Pop Culture: Jennifer Lopez as Selena

Jennifer Lopez cast as Selena
Gregory Nava
’s decision to cast Jennifer Lopez as Selena was initially met with a backlash from a small section of the Latino community for being the wrong kind of Latina to play the slain Tejano singer. ''I know a few people were protesting, but in Corpus [Christi, Tex., Selena's hometown] everyone has been really supportive,'' insisted Lopez, who endured a grueling test that Nava remembers included ''nine minutes of singing and dancing and eight pages of script.'' Lopez put in the time to perfect Selena's dialect and study performance footage. “This is someone who's fresh in the public's mind,'' reasoned the Puerto Rican-American actress. ''So you need to do your homework on this gig.'' In the end, Lopez silenced the critics with her breakthrough performance and eventually became a singing sensation in her own right!

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About this author

Miranda Noland,

Miranda Noland is the Senior Photo Editor for Latina.com. She handles all the photo needs for the site and occasionally writes a thing or two. Growing up in a small town in Missouri, she collected (and hoarded) magazines and dreamed of working at one someday. She studied art and design at Drury University and moved to New York City after graduating. She loves being an aunt to her two nephews and has recently moved to be closer to them. She's a pop culture junkie who watches way too much television, and she still hoards magazines.