'Selena: The Series': Suzette Quintanilla Shares the Scene that Made Her Cry (Exclusive)

ET spoke with Selena's sister about bringing their family's story to life, the toughest and most emotional moment and more.

Selena Quintanilla's legacy continues thanks to her family. Two years after Selena: The Series was first announced by Netflix, fans of the late Queen of Tejano music will now get to relive her story and get an even closer look at how the Texas-born singer rose to fame.

Suzette Quintanilla, the late Selena's sister, spoke with ET's Deidre Behar about what makes this series with Christian Serratos so special, and how it differs from the 1997 biopic starring Jennifer Lopez.

"The difference is that the series is about the actual journey of us being a family, struggling to understand and figure out this musical part of us that we didn't really realize that we had," Suzette explained. "A lot of the growth of Selena y Los Dinos, basically, and the journey. I like to call it my life journey, our family's life journey, really."

Selena was only 23 years old when she was fatally shot in 1995. In her short -- yet successful -- career, the GRAMMY-winning artist delivered hits like “Como la Flor” and “Amor Prohibido," and became a Latina icon.

"I love the movie, by the way," Suzette expressed. "It's just that, it's hard to create your whole life and trying to [show] the interaction of the closeness that [our brother] Abe, Selena and I had as siblings and how things really got done."

With the full family behind the series, Selena's close bond with Suzette and brother A.B. Quintanilla is showcased like never before. And in creating those intimate moments, Suzette said she understands that it might be "difficult for people to really wrap themselves around this series."

"This series is more about all the questions, the little things that Selena's fans have been asking throughout the years like, 'Why was this song created or why this?'" she noted. "It's more about filling in the full story of our journey and hopefully inspiring those who are going on a journey of their own. And whatever their dream is, to understand this was not a rise to fame right away. It was not like that. It took quite a bit of years and a lot of hardship as a family and being able to get where we were before she was ultimately taken from us."

It took some time for Selena: The Series to come to life. When it finally did, it fell on an important year; the 25th anniversary of her death.

"This series coming out this year, I feel like is an important year in Selena's legacy. It's a celebration of Selena's life," Suzette explained, "how her fans have carried her throughout the last 25 years."

While it's been more than two decades since the family lost Selena, reliving her life still continues to be a bittersweet journey.

"It was very sad too because she's not here, and so it was those little moments, like, this was really cool and then you realize that she's not here. She's the one not part of this trio anymore," she stated. "It had a lot of mixed emotions, if anything. I'm forever grateful and I'm grateful for the platform Netflix is able to give us, to be able to talk about this series. I don't think that a lot of people realize that this type of platform is not given to everyone, especially us as Mexican-Americans."

"To have a platform like Netflix and for two seasons to be able to tell our story, it's just, it's without words. I'll be forever grateful for Netflix and for Campanario for making this happen," Suzette added. "Latinos, we're knocking on the door and I'm happy that we're a part of that."


When creating the Selena film, Lopez spent time with Suzette and the Quintanilla family to get to know them, whereas Serratos didn't. But Suzette said, "It wasn't by choice. If anything, I just think we're in 2020 now and there's YouTube," noting the information about her sister that is available on the internet and social media. 

Suzette shared that the former Walking Dead star was "definitely our family's top choice."

"I feel like people are so critical about her not looking exactly like Selena, and it reminds me how it was back in the day when Jennifer Lopez got the part," Suzette recalled. "There was this big ol' upset also within the Latino community that Jennifer looked nothing like Selena, she was Puerto Rican and I can go on and on. We actually had a separate press conference in Spanish just because of that."

As far as Serratos not being an exact lookalike of Selena, Suzette admitted she "will never see anyone else as my sister." However, she knew Serratos was right for the part.

"To me, at the end of the day, it's about the story and not one person on this Earth is going to look exactly like my sister and act like my sister," she noted. "She was one of a kind and I think there are a lot of impersonators that favor Selena, but they don't act like her or they don't know how to act."

"[Christian] is a great person and a goodhearted person and I know that she worked extremely hard," Suzette relayed. "When she and I spoke, I asked her, 'Did you expect this controversy about you? This heavy controversy?' And she said, 'Yes, I did.' I think she said her husband even said, 'Are you sure you want to step into this role?' and she said yes. I love that about her. That's a fierce Latina. I loved [that] about her and that's definitely a trait my sister had as well, not afraid to step into a zone that she was not familiar with."


Serratos has continued to impress Suzette, who shared that watching certain moments really made her tear up.

"There was a couple of scenes in the series that I just started to cry because it literally was on point. There's a scene where my sister was singing 'Feelings' and I just started crying because it took me back," Suzette shared. "It's the younger scenes that really got me, where it's us three and my father is trying to to make us listen to different instruments and we have to tell him what that instrument is doing. He's trying to train our ear, and it was pretty on point."

"I just started crying because I remember how frustrated [I was]. It made me cry because it just felt good seeing that scene because it was almost exactly how they portrayed it," she continued, applauding the show's writers for recreating the special moments that the family shared with them.

Selena: The Series will have two parts, with the first one now streaming on Netflix. As for extending the show for a third season, Suzette believes they're "good with the two seasons."

"I'm honored at the two seasons," she said, adding she was amazed that the streaming platform wanted two parts. "The fact that my sister is not here, and I'm not going to say that it's an easy thing for you to be able to go through, it's hard. Sometimes it's easier than other times to be able to share [her story] and sometimes it's not and it messes with my head."

But Suzette can't wait for the fans to really dive into the series and watch all the performances. She even expressed how much Selena would have enjoyed the bio-series, saying, "I think that she would have loved it! Also, I think that she probably would have been playing herself, you know, learn and dabble in acting."

Selena: The Series is now streaming on Netflix. See more in the video below.