The actors also teased what to expect in Part 2 of the Netflix series.
It's been 25 years since the Queen of Tejano music tragically died in 1995, but her legacy continues with the Netflix series starring Christian Serratos as the Latina icon. ET's Deidre Behar spoke with the actress and cast members Ricardo Chavira, Gabriel Chavarria, Seidy Lopez and Noemi Gonzalez about their experience of filming the show.
When Jennifer Lopez portrayed Selena in the 1997 biopic, she spent time with the singer's family, including sister Suzette Quintanilla. However, this time around the cast explained why they didn't integrate themselves into Selena's parents, Abraham and Marcella Quintanilla, nor her siblings A.B. and Suzette's live to help prepare for their roles.
"I went straight to work," Christian says of diving into the project. "I was so grateful for the internet. I had great resources, I relied too heavily on Selena fan pages and YouTube, and production had such great pieces for us to review. Luckily we had her family on board because it gave us more of an intimate understanding of her and the hard work that came before her becoming the legend that we know today."
Ricardo, who portrays Selena's father, shared that they didn't interact much with the family but did have Suzette, who is an executive producer, to get more family stories.
"For me personally, I am glad that I didn't have the contact because I was just kind of able to sit in this, what I was doing and how I was approaching this role without any outside interference," he noted, with Gabriel adding, "I do think the family understood that it is a TV show. It's a different process and I am sure that they were very, very respectful of it. We did get the chance to chat with Suzette and that was great. She was awesome to chat with for a little while and like Ricardo said we were trying to get together and then it couldn't really work and then COVID hit."
For the most part, the cast absorbs themselves with old family footage provided by the family and videos of the late singer to get a better idea of how to bring the real-life characters to life.
Noemi also added that Suzette provided materials that weren't available to the public for them "to really deep dive and shape our characters." "Seidy, Christian and myself met Suzette the last two weeks of filming and it was a beautiful, beautiful moment. Our designated 30 minutes turned into an hour and a half and we just connected as women, now musicians, artists and all things Selena and the legacy," she added.
The first season focuses on Selena, her upbringing, strong family bond and, as Christian expressed, "what a hardworking Mexican-American family they were."
"It was really exciting for me to see that she didn't always look the way I thought she looked," she continued. "It's a coming of age story and you are seeing her find herself as an artist, change her look and hair. I don't think a lot of fans really know that about her. So season one is going to be really fun for the fans."
As for what Part 2 of Selena: The Series will include, the cast promises it will have a lot more music, live performances and Selena’s romantic relationship with her husband, Chris Perez.
"I am excited for them to see this love story and I think the work that Jesse [Posey] did was just so good," Christian exclaimed, adding that the secret to her and Posey's chemistry was "a lot of communication. Jesse and I got on so well and he is such an incredible actor, so honest, charming and people are just going to fall in love and gush over Jesse."
"I am so grateful that I had him in that position playing Selena's husband because him and I worked a lot with each other and had to be very vulnerable with each other," she continued. "And trust each other, and I trust Jesse so much."
Ricardo also noted his enthusiasm for seeing Selena and Chris' love story unfold. "I am excited for fans to see in Part 2 is the relationship that forms between Chris and Selena and how they start to manage becoming young adults in a relationship."
Seedy added, "You get to see more concerts, you get to see more of the music, relationships."
"You really get to see these children grow up as adults and how they navigate the world as adults," Noemi chimed in. "So it's really nice to see that with all things in mind already with the history we know. It's really fun to see the characters we fell in love with in a new segment of their life."
For more on what to expect, watch the video above. Selena: The Series is now streaming on Netflix.