Ricardo Chavira took nice pleasure in bringing the late Selena Quintanilla’s life story to the small display.

The 49-year-old actor visitor hosted Friday’s episode of Entertainment Tonight and chatted with Nischelle Turner about his function as Abraham Quintanilla on Selena: The Series and displaying a brand new facet of the singer’s father.

The Texas native grew up in San Antonio, Texas and was born the identical yr as Selena in 1971. While he loved rock and metallic again in his day, he remembers moving into his father’s truck and listening to Tejano music collectively.

“Invariably they’d always have a Selena song on, so I knew about [her] and then reading the paper I’d see where she was performing, and seeing the local telecast you see when she was winning awards,” he recalled. “So it was very much a part of the framework of my young adulthood. And then as I got older, I became nostalgic for those truck rides with my dad and I started listening to conjunto and Tejano music, which I still listen to a lot today. And her songs they resonated very well, even today.”

The function of Abraham particularly resonated with Ricardo, who noticed numerous his father and uncles within the Quintanilla patriarch. As a father of two, it additionally made him replicate on his parenting type.

“I got a 17-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter and you definitely draw from that. A lot of people, I think, they see Abraham as being someone harsh, stern, and that’s very indicative of that generation of Mexican American men and that age group,” he defined. “That’s my father and that’s a lot of my tios, and those men raised me. So I have some of that. I feel like my parenting is a bit old school. But the thing is, at the foundation, if you have compassion and love, that’s what parenting is. Compassion, love, but a little hard sometimes.”

What Ricardo discovered alongside the way in which was that Abraham did not simply give robust love but additionally made large private sacrifices for his kids; daughters Selena and Suzette and son A.B.

“What I think sometimes people miss about him is, it was his dream to be a musician and then he passed it to his children because he wasn’t accomplishing his dream for whatever reason,” Ricardo expressed. “He saw something in them. He drove the bus, he carried the bags, he was the roadie, he was managing money, managing schedules. That’s a complete act of selflessness to put his children in front of him. I’m sure there was selfishness to it too. But me looking at that as a parent, that’s the ultimate act of parenting, to be completely selfless and put your child before you.”

In making ready for the function, Ricardo admitted that he is by no means seen the 1997 biopic starring Jennifer Lopez, explaining that the movie got here out a pair years after Selena’s tragic dying and “it didn’t resonate” with him on the time.

“And I also thought I grew up around this story, or the story and I grew up together, so I don’t need to see the movie,” he added. “But I’ve seen clips of it over the years. And when I found out I was going to get this role… I made sure not to watch the movie because I didn’t want it to inform any of my decision making as an actor and how I was going to approach the role.”

“I mean Edward James Olmos, he’s amazing! He’s an amazing, authentic, talent that is also part of me, Mexican American,” he mentioned of the 73-year-old actor who portrayed Selena’s father within the movie. “He’s iconic…I never saw it, but now I’m kind of nervous to see it.”

However, the distinction between his and Olmos’ portrayal of Abraham is that the sequence offers a “more intimate look” into how the Quintanilla household received into present biz.

“It’s storytelling from when she started at 9-10 years old through the high school years and then when they started having success,” he famous. “And that’s that first part of the series. What you do get that’s unlike the movie is you have a fully realized Quintanilla family. You have fully realized characters in Suzette played by Noemi Gonzalez and A.B. played by Gabriel Chavarria, Marcella played by the wonderful Seidy Lopez. I just absolutely loved working with her.”

For Ricardo, who’s been within the business for over twenty years, seeing a Mexican American story on the display is so fulfilling.

“I’m Mexican American. This story is a story about a Mexican American family. One of the things my father always impressed upon me is, never forget where you came from, never forget your roots,” he expressed. “All of my family members before were migrant farm workers. So it resonates, the struggle, those hard times, those meager times for them. I read it in the script and it resonated with me. It’s like, is our story exactly the same? No, but are there similarities? Yeah, there’s a lot of similarities.”

“Representation matters,” he continued. “I realized that there were so many things that were similar to the man that I have in San Antonio that I call my father because he is of that same generation and a lot of my tios. And for me, this is a beautiful way to pay homage to this family that is specifically from south Texas and Mexican American, and their story and Selena’s legacy. It’s also a bit of an homage to my family and my roots.”

For extra from the Selena: The Series forged, watch under. Part One in now streaming on Netflix.