Noemi Gonzalez plays Suzette, the sister of the iconic singer, Selena Quintanilla in the new Netflix series. Selena: The Series explores the journey of Selena, Suzette and their family in the music world. We chatted with with Noemi Gonzalez about playing Suzette, the impact of Selena and what she hopes fans will take away from the new Netflix show.
Pure Fandom: It’s finally here! We are so excited! What can you tell us about your role in this show?
Noemi Gonzalez: I am so excited too! It has been such an honor to dive into the role of Suzette Quintanilla who is Selena’s sister and drummer for Selena y Los Dinos. It has been a magical experience to be so close to Selena in the world of the series. I am so thankful to portray such a loving, strong, supportive woman to a sister that is a star!
You learned to play drums for this role – which is AMAZING! What was that like?
Learning to play the drums was an INCREDIBLE professional and life experience that has changed my character and life. I am thankful the show provided me with my coaches Antonio Pontarelli and Kiko Brennesian to guide me through this very demanding and commanding instrument. Learning something new and so foreign can be a great challenge on top of the pressure of wanting to put my best foot forward for the portrayal of Suzette and the telling of this story. I learned so much about who I am and who Suzette was with this instrument and through that experience, I am very proud of myself, but more importantly I am proud of her.
Selena’s death was and is still so heartbreaking. What is the tone of the series, given the tragedy that we all know is coming?
The tone of the series is inspirational, nostalgic; it pulls at your heartstrings the only way Selena can.
What is it like to prepare for a role where you are playing a real person, because I imagine it’s much different than a role you are originating yourself.
It is a lot of fun to prepare for a role where I have the opportunity to portray a real person and someone that I look up to as well! I consumed everything Suzette, Selena, and Selena y Los Dinos history that I could find. I watched it over and over. I watched certain clips for the acting scenes and I watched different clips specific to performance scenes. It was so inspiring, creative, and fun!
Do you have a favorite Selena song?
How can I pick just one?! So hard to pick one because her music is so timeless and amazing. All my life, I always have a top three revolving, right now they are: No Me Queda Mas, Si Una Vez, and No Debes Jugar.
2020 has kept us all at home more than usual! What have you been doing with your extra time at home?
I had extra time at home when we were shut down during the pandemic. For 5 months I didn’t know if we were going to resume filming or not, but I stayed ready and prepped my scripts and music during the extra time at home. I made sure to have time in nature, started painting again and started online classes. The remaining amount of time under quarantine has been gratefully finishing the filming of this series under COVID restrictions!
What are you hoping fans take away from Selena when it premieres on Netflix?
I hope fans take away that Selena was and always will be a well of inspiration forever. She changed not only female representation in a male dominated industry, but also changed Mexican-American representation for the world. She did it all with her humility, her amazing smile and reinforcing for us to “Always believe the impossible is possible!
Selena: The Series season 1 is streaming on Netflix.