Selena Quintanilla's presence remains so strong, even her family feels that she's still alive.
Two years after her death, the Quintanilla family decided to release the "Selena" movie to honor and commemorate her life, allowing fans to see a side of her they never had access to. "I wanted the world to know about my kids, and my daughter," her father, Abraham, told Entertainment Tonight. On the 20th anniversary of the film's debut, the singer's sister, Suzette, joined their dad for a look back on the film's impact.
To prepare for the movie, Jennifer Lopez moved in with Suzette in order to bring the most authentic, raw portrayal of the iconic singer.
Suzette remembers Lopez asking a lot of questions, studying videos of Selena, and ultimately just hanging out with them to "vibe with the family."
And the first time the family saw Lopez in hair and makeup, they had to do a double-take.
"She gave me chills…I literally, for a split second, I thought it was my sister," said Suzette.
Abraham and Suzette opened up about what the movie got right, and the moments we loved that didn't actually happen, like this scene.
The well-known "washing machine" dance scene? FALSE.
Selena's mom, Marcella, never taught her how to dance like that. But, don't feel too disheartened because the "anything for Selenas!" moment was real. Phew.
Abraham admitted that the movie nailed his anger and disapproval the first time he saw his daughter wearing a bustier on stage, because he's a "typical Mexican father."
"She always wore it with class. Always," Suzette added of the bustiers her mom made for Selena.
The family's patriarch also explained why he was so fearful of a relationship between Chris and Selena.
"You have to understand my point of view, how I see things. I didn’t know Chris that well. What if he was a macho type — a machista — because there have been incidents, like they get married and say, 'Well, you’re not going to sing no more.' And all the work, all the sacrifices that we’ve done, will go down the tube," he said.
As the years have gone by, Abraham wishes he had been more accepting of the love between Chris and Selena.
He said he didn't want the elopement scene to be in the film because of the message it sent to young girls. Although he requested it to be cut, it stayed. "I feel bad that I was over-strict, too strict, that I put her in that situation where [she felt she had to elope]."
Both Suzette and Abraham reflected on the decision to include Selena's death in the film, and why it was so important to the overall story.
"It was a true happening. She was killed. We didn’t go into details, but we did show what happened to her," Abraham said. He only saw the ending once, in a theater with the Warner Bros. crew after the film was finished.
Although Suzette said it was "done tastefully," she hasn't let her son finish the movie because that scene is too difficult to watch.
"Sometimes I forget that she’s not here with us anymore."
Both Selena's father and sister acknowledge how difficult it is to cope with her death. They want her to be remembered as a "giving person" with a "sweet personality" who was "always happy" — exactly how people see her 'til this very day.