Selena Gomez to star as Linda Ronstadt in upcoming biopic

A couple days after the Golden Globes, Selena Gomez posted a pic on Instagram of her reading Linda Ronstadt’s memoir, Simple Dreams. Shortly after that the news became official: Selena will play Linda in an upcoming biopic. Was the timing of the announcement a way to shift the conversation from what Selena may or may not have been gossiping about at the Globes? I don’t know, I doubt it, and ultimately I don’t care because I friggin’ love this casting! The project is in pre-production and doesn’t even have a confirmed title yet, but Variety still assembled some details for us:

Selena Gomez will play Linda Ronstadt in an upcoming biopic, Variety has confirmed.

The pop singer and “Only Murders in the Building” star teased the role Tuesday night by posting a picture of Ronstadt’s 2013 memoir “Simple Dreams” on her Instagram story.

The music biopic is currently in pre-production, with producers including Ronstadt’s manager, John Boylan, and James Keach, who produced the 2019 documentary “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.”

No other casting has been announced.

Ronstadt is a country, rock ‘n’ roll and Latin music legend, with her 1970s albums “Heart Like a Wheel” and “Simple Dreams” reaching critical and commercial success and showcasing her versatility across genres. Throughout her career she has won 11 Grammys, and she was honored by both the Recording Academy and the Latin Recording Academy with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Ronstadt and Gomez are both of Mexican descent. The latter has been nominated twice for a Golden Globe for her performance on Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” which she executive produces and stars in alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short. Gomez broke out as an actor on Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” and achieved success as a music artist with hits like “Lose You to Love Me” and “Love You Like a Love Song.”

Ronstadt’s 2019 doc was directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and chronicled the artist’s nearly five-decade career and domination of the country-rock genre. In 2011, Ronstadt announced her retirement, later revealing she is no longer able to sing due to her progressive supranuclear palsy, which was originally mistaken for Parkinson’s.

[From Variety]

Yeah, I’m a fan of this casting, as aforementioned. Selena’s got the stature, the frame, and facial features that align with Linda’s, so fingers crossed for no prosthetics. And I imagine Selena will do her own singing? What always stunned me with Linda Ronstadt was how that massive voice emerged from such a petite person. She really shaped her performances, too, with very intentionally quiet moments set against big releases of emotion. A particular favorite Linda song of mine is the ballad “Long Long Time,” which I hope we get to see Selena recreate. And I bet she’s gonna look groovy in the 70s and 80s costumes. Very excited for this one! So, who will be cast as former boyfriend CA Governor Jerry Brown? Not Timothée Chalamet, LOL.

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Photos credit: Paul Canty/Avalon, Julie Edwards/Avalon, Jonathan Rebboah/Panoramic/Avalon, Getty and via Instagram

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63 Responses to “Selena Gomez to star as Linda Ronstadt in upcoming biopic”

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  1. Bettyrose says:

    I discovered Linda Ronstat while babysitting as a teen going through their record collection. To this day, do me wrong and you will hear my rendition of Different Drum (and you don’t wanna risk that from my pipes 🤣). All to say I love this casting and look forward to it!

    • Cessily says:

      I remember singing to her music at the top of my lungs whenever she came on the radio. Selena is the perfect person to cast as her, this is a movie I will look forward to watching.

    • Bree says:

      LOL! Same here! I still can’t not listen to her “cry like a rainstorm” without happy flashbacks to babysitting duty. Discovered Sting that way too.

    • QuiteContrary says:

      “Different Drum” by her and the Stone Poneys .. brilliant.

      And “Long, Long Time” … just beautiful.

    • bananapanda says:

      Carrie Underwood did a pretty good rendition of Different Drum at Linda’s Rock n’ Roll HOF induction. I was impressed because it’s a hard song to sing.

  2. K says:

    This is going to be interesting. I like SG in OMITB and this role could be career defining for her. Curious to see how she does.

    • bettyrose says:

      It’s crazy how much they look alike in pictures. I’ve never looked at Selena and been reminded of Linda, but that’s also generational style differences. I haven’t heard much of Selena’s music, but she holds her own against comedy greats in OMITB, so I’m here for this being her super stardom breakout role.

