Though Selena Gomez is no stranger to the small and silver screen, the 28-year-old entertainer’s IMDB is filled with roles in such films as Hotel Transylvania, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and The Dead Don’t Die. So, when Selena was cast to portray Silvia Vásquez-Lavado – the first gay woman to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents – in In The Shadow of the Mountain, it was quite a change of pace for the former Wizards of Waverly Place star. “Selena wants to make a turn in her career,” a source told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. Sel wants to “do some more serious roles and roles that are very important for her to share to her fans.”
Selena “also wants to test herself in her acting and what she produces,” the insider tells HollywoodLife. Sel will produce In the Shadow of the Mountain, based on Vásquez-Lavado’s upcoming memoir of the same name, through her July Moon Productions company. “This new role, [though] it’s only in its infancy, is very important to Selena,” adds the source. “She feels it will be a catalyst to the next phase of her career and the trajectory she wants to take it.”
“Selena loves making movies,” a second source tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “She’s been dying to get back to it.” The “Rare” singer’s most recent film credits include a voice in the 2019 Dolittle movie and a featured role in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy, A Rainy Day in New York. She did launch her cooking show, Selena + Chef, this year, but the insider tells HL that Sel’s looking to take on a meatier acting role.
“She’s constantly reading scripts and looking at possible projects, and this one [In The Shadow of the Mountain] is an absolute dream come true,” the second insider adds. “The role is going to be so challenging and exciting, and she’ll be portraying a Latina hero. She is very committed to taking on roles that represent her heritage, that’s so important to her.”
Silvia Vásquez-Lavado, in addition to being a Peruvian mountaineer, is also known for founding Courageous Girls, “a nonprofit that helps survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking,” according to Variety. Silvia has also “organized excursions for abuse survivors to the Mount Everest base camp.” The memoir is slated for a 2022 publication date. Elgin James, writer-director of Little Birds and co-creator of Mayans M.C., will write and direct the biopic.