EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Saturday, April 16th is National Selena Day, which just so happens to be the late singer’s birthday as well.
Here in 2022, she would have turned 51 years old.
Also this year, the movie “Selena” is now 25 years old, although that’s still hard to believe for one El Paso actor, who had a small but memorable role in the film.
“It’s fast, man. It goes by super fast,” said Erick Carrillo. “Yeah, you know, as it sort of came along, first it was the 10-year anniversary and then 15, 20, 25, so it goes by super fast.”
Carrillo, a graduate of Bowie High School, played the role of “First Cholo” in the Selena biopic and delivered one of the most iconic lines from the film.
In fact, it was Carrillo who first uttered the line, “Anything for Salinas” — a line that is now featured on coffee mugs, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and more.
After Selena’s bus becomes stuck on the side of the road, Carrillo’s character and a friend offer to try to pull the bus with their lowrider car. In the end, all they manage to do is pull the bumper off their own vehicle. Selena and her crew are worried they’ll be mad, but Carrillo’s character says he’s actually honored to have his car damaged by Selena’s bus. He goes on to tell them he would do “Anything for Salinas,” instead of Selena(s).
That line went on to become famous, and so did Jennifer Lopez, whom Carrillo remembers as being very down-to-earth.
“She was very approachable. She was very likable. You know, I’ve seen her since a few times, and she’s always been very cool. Very classy, very open and kind to me,” he said.
But before he was acting in scenes alongside the future megastar, Carrillo was just a theater kid from Bowie High School right here in El Paso.
“Being from Bowie, sometimes you feel you’re disadvantaged,” said Carrillo. “But that disadvantage, you can definitely turn it into a strength, right?”
And though he now lives in Los Angeles, it’s El Paso that’s always in his heart and on the tip of his tongue.
“Being from El Paso, we should definitely be proud of where we’re from,” he said. “When people ask me where are you from, man, I’m always proud, very proud to say I’m from El Paso.”
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