Spanish Network Telemundo has kick-off production of the much anticipated Jenni Rivera bio-series titled “Jenni Rivera: Mariposa de Barrio,” (Neighborhood Butterfly) an inspiring and moving story based on Jenni Rivera’s autobiography “Unbreakable.”
Network executives announced the three actresses chosen to portray Rivera in different stages of her life will be Regina Orquin, Samadhi Zendejas and Angelica Celaya.
Regina Orquin who is 9 years old, will portray a young Dolores Rivera (Jenni Rivera’s real name) who was born and raised by her immigrant parents in Long Beach, California and where she was first introduced to the sounds of traditional Mexican music.
Rosie Rivera who is Jenni Rivera’s sister says Orquin is already a favorite with her nephew Johnny (Jenni’s youngest son) because he is getting the opportunity see a portrayal of his mother as a child.
“Johnny is in love with Regina,” said Rosie. “He has yet to meet her but I think he says he loves her because he is getting to know his mother through Regina’s portrayal of his mother (as a little girl) and if Jenni’s son feels like that, I just know the fans are going to love her too.”
Playing Rivera in her most tumultuous stage will be Samadhi Zendeja who will give the viewers an inside look at the difficult times Rivera had to face beginning at age 15 when she became pregnant with daughter Janney Marin also known as Chiquis.
Zendeja says is a dream come true to be able to give life to Jenni Rivera, she has spent several months with the Rivera family trying to come up with Rivera’s true essence.
“I’m very thankful to Jenni’s family for opening up and sharing things that are very painful,” said Zendeja. “All of these things have helped me with my process of becoming Jenni Rivera in this series,” said Zendeja.
Giving life to the music diva in her adult stage will be Mexican-American actress Angelica Celaya who has starred in various television projects including the high rated super series “Señor de los Cielos.”
Celaya said she feels honored to have been given the responsibility to portray such a talented and strong woman.
“I am thankful for the character that is Jenni Rivera because through this portrayal we will all learn what is like to be a fighter,” said Celaya. “I hope Jenni’s fans can accept this beautiful homage we are doing with great love for all of them because the Queen of la Banda will live on all the way to Long Beach baby!”
In addition to the stellar lineup of actresses, the production also features a talented supporting cast that includes Gabriel Porras as Don Pedro Rivera (Jenni’s father), Rosalinda Rodriguez who will play Doña Rosa (Jenni’s mother), Stephanie Arcila as Rosie, Marcela Alcaraz in the role of Chiquis and Uriel del Toro who will bring life to the role of Juan Rivera (Jenni’s brother).
“We feel blessed to be working with Telemundo on this story honoring the life of my sister, Jenni,” said Rosie. “Our partnership with the network has allowed us to be involved in every aspect of the series and to contribute details and recommendations that only we, her family could.”
Jenni Rivera was a singer, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur and single mother of five whom despite her difficulties and tragedies worked tirelessly to achieve success for her family.
Rivera was admired and loved by million for her strength and determination, her life was cut short by a tragic plane crash on December 9, 2012.