredible job and she captured her. I love her performance. I really do think Christian is going to win audiences over as well, independently of what people may think of Selena.”

The writer said that people can forget how Selena was one of a kind and impossible to be replicated. He shared that Christian brings the charm, spark, the sincerity, and that she is so talented. The creator said they needed someone to capture Selena’s “trajectory and growth”.

He shared, “from being a teenager with silly dreams to actually being a superstar. And I think Christian captures that so well. She may not be the perfect physical representation of Selena, but I think that it’s about her energy, her spark and I think she’s got it.”


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