    • VoominVava says:

      I agree! I hope she can really focus on the voice and mannerisms and pull it off! She has so much talent and is a really beautiful singer. I love Linda Ronstadt, my Mom looks a lot like her and in the 70’s she used to sing her songs to me.. Blue Bayou was a bedtime song. 🙂

      As for the other casting : “So, who will be cast as former boyfriend CA Governor Jerry Brown? Not Timothée Chalamet, LOL. ” Timothee would be hilarious because of the gossip part – and he could pull it off for sure – but I think Andrew Garfield or maybe Cole Sprouse could pull it off? (I admit I don’t know if Cole Sprouse is a good actor or not)

  3. seaflower says:

    I like this casting. A fave LR for me is “You’re No Good”.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      I’m gonna love LR “For A Long, Long Time”.

    • bettyrose says:

      You’re both right on those classic songs, but if you’ve never belted Different Drum into a fake microphone in privacy and felt totally empowered, no time like today to give it a try. 😉

    • BeanieBean says:

      Oh, it’s ‘Blue Bayou’ for me.

  4. Tulipworthy says:

    Seems like great casting. I love Linda Ronstadt, she was the 1st concert I went to back in the 70’s.

  5. LooneyTunes says:

    This could be Selena’s Selena moment (for JLo).

    • Christine says:

      Seriously, this is great casting, and I can’t imagine anyone else who is out there now pulling it off.

  6. North of Boston says:

    Linda Ronstadt is such a fantastic singer and talented artist.

    She was my gateway to music when I was young … I’d hear one of her songs and love it, and go looking for the original and young me found Warren Zevon and Elvis Costello and Dave Edmunds and Buddy Holly and whole but of others who became my favorites, and who then turned me on to a whole new group of artists through their connections, music.

  7. Southern Fried says:

    Perfect casting it will be hard to wait for this. In the meantime I have some music to revisit, both Linda’s and Selena’s. I feel like belting out some songs this morning, is it just me?

  8. Ariel says:

    I’m really curious about how the story will be framed.
    The original eagles were formed after being brought together to be her back up band for a short tour, they described her as barefoot in a babydoll dress at the whiskey a go go. Then she got super famous – and then was like – I’m done with country rock- now I’m going to do Latin music.
    Her career is amazing.
    And all that adorable 70s musician fashion….

    I hope the movie turns out well.

    • Concern Fae says:

      A bit more complicated than that. She did a new wave record covering Elvis Costello, starred in Pirates of Penzance, and then a string of big bad records with Nelson Riddle (who had arranged a lot of Ella Fitzgerald’s best recordings. She also did an old school country record with Dolly Parton and Emmy Lou Harris before she did Canciones de Mi Padre.

      Yeah, I was a huge fan and wore out her records on my little portable player.

    • Jaded says:

      Your take is way too simplistic. I grew up with her music which ranged from country-rock to ballads, to pop tunes. Then her musical style just took off — everything from old romantic standards with Nelson Riddle to vintage Mexican folk music (which is very complicated) as an homage to her father, to operetta. The woman’s voice is a miracle, she could do anything.

      • ariel says:

        I certainly didn’t mean that was the whole of her story.
        I am just curious is where they will start, what they will include, and what the focus will be.
        As an eagles fan- i wonder how that period of time will appear on screen.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      @ariel, who? described her that way? Asking for clarification. It’s a shame if she was described that way. Linda Ronstadt was so much more than that.

      Love Linda Ronstadt and have zero problems with the casting.

      I’ll admit, with all the beautiful songs she sings, one of the ones I have most fun singing, outloud when no one else is around is-Poor Poor Pitiful Me.-Lord have mercy on me. Blue Bayou is beautiful.

      A beautiful refresher. I think Selena can pull this off. I laughed a bit about LR’s Jim Morrison comments.

  9. Ameerah M says:

    Visually – it’s great casting. But Selena doesn’t have the range vocally or acting-wise for this.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      Otoh, few people do. Linda Ronstadt’s voice is amazing. If Selena needs help, there’s always auto tune.

