Selena Gomez will play the wife of a Mexican drug cartel leader in a Spanish-language musical crime comedy called Emilia Pérez, which she stars alongside Zoe Saldaña. Previously, the former Disney actress revealed that her role in the film was “one of the most challenging things” she had ever done.

Keep reading for everything we know about the film, it’s surprising premise and what Selena has said about it.

What Is ‘Emilia Pérez’ About?

In the movie, Zoe portrays Rita, a highly skilled lawyer who feels underappreciated at her firm, where the priority seems to be assisting criminals rather than pursuing justice. Her life takes a surprising turn when she’s approached by a notorious drug cartel leader played by Karla Sofía Gascón,  who enlists her help in undergoing a gender transition surgery to fulfill his desire to become a woman. Selena costars as his oblivious wife in this unexpected journey.

Following the screening of the film at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, May 18, Selena and the rest of the cast received a full nine minute standing ovation, accompanied by plenty of hooting, whistling and cheering. According to Variety, Selena broke down in tears while costars Zoe and Édgar Ramírez shared an emotional hug during the standing ovation.

The movie is divided into four acts and also features original songs performed by the cast throughout, per Variety.

selena gomez cannes
CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 18: (L-R) Selena Gomez, Edgar Ramirez and Zoe Saldana attend the “Emilia Perez” Red Carpet at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2024 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic) Getty Images

When Does ‘Emilia Pérez Come Out?

Emilia Pérez will be released theatrically in France on August 28, 2024.

Selena has described her latest role in Emilia Pérez as “one of the most challenging things I’d done.”

Speaking on the Smartless podcast in January, the actress said. “There’s this scene where I’m being left – I’m not giving anything away – and I remember I channeled the moment when I had to go to rehab for the first time and leaving … I just felt like it was just getting that out when I remembered that first moment and being terrified so it felt really cathartic.”

“I feel like I have these moments in my life that have happened and I’m able to use that and it actually feels great, it feels like after a good cry or something, it’s a good feeling,” she continued.

“I don’t think I’ve been able to even touch the surface of what I know I’m capable of doing,” she said of her acting career, adding that she’s “very selective” or else she would be in “all of the movies that I get offered.

“I just fight for my roles and I’m always auditioning so I like to earn it,” she added.

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