Selena star Noemi Gonzalez
Source: Vince Trupsin

For Noemí González, Playing Suzette Quintanilla in 'Selena: The Series' Is a Dream Come True (EXCLUSIVE)

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Feb. 18 2021, Updated 12:52 p.m. ET

Netflix's Selena: The Series has been one of the most anticipated series to arrive on the platform. Billed as a two-part scripted series set to explore the incredible life of Selena Quintanilla, fans of the "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" star can finally exhale on Dec. 4 when Netflix drops the first batch of episodes of Selena.

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Distractify had the opportunity to talk exclusively with actress Noemí González, who plays the character of Selena's sister, Suzette Quintanilla, about her experience shooting the series, what it took to get into character, and her excitement about getting to play one of her childhood idols.

did noemi gonzalez really play the drums selena netflix
Source: Cesar Fuentes Cervantes/NETFLIX
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Did Noemí really play the drums in 'Selena'?

The general public learned that Selena: The Series would be coming to fruition back in December of 2018. But it wasn't until August of 2019 that Noemí had her first-ever drum lesson.

"I learned how to play [the drums] through the character preparation so it's been really fun to have that opportunity," she told us exclusively. But Noemí is no stranger to music. "I sing," she shared, and added that singing is how she started her acting career.

In fact, Noemí revealed that before concentrating on acting during her studies at UC Santa Barbara, the actress thought she "was going to be a music teacher."

But then, as she puts it, "acting found me."

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"This show reinvigorated my musicianship," she explained. "But it all started from when I was a little girl singing to acting finding me and honing my craft for these years and then booking this role that specifically I was stretched in drums, and learning that instrument as opposed to what I'd known before."

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To say Noemí was a really big fan of Selena before taking on this role is a huge understatement.

We figured that Noemí would have been familiar with Selena before taking on the role, but what we didn't know was just how connected their paths were.

"I'm a huge Selena fan," she told us. "I was a fan of hers before she was posthumously famous. I was following her very early on when she was appearing on variety shows on Mexican channels."

"My mom knew immediately that she was someone to follow and support," she continued, "so she was a very big impact on my life as a Latina, as a little girl watching her and listening to her music and vibing with her and her legacy."

Plus, both the actress and the late star were raised Jehovah's Witness, which you can read more about here.

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"[Selena]'s been a huge, huge, huge inspiration and role model and huge pillar of my artistry because I had that experience before being a part of the show," Noemí explained of how intimately familiar she was with Selena's work before signing on to the series.

Her mom, who would call her to the TV as a child any time Selena made an appearance, is beaming with pride at the fact that her daughter now gets to play a part in telling the late Tejano star's story.

"My mom couldn't be more proud of how connected this is to our immigrant and Mexican roots and our Mexican-American pursuit of happiness," Noemí gushed. "Living the American dream in our own way and that we had our own connection to it and now that I've reached this place in my career where I have the blessing and the approval from Suzette Quintanilla and the family to retell this story is just ... I don't want to say surreal because I want to honor this blessing. It's so major."

Selena: The Series premieres Dec. 4 on Netflix.

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