    • JP says:

      Agreed. Selena has a nice voice, but she lacks the power, flexibility, and effortlessness that Ronstadt has. It’s not something that can’t be faked with technology. Even vocal training probably wouldn’t be enough. Though, I’d love to be surprised by her.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        I think Jessica Lange just lip synched to Patsy Cline’s vocals in the movie, “Sweet Dreams”. They knew going in that no one could replicate that unique voice. If memory serves, it worked quite well. And Lange only had to worry about the acting.

    • NotSoSocialB says:


      This has been my beef since i first read about this a couple days ago. Linda Rondstadt had a BIG, BIG voice- man, her vocal dynamics- I don’t know many Selena Gomez songs, but she’s kind of a weak voice to portray Rondstadt.

      • jennifer romans says:

        Beverly De’Angelo played Patsy Cline on Coal Miner’s Daughter and did a fine job singing, if you have a good voice, you don’t necessarily need to lip-synch. Selena will need to lip-synch as she doesn’t have the pipes. On that subject, its always bothered me when actors win awards for role’s where they didn’t actually do any of the singing…cough cough Rami and Jamie…

      • dj says:

        I LIKE Selena and think this is a nice choice. However, I think Demo Lovato’s voice would be a BETTER choice. I think Demo could hang with the big, big voice of Linda Ronstadt. I’m sure this is will be a decent movie though.

  10. C-shell says:

    Oh, I love this so much! I first saw Linda Ronstadt (and the Doobie Brothers, and the Eagles) at Tulagi in Boulder when I was a sophomore in college. I’ll never forget sitting less than 10 feet away, drinking 3.2 beer and eating free popcorn with her lush voice and poignant emotion filling the room. I hope Selena gets to play the role without cosmetic adjustments and with her own vocals! I can’t wait for this!

  11. Mia4s says:

    Who will be cast as Jerry Brown? Forget that! Who will be cast as George Lucas?! They were together for five years!

    (She’s amazing and fascinating in her own right, to be clear.)

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      I totally forgot about the Jerry Brown thing! 🤔 Didn’t even know about GL.

    • Sankay says:

      She also dated Steve Martin and Albert Brooks.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Who will be cast as Mick Jagger, Jackson Brown, and the Eagles?

      Looking forward to this. If it’s good, it will be great for Selena’s career.

      Saw Linda perform about half a dozen times. The most memorable was with Rosemary Clooney and the Boston Pops. They were fantastic together but Rosemary kept making Linda laugh and John Williams had to wait before each song for them to regain composure. It was a night of 2 very talented women enjoying each other and wonderful music.

  12. Beech says:

    My favorite LR albums are Heart Like Like Wheel and Canciones de Mi Padre. Coal Miner’s Daughter is to my mind the gold standard of singers’ bios. I’ve never heard SG sing nor act. Can she sing?

    • pollyv says:

      Unfortunately no. I’ve seen a few videos with her voice isolated and it’s bad. She needs auto tune and backing tracks. Maybe they’ll use Linda’s voice.

  13. Digital Unicorn says:

    I love this casting – she looks a lot like her and has the pipes to pull it off. I wonder if it will cover her relationship with George Lucas (was in the 80s) who allegedly treated her badly.

  14. Snuffles says:

    I’m not mad at the casting, but Selena ain’t gonna do her own singing. Linda had a big booming voice and Selena’s is soft and wispy.

  15. girl_ninja says:

    Who’s gonna sdo the singing?

  16. Emily says:

    Love this casting. They really do look alike.

  17. Kaye says:

    Minority voice here: I don’t think Selena has the substance to play Linda Ronstadt. And if she could sing anywhere nearly as well, that’s what she’d be doing now.

    • Cheshire Sass says:

      I’m going to agree, but give her the benefit of the doubt – She will definitely need auto tune help – her vocal range in no way carries the depth of Linda Ronstadt

    • Arhus says:

      Hopefully she’ll just lip sync to Linda’s old recordings or someone else singing

  18. pollyv says:

    I hope they do justice to the great Linda with this biopic and please, dub in Linda’s voice. I like Selena but she cannot sing and is no match for the huge voice of Linda.

