Jennifer Lopez Honors ‘Selena’ With Epic Throwback Videos For Film’s 24th Anniversary

Jennifer Lopez will always treasure her first leading film role.

On Sunday, the A-lister commemorated the 24th anniversary of “Selena,” in which she portrayed the late singer Selena Quintanilla. Jennifer posted a series of throwback videos from the movie in honor of its landmark, and she noted in a lengthy and heartfelt Instagram caption how much the opportunity to portray the Tejano icon meant to her.

“I can’t believe it’s been 24 years since the release of Selena. I’m so proud of this movie!!! So proud to be a small part of Selena’s amazing legacy. When I was preparing for the role, I studied her tirelessly, her every step, her finger movements, her lips … her infectious laugh…her expressions,” Jennifer wrote, captioning a clip from the film showing her in one of its most memorable performance scenes.

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The 51-year-old went on to recall the invaluable advice she got from an acclaimed co-star prior to shooting the now-legendary sequence and how grateful she is that the wise words paid off.

“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 Selena’s 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…’ so I did and just did my thing… the rest is what you see in the movie!! Thank you Selena!!” she continued.

JLo bookended her post with two more trips down memory lane, sharing excerpts of herself in character performing two of Selena’s biggest hits, “I Could Fall In Love” and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.”

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A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo)

Jennifer was just 26 when she beat out over 20,000 actresses who auditioned for the part of Selena. At the film’s premiere in 1997, she told Access Hollywood that she knew it was a groundbreaking moment bigger than her.

“How many times do you see a Latina walking down the red carpet and she’s actually starring in the movie in the title role? Not often,” Jennifer said at the time, adding, “It’s a celebration of her life, and uplifting and inspiring, just like she was.”

Selena was shot and killed on March 31, 1995 at just 23 years old. Her friend and former fan club president Yolanda Saldívar was convicted of the murder and is currently serving a life sentence at a Texas prison.

Selena received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017 and Lifetime Achievement honors at the Grammy Awards earlier this month.

After the star-making role catapulted Jennifer to household name status, she went on to become a music superstar in her own right. Her debut album “On the 6” dropped in 1999, just two years after “Selena” hit theaters.

— Erin Biglow

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