Lopez took to Instagram to share a special reflection on the movie, which helped to establish her career and put her on the path to Hollywood A-list stardom.
"I can’t believe it’s been 24 years since the release of Selena. I’m so proud of this movie!!" Lopez wrote, alongside a scene from the film, in which she played the legendary late songstress Selena Quintanilla. "So proud to be a small part of Selena’s amazing legacy."
Lopez recalled how, when she was preparing to play the beloved singer, "I studied her tirelessly, her every step, her finger movements, her lips ... her infectious laugh...her expressions."
"Once it was time to be her in the movie and we were filming the big Houston Astrodome scene I did the first take and after it Edward James Olmos who played Selenas father, an amazing and powerful actor came to me and said, 'you’ve done your homework, now just let it go...just let everything go...'" Lopez continued. "So I did and just did my thing... the rest is what you see in the movie!!"
Selena, which hit theaters March 21, 1997, was Lopez's first major leading role after a number of smaller supporting roles, and preceded the release of her debut album, On the 6, by two years.
Known as the "Queen of Tejano," Selena died on March 31, 1995. She rocketed to fame in the '90s as one of the first major female stars of the male-dominated genre, which she helped popularize on the Latin charts and the GRAMMY stage. Along with her brother, A.B. Quintanilla, who helped produce most of her music, she was known for hits like "Como La Flor," "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," and "No Me Queda Más" as well as her posthumous crossover English hits like "Dreaming of You" and "I Could Fall in Love."
ET was on the set of Selena back in 1996, when Lopez opened up about the opportunity to play the legend.
"Selena was such a great role model and she broke so many barriers. She did so much great stuff for the Latino community, and gave all these little girls somebody to look up to," she said at the time. "The movie, in that sense, can help in the same way, breaking down barriers in Hollywood [because] we've had so many problems getting good roles. For me it's such a blessing. It's an honor to be able to do this."