Break out the tres leches cake: today is Celia Cruz’s birthday! The Queen of Salsa would have turned 89 today (October 21), and we can’t think of better news to share than the biographical TV series that Fox Telecolombia Network is developing with Canal RCN. Filming for the biopic-novela began in September, but lots of details are still under wraps. Here’s what we do know:
The series, made up of 80 one-hour episodes, will span Cruz’s life from infancy to the height of her fame — which means it’s likely we’ll see multiple actresses portraying la Reina at different ages. This would seem to jibe with all the casting news that’s leaked over the last nine months.
It was announced in January that Isa Mosquera López has been tapped to play Cruz in her early career. The Colombiana and former pop star is a regular in Canal RCN’s lineup, having appeared in a few of its variety shows. The bilingual beauty has her own YouTube channel:
Jeimy Osorio has also been cast as an incarnation of Cruz. Osorio has appeared in the films Fast Five and Maid in Manhattan, in addition to a couple of telenovelas. And we know what you’re thinking, but the answer’s no: Jeimy is not related to Fernando Osorio, the Colombian singer-songwriter who composed the last track that Celia Cruz recorded before her passing.
And rounding out this talented trio is Aymée Nuviola, a Havana-born singer and Latin Grammy nominee who’s known as “La Sonera del Mundo.” With a nickname like that, we can’t imagine anyone else playing Cruz at the height of her career. But judge for yourselves:
Modesto Lacén will portray Pedro Knight, Cruz’s husband of over forty years. Knight was himself an accomplished musician, and Lacén has already shown that he’s got the chops to do right by the role: he starred as Knight in the successful off-Broadway production, “The Life and Music of Celia Cruz.”
Cruz’s Cuban homeland is not on the list of filming locations, but Cartagena, Bogotá, and Miami are.
Currently, the plan is to air the show in its entirety in Latin America, so let’s hope HBO Latino or another network brings it stateside for us, especially since it looks like the film biopic isn’t happening anytime soon (though we can still dream about it.)