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Selena Quintanilla-Pérez will be resurrected once more in a new Netflix series this month. The Tejano superstar, who was tragically slain just before her 24th birthday in 1995, left behind not just a musical legacy, but also a complicated but loving family and an absolutely devoted husband in Chris Pérez. So, where is Chris Pérez now? Find out as you get ready to binge Selena: The Series.
How did Selena meet Chris Pérez?
Selena met Pérez when her brother, Abraham “A.B.” Isaac Quintanilla III asked Pérez to join their band, Selena Y Los Dinos.
When did Selena and Chris Pérez get married?
Selena and Pérez eloped on April 2, 1992.
Did Selena’s father get along with Chris Pérez?
Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla II, had a complicated relationship with Pérez before the “Como la Flor” singer’s tragic death. While Quintanilla welcomed Pérez into the band’s fold at first, he and Selena’s mother, Marcella, were fiercely protective of Selena and her brand. In his memoir, To Selena, With Love, Pérez wrote that Quintanilla didn’t approve of Pérez dating Selena because of his rocker lifestyle, fearing it would tarnish Selena’s public image to be linked with him. “I’m sure that to Abraham I was a stereotype, a ponytailed, beer-drinking hard rock guitarist in a Tejano disguise.”
As a result of Quintanilla’s perceived disapproval, Pérez and Selena kept their relationship a secret. At one point, he confronted Pérez and warned him to end their budding romance after Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla, told him that she saw Selena and Pérez holding hands. Eventually, Selena’s father learned of the depth of the relationship and was not happy. Pérez feared losing his job and also the love of his life. While Quintanilla and the rest of the band alienated Pérez, they didn’t fire him immediately, but eventually did let him go because of his relationship with Selena.
He explained to The Houston Chronicle, “It was as perfect as it could be. That doesn’t mean it was perfect-perfect. We were just a normal young couple, in love trying to figure it out. I felt so bad and guilty for the fact that we had to hide things from her father because literally everybody else knew…so it was like, ‘Oh, [expletive],’ every time he walked in.”
The romance never ended, however, and eventually Selena’s father grew to accept and love Pérez after he and Selena tied the knot, though it was clearly a hard road getting there.
What happened to Chris Pérez after Selena died?
After Selena’s murder, Pérez was understandably inconsolable, noting in his memoir that he didn’t eat for days. He also struggled to sleep, and turned to drugs and alcohol to not only numb himself from guilt he said he felt for not being able to protect Selena from Yolanda Saldívar, but also to help get some rest. Thankfully, he is now healthy, noting to The Hollywood Reporter that writing To Selena, With Love helped ease him from much of the “boxes and boxes of baggage” he’d carried since Selena’s death.
In 1996, Pérez left Corpus Christi and moved to San Antonio, where his father lived.
Did Chris Pérez ever remarry?
Pérez married Venessa Villanueva in 2001. They shared two children, daughter Cassie and son Noah. The couple divorced in 2008.
What is Chris Pérez doing now?
Pérez is still making music. In 1999, he formed the Chris Pérez Band. Their debut album, Resurrection, featured several songs about Selena and won the Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album Grammy in 2000.
After releasing the sophomore album Una Noche Más in 2000, the band split up. He continued periodically making music with fellow members of Selena Y Los Dinos (including a reunion). His most recent musical efforts have been with the Chris Pérez Project.
In 2012, Pérez said that he was still close with the Quintanilla family, who he said approved of his book, but only after its release. “I didn’t say anything to anyone while writing it,” he admitted to The Hollywood Reporter. “It wasn’t because I was afraid of the reaction, but I just wanted to be at peace when I was writing it. When I was done and talked to Abraham about it, he said, ‘Son, if it’s something you feel you need to do, you have every right to do it.’”
Pérez, whose love for hot and spicy foods was immortalized in Selena, also released his own line of hot sauce called Pérez Pepper Sauce.
In a 2015 interview, Pérez said that he’s determined to keep Selena’s legacy alive: “It went from something that I tried to downplay to something I’ve gotten comfortable with. To be able to go out there and talk about it and see the love that the fans have 20 years later is inspiring.”
Does Chris Pérez get along with Selena Quintanilla’s family now?
Whether Pérez and the Quintanilla family are still on good terms is rather murky, largely due to projects each have proposed about Selena’s life.
According to Billboard, in 2016, Abraham Quintanilla II sued both Pérez and Endemol Shine Latino for developing a project based on Pérez’s To Selena, With Love, which Quintanilla dubbed as unauthorized and exploitative; Quintanilla cited a contract that Pérez signed shortly after Selena’s death granting him 25 percent of net profits from Selena’s estate in exchange for recognizing Quintanilla as sole owner of her music and image rights. The case was dismissed in 2019, but Pérez filed a counterclaim, Billboard reported, alleging that Quintanilla coerced him into signing the contract without a lawyer when he was debilitated by grief. A trial is slated for February 2021.
In April 2020, Pérez posted a photo of actor Jesse Posey, who plays him in Selena: The Series, on Instagram, captioning it, “Here is a pic I just saw of the actor playing me in the Netflix series. For the record, never met him, haven’t seen the script, and I have NO idea what is going on…..but, I’d love to find out.” The Quintanilla family executive-produced and developed Selena: The Series.
In December 2020, his views on the family appeared to have softened at least slightly. He admitted to Austin 360 that he’s unsure if he’d tune in to the Selena: The Series and was never consulted about the project, but added, “I’m not trying to not be a part of anything…At the end of the day, we all have our perspective on certain things and how things happened,” he says. “I’ve put out everything I wanted to put out already. There’s not much more I want to say, and that’s the God-honest truth.”
Is Chris Pérez in the Selena Netflix series? Who plays him?
As mentioned, Jesse Posey will play Pérez in Selena: The Series. He won’t appear until the end of Part 1, however. Posey is a relatively fresh face.
What did Chris Pérez think of Selena: The Series on Netflix?
Though Pérez previously shaded Selena: The Series for his lack of involvement, he has no ill will toward the project, nor toward the Quintanilla family, it seems. He wrote on Instagram after the first season of the Netflix hit dropped, “Alright so, here is my take on this. I loved her music even before I joined the band. I was intrigued by the fact that her brother had his name on everything as producer. Keyboard player Ricky Vela was my hero as far as musicianship goes. Her dad ran some amazing sound when I went to see them at an event in San Antonio. I learned so much by taking on their guitar player Roger Garcia’s parts and doing my best to stretch it even further. They had a girl drummer that laid it DOWN (Suzette really is a bada**). Joe and Pete brought the “extra” and added a whole other dimension PLUS Pete wrote amazing lyrics….and they sounded HEAVY.” He added, “I will forever respect the band and the people involved in it. I hope you guys enjoy this series.”
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