What You Need to Know About the New Selena Quintanilla Series El Secreto de Selena
THE ETERNAL QUEEN
A new series about the death of queen of Tex Mex music Selena Quintanilla will soon air on Telemundo. El Secreto de Selena (Selena's Secret) is based on the book of the same title by Puerto Rican journalist María Celeste Arrarás, who covered her death and the trial of her killer Yolanda Saldívar.
Mexican actress Maya Zapata plays the titular role of Selena Quintanilla. "Selena for me was a great figure that my generation grew up with," she says in a promo video for the series. "I knew all of her songs. We have danced to her music throughout the years. It was also a character that made me very sad because of the way she left us."
A CAPTIVATING STORY
María Celeste Arrarás, the host of Al Rojo Vivo (Telemundo), tells in her book everything she learned about Selena's death from her investigation of her case. "This is coming out 24 years after Selena's death, and it's the revealing story of what really happened," Arrarás, who is also the executive producer of the series, tells CHICA.
Playing María Celeste Arrarás in the series has been "the greatest opportunity of my career," Mexican actress Sofía Lama tells CHICA. "She is such an important figure. She is an independent, strong, hardworking woman. It was a pleasure playing her role."
MARÍA CELESTE ARRARÁS
Arrarás explains the series has three female protagonists: the singer Selena Quintanilla, her murderer Yolanda Saldívar, and the journalist who covers her trial (in this case, the Puerto Rican TV host herself). Seeing herself for the first time as a character in a TV show was surreal, she admits.
Mexican actress Damayanti Quintanar plays Yolanda Saldívar, the woman that went from being Selena's biggest fan to becoming her close friend and the president of her fan club. She ultimately shot Quintanilla in a Corpus Christi, Texas, motel in 1995.
Saldívar is serving a life sentence for Selena's murder. "People thought this was a black and white story, that Yolanda was stealing from her and that's why she killed her. No, this story is a lot more complex," Arrarás says.
Venezuelan actor Daniel Elbittar plays the singer's husband, Chris Perez, who unexpectedly loses the love of his life in the most heartbreaking way.
Arrarás says the series will also explore the months before Selena's death, including her marriage to musician Chris Perez.
I COULD FALL IN LOVE
"The greatest challenge about playing Selena is that I don't sing, I don't dance," admits Zapata. "It has been a very fun and enjoyable process," she adds about learning the artistic techniques her character required. "It took a lot of growth."