Actress Sofía Lama talks about playing the role of TV host María Celeste Arrarás on the upcoming Telemundo series El Secreto de Selena

By Lena Hansen
July 11, 2019 04:00 PM

In order to truly put herself in the shoes of renowned TV host María Celeste Arrarás for her role in the series El Secreto de Selena (coming to Telemundo in August), Mexican actress Sofía Lama shadowed the Puerto Rican journalist and spent time with her behind the scenes of her Telemundo show Al Rojo Vivo. “It was a lot of fun because when we see her on TV she is this serious journalist, and when I met her she is really funny and charming. I liked being able to portray that on screen,” she tells People CHICA. “I had to portray the María Celeste that we see in the newscast, and also had to show the charming, relaxed and joyful María Celeste that she is in her personal life.”

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Lama spent hours watching old YouTube clips of María Celeste co-hosting Primer Impacto, where Arrarás worked in the ’90s. While there, Arrarás covered Selena Quintanilla’s tragic death and interviewed Quintanilla’s killer Yolanda Saldívar. Lama copied the Puerto Rican TV host’s accent, tone of voice and mannerisms. One of the things the actress enjoyed most was the physical transformation that came with this role. “I dyed my own hair red like she had it in the early 2000s, and used a wig with the haircut she wore in the ’90s,” she recalls. She also had to wear vintage jackets, blouses and shoes like the ones Arrarás wore decades ago.

Arrarás also spoke to People en Español about seeing her character on screen in the series, which is based on Arrarás’s best-selling book of the same name. “She masterfully captured my attitude. I’m really happy,” the Emmy-winning TV host says of Lamas’s portrayal. She also told the magazine that audiences will be surprised by what they learn about María Celeste’s own personal life during the time she was investigating Quintanilla’s murder.

“It’s a TV series that breaks the mold,” Lama concludes. “We did it with a lot of love and respect for Selena’s memory. Selena was a great example of the American dream. She was a woman with a big dream and big star quality who achieved so much.”

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