TEXAS, USA — Part 2 of 'Selena: The Series' premieres on Tuesday, May 4, just weeks after what would have been the Tejano singer’s 50th birthday.
The series picks-up with Selena Quintanilla’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, learning of her relationship with guitarist Chris Perez. The season will dive into the singer’s life as she steps into the spotlight and the challenges she faced.
“In Part 1 you heard her sing, in Part 2 now you're going to hear her voice,” said Rico Martínez, executive producer of Selena: The Series, “Part 2 is about this woman who decides to use her own voice and tries to find her own path and her own way off success.”
Martinez and Jaime Dávila, president of Campanario Entertainment, the production company behind the series, talked to WFAA about developing the show, as well as the impact they hope to continue to make in the industry.
“Rico and I wanted to tell a family show, the story about a family that achieved the American dream,” said Davila. “The story of a young girl who eventually found her voice to become an incredibly strong young woman.”
The series debuted at No. 1 in the U.S. and in 23 countries.
The production company worked closely with the Quintanilla family to recreate their lives with meticulous detail— the wardrobe, props and their childhood home. Davila adds that although not on camera, the crew even made sure the sewer grates read "City of Corpus Christi."
Suzette Quintanilla, Selena’s sister, played an integral part in developing the series, sitting with writers and sharing stories of their lives.
“[We] just really learned so much from those stories, where we were able to tell a rich story,” said Davila.
For Campanario Entertainment, producing the series was a way to illustrate the impact Selena made as a Latina in American culture, such that her legacy continues to transcend generations.
"We talk about American music— we talk about Beyoncé, Casey Musgraves, you talk about the Weekend, Drake, Bad Bunny— these are all artists who credit Selena as one of their biggest influences in their music,” said Davila.
A Tejana influenced by her Mexican roots and growing up in the U.S., she fused her cultures through music. Ironically, she had to learn Spanish to sing in English, Martinez said.
Davila emphasizes that it is important to recognize that a Latina influenced American pop culture in the 80s and 90s in the U.S.
The two said it was important for them to ensure it came through in the series. Selena was not only a singer, but she broke barriers.
Campanario Entertainment is not taking the success of the series lightly. They are hoping to continue to help bring more representation to the big screen behind the scenes and on-screen.
“If we don’t see ourselves reflected, you know, it’s sort of like we don’t exist,” said Martinez.
The production company had a majority of Latinx staff work on the series, from writers to cast to crew. The two say Hollywood is changing and this series shows that the Latino market is not "niche."
“Now we can point to this show and say 'Hey, shows made by us for us can do super well over the world,'” Davila explained.