  19. Draadje says:

    I don’t know if SG has the range for the acting job, but few singers have LR’s range of voice as displayed in Canciones de mi Padre, I assume that SG will be dubbing those.

  20. Professor Plum says:

    Selena? Jenna Ortega was right there!

  21. Paintergal says:

    Looks wise, yes. Vocally, not a chance. LR is a vocal goddess. Selena sings with a weak baby voice.

  22. Squints says:

    Vanessa Hudgens would have been my first choice. But Selena will do fine.

  23. Colgi says:

    No. I’m not on board. But no one would ever satisfy me in casting my godess Linda. No one. I can’t fathom anyone capturing one 100th of the lightening in a bottle Linda represents. It hurts that they are even making a biopic of her. It feels …weird. I plan to ignore.
    But please…carry on 😉

    • BeanieBean says:

      I sort of feel the same way. I’ll just go pull out my albums & put them on the turntable. There’s nobody like Linda.

    • Maria says:

      Feel the same. Selena does resemble Linda in a way. But please, IMHO Selena can not act and she is going to have to really improve her pipes. No one can come near Linda in the vocal arena. She is the best.

  24. Arhus says:

    As long as Selena lays off the fillers and trys not do as much vocal fry, this could be great! They do look a lot alike and the Mexican/white/American mix is great too. Linda had such a beautiful voice.

  25. JaneS says:

    A bio of LR had better use LR own voice, her own recordings.
    A just remember her and Jerry Brown, they were dogged by the tabs back then.
    “Governor Moonbeam and the Rock Chick” was in the Enquirer pretty often.

    I don’t remember LR with Jackson Browne, romance or did they just record together?
    George Lucas? WTH did she see in him?

    Linda and Stevie Nicks both have very identifiable voices. No one else sounds like them.

    A lot of the popular music acts from that time just dominated the radio. And still do.
    The biggest radio station in Minnesota, in ad $$, has been KQRS95. A classic rock station.
    Linda, Fleetwood, Eagles, Zep, the Who, VH, Tom Petty, Beatles (who are not rock, IMO), Ozzy, AC/DC are all on playlist.

  26. JaneS says:

    Re: Links
    Pete Davidson really should be saving his money. In 5 years he will not be able to be hired at all.
    Good grief, man. Keep your mouth shut. Somethings should never be said publicly.

  27. Ladiabla says:

    I’d like to see this….as someone else said above, this is could be career changing for Selena. She in no way has Linda’s pipes but Jessica Lang didn’t sing for Patsy, JLO didn’t sing Selena’s songs. I think they should use Linda’s voice. My mom loved Linda, esp Canciones de mi Padre *tear*

  28. MyCatLovesTV says:

    If you want a good cry, listen to Linda belt out “Someone to Lay Down Beside Me.” This song broke my soul as a 19-year-old girl who didn’t have much luck in the love department. Love her music…and now I’m having Alexa give me a flashback to my youth!

  29. bisynaptic says:

    ❤️ LR. The visual resemblance is striking.

  30. blue says:

    I hope Linda gets a lot of money for this. Except for 2 or 3, she didn’t write her own songs & therefore can’t have the copyrights or collect the royalties which let so many musicians accumulate wealth. There are occasional fundraisers in the Bay Area for her benefit.
    Jerry Brown is still a good friend & I’ve heard that he & his wife always visit Linda on Thanksgiving.

  31. Glamarazzi says:

    Blue Bayou is my fave Linda song, but she also kills it on Tumblin’ Dice. Such a big beautiful voice. Her ability to turn from delicate/plaintive to belting is a rare gift. I must have listened to her album Simple Dreams a thousand times. Do her proud, Selena!

  32. Bill says:

    Unlike the rubber-stampers who can’t think past this, this is not the perfect casting. Although her family came here from Mexico, she has a German heritage. She grew up in Tucson. I followed her here for years from when she started performing locally and formed the Stone Ponys. Her’s is a magnificent voice, not approached by any current singers. Rather than pick a name, find someone who can duplicate her voice, and looks like her. Rather than looking forward to it, I’m disappointed.