Meet Christian Serratos — Actress Playing Beloved Tejano Singer Selena In New Netflix Series

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Who Is Christian Serratos? New Details On Actress Playing Selena In Netflix Series

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was known as the Queen of Tejano music in the 1990s. The Mexican-American singer broke through gender and cultural barriers to become come not only one of the biggest performers in the male-dominated Tejano arena but also crossed over to mainstream audiences. She even won a 1994 Grammy for best Mexican/American album.

But in 1995, Selena was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldivar, her fan and business partner. The tragedy of Selena's life has been examined over and over, in the news and in a 1997 movie called Selena, starring Jennifer Lopez. Now her story is being revived by Netflix in a new series. Actress Christian Serrato has been tapped to play the iconic singer. 

Who is Christian Serrato? Read on for all the details. 

1. Who is Selena?

Selena began performing as a child in a band with her brother and sister. Her father managed their career and eventually, her brother also took on the role of producer. She struggled to find her place in Tejano music when she first started out because the genre was dominated by men and both bookers and audiences were skeptical of a girl singing Tejano. Eventually, her unmistakable talent broke through to audiences and the industry and she rocketed up the charts for the genre. She was awarded the Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year nine consecutive times.

Her star continued to rise from there and she was the biggest name in Tejano music during the early 1990s. She was working on a crossover to mainstream pop, a move that was pushed forward by the success of her 1994 album Live!, which won a Grammy award. Before she could release her first English language album, she was murdered. 

RELATED: Selena's Convicted Murderer Yolanda Saldivar Demands A New Trial; Insists Evidence Was Hidden

2. Killed by a fan

Yolanda Saldivar was a fan who ingratiated herself to Selena and the two became close friends. Selena hired her to manage several fashion boutiques she owned in Texas and to manage her fan club. Saldivar, however, was mismanaging the businesses, firing people who upset her and mistreating staff who stayed in the stores. Eventually, Selena's father turned up evidence that Saldivar was embezzling funds from the fan club and had stolen over $30,000 in membership fees. In an effort to retrieve financial documents, Selena met with Saldivar in a hotel room, where Saldivar shot the singer. Selena died after valiant attempts to save her. Saldivar locked herself in her truck and refused to surrender to the police for nine hours. Saldivar was eventually tried for first-degree murder. A jury found her guilty and she is now serving the maximum sentence of 99 years for the crime. 

RELATED: The Woman Who Killed Kirstie Alley's Mom Begs To Meet The Actress

3. JLo plays Selena

Shortly after her death, Selena's family was the driving force behind a film adaptation of the story of her life. Salma Hayak was originally approached to play the title role but she turned it down, feeling that it was too soon to be making a movie of the singer's life. Producers then held an open call to find an actress to play the part. Thousands of hopefuls turned out for the audition and eventually a then mostly unknown Jennifer Lopez was cast as Selena. Lopez earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. 

RELATED: Selena Tribute Singer Karol Posadas Freed From ICE Detention Center

4. Reviving Selena's story

Netflix announced that it would be producing a series dramatizing the singer's life and the show Selena: The Series is set to be released in 2020. There will be six one-hour episodes, which Netflix describes as  “A coming of age story following Selena Quintanilla as her dreams come true and all the heart-wrenching and life-changing choices she and her family have to make as they navigate success, family, and music.”

Casting has been a subject of some speculation. Not only is Selena a beloved figure on her own, but Jennifer Lopez has widely praised her for her performance. Any actress coming into the role has a lot to live up to. 

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Netflix dropped the first teaser this week.

5. Christian Serrato as Selena

This week, Netflix revealed that 29-year-old Christian Serrato will be playing the title role in the series. Serrato is best known for her work in The Living Dead, where she played Rosita Espinosa. Before fighting zombies on AMC, she was seen as Suzie Crabgrass in the Nickelodeon series Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide and Angela Weber in The Twilight Saga series. Serrato has been modeling since she was a child and briefly considered pursuing Olympic gold as a competitive figure skater. She says she only skates for fun now. She and her boyfriend David Boyd have a daughter together. 

6. Social media response

Fans on social media have mixed feelings about a new rendition of Selena's story. One Twitter user said "I love the original Selena movie! JLo was awesome af, but I’m still super excited for the series."

Another tweet took a more negative tone, saying "Let me start off by saying I love Christian Serratos. But not as Selena. I don’t think JLo will be outdone. Plus the movie was released at a good time. The movie hit all the high points. The only tv series we needed was the Chris Perez version."

One fan simply said, "All I know that Christian Serratos will do Selena Quintanilla proud."

So far Serratos hasn't shared what it was like putting on Selena's iconic purple jumpsuit but there's bound to be a media blitz ahead of the release. Fans will just have to wait for all the behind the scenes stories. 

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.