Two decades after her breakout role portraying late Tejano singing icon Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, Jennifer Lopez says it’s “still a struggle” for Latina actresses to find such “meaty” roles.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Selena’ Turns 20! Her Family Reflects on the Movie and Her Legacy
“[Selena] was a meaty role, but it was few and far between, especially for Latinos to have a role like that,” the 47-year-old World of Dance star reflected during an interview with Variety about the biopic, which chronicled the young star’s rise to fame and tragic murder at the age of 23.
“I think it’s still challenging for women, especially being Latina,” continued Lopez. “Thinking about Selena 20 years ago, and to have a role like that, I was very lucky. I was very fortunate. But it’s still a struggle for women.”
The Shades of Blue actress went on to add that she has learned not to let limited opportunities stall her career and now takes pride in creating her own opportunities.
As well as her musical residency show, “All Of Me,” at Planet Hollywood’s AXIS Theater in Las Vegas, the mom-of-two also executive produces and stars in NBC’s cop drama Shades of Blue, will appear as a judge on upcoming reality dance competition series World of Dance, and is set to star in live TV musical Bye Bye Birdie Live! -- an idea she pitched herself to NBC.
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Lopez Remembers Selena Quintanilla in Emotional 1996 Set Visit
“At this point, you have to create your own opportunities and I think that’s why I got so much more into producing and taking into our own hands as an artist,” she explained. “I think it’s the second phase of your career -- you kind of make a name for yourself and show everybody what you do and where your talents lay, and then you have to take it into your own hands and be the artist that you want to be.”
“I think [the industry] is still moving and growing, and it’s always a challenge for women,” she added.
ET recently caught up with Selena’s family in Texas to commemorate the film’s 20th anniversary. See more below.