Christian Serratos Shares What It Was Like Filming the Last Episode of 'Selena: The Series' (Exclusive)

ET spoke with the lead star about the emotional Part 2 ending.

It's been a journey for Christian Serratos embodying Selena Quintanilla.

The 30-year-old actress beautifully portrays the late Queen of Tejano music on Selena: The Series, with the emotional Part 2 now streaming on Netflix. As fans know, Selena was 23 when she was shot and killed on March 31, 1995, by Yolanda Saldívar, a friend and former manager of her Selena Etc. boutiques. The actress admits that she "blacked out" while filming the heartbreaking moment.

"I don't think anyone really focused on that last episode or those last scenes. The filming process was so much about her life and how joyful she was and how wonderful she was, that we forgot that at the end we were going to have to film this very sad moment," Serratos tells ET's Deidre Behar. "So I blacked out. But on the day, it really hit me."

"And it didn't hit me until I was sitting in the car and I realized that I was wearing the same clothes. I was wearing the same everything," she recalls. "And I was like, 'Oh, man, I'm playing my idol. And I'm walking in the same steps she did before this terrible moment.' And that was awful. I was like, I don't want to do this again. I don't want to do this ever again. This is terrible, this sucks. And it is what it is."

The actress adds that she believes the cast and crew recreated the moment "in a very beautiful way." "It wasn't about the terrible moment. It was about how tragedy can affect the people around you," she notes. "I think that's more compelling. I think it's more impactful to see what happened to her family rather than to show what happened to her in that moment."

While her journey as Selena has come to an end, Serratos reveals that she's only watched back one scene from her experience on Selena: The Series and she couldn't be prouder of the moment.

"I don't watch things that I do, so I didn't watch the first season in its completion. And I didn't want to watch the second part, but I watched the Astrodome," she shares. "And I just think it's something really special that I haven't seen done before. And I just think everyone did a really good job. Hell, I think I did a good job! So I'm happy for people to see it."

Serratos also sheds light on her process researching Selena to prepare for the role, and why she doesn't subscribe to the idea of doing side-by-side comparisons of real-life footage with scripted scenes.

"When you play somebody who has lived, somebody who's made an impact the way that Selena has, and just lately what we're doing with films and television that focus on a celebrity's life is people do side-by-sides," she explains. "That is now a term used in this industry, is, 'Ah, the side-by-side, the side-by-side.' For me, I don't like that. For me, I'm like, we shouldn't be worried about the side-by-side. We shouldn't be worried about people comparing. My focus was her and just being as honest as I could in my portrayal of her spirit."

Serratos admits, "I'm never going to be Selena. I'm never going to look identical to Selena. I'm never going to move [like her], no matter how many people help me and train me. I'm never going to move identically to her. Nobody will, nobody ever will. And because of that, I went, ‘Screw the side-by-side!’ We just need to focus on bringing her energy and her soul back and that spirit. But that is what happens. It comes with the territory. So I was like, 'Well, since we're here, and since we're in it, and since it's something that we're talking about, I have to try.' That's all I can do. And it'll never be perfect, but I'm happy with what we did."

What she did to nail the performance and all the memorable Selena moments was study and pay extra attention to detail.

"Just looking for those tiny, tiny details. Because when you put all those tiny, tiny moments together, they create the image, they create the whole thing," she shares. "So things like the GRAMMYs, I thought it was so interesting myself. She even does her speech in a different way than we've ever seen her speak…Who knows, it could have been nerves. It could have been her just wanting to keep it simple and honest. Who knows? But for me, I noticed a difference in her speech pattern and how she accepted that award."

It's recreating those moments and watching the original versions that she further explains why she avoids reading commentary online. For Serratos, her motto is "do your best work, give the best performance, be as honest as you can be onscreen, and then forget about it."

She admits she might "snoop here and there," but she mostly stays away from commentary to not distract her from her work. "This was a big deal for me. I've been a fan of Selena my entire life, and this meant so much to me," she expresses. "And I was so nervous and I just wanted to do a good job. So when I see people happy, I mean, it's all you can ask for. So, I'm thrilled."

As for Selena's husband, Chris Perez, Serratos shares that she unfortunately didn't get a chance to connect with him. Though, she hopes to one day.

"I would love to. I got to chat with [Selena's sister] Suzette Quintanilla," she describes, adding that she imagined what it would have been to meet the real Selena, Chris and everyone else in her life. "It'd be so nice to have met her or to have spoken to her family and to hear anecdotes about her, anything. And so I'd like to speak with all of them. They all have different relationships with her."

"And I would love to hear whatever he had to say about her. People ask me, 'What did you and Suzette talk about?' That's private. I'm going to keep that private," she continues. "But I have been asked if I had any questions for her. And no, I just want to hear them talk, even if they want to talk about nothing. If they want to talk about music, if they want to talk about her, I just think it's cool."

As for what's next for Serratos? The actress expresses that she wants to continue to prioritize telling Latinx stories onscreen. However, she's also hoping to dive into diverse, non-stereotypical roles.

"I want to tell all sorts of stories… I think for a long time, we were only allowed to tell very specific Latin stories in roles that other people chose for us. And the point is I want to do anything," Serratos relays. "White actors don't have to play their ethnicity, but we always have to play ours. And I'm very proud of my heritage, and I want to tell stories of very strong Mexican women. I want to be able to tell stories of amazing Latin men. I want to be able to tell a story that doesn't focus on my heritage, because that's allowed. I'm allowed to do that, too."

"But I think that's the point, is being able to do whatever I want to do," she persists. "And I want those doors to be open. And I'd like to hopefully open those doors for other people, too."

For more on Serratos and Selena: The Series -- including that Beyoncé moment -- watch the video below.

Selena: The Series Part 2 is now streaming on Netflix.



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