A ‘simple dream’ comes to fruition as Linda Ronstadt confirms biopic with Selena Gomez

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Selena Gomez attends 2022 AFI Fest, "Selena Gomez: My Mind And Me" at TCL Chinese Theatre on Nov. 2, 2022, in Hollywood, California. (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images/TNS)

Alejandra Molina
Los Angeles Times
(TNS)

Selena Gomez will portray 11-time Grammy Award-winning Linda Ronstadt in an upcoming biopic, according to various news reports.

Ronstadt, who made a name for herself in rock ‘n’ roll and country, leaned into her Mexican heritage and released Spanish-language music later in her career.

“It all started with a simple dream,” Ronstadt wrote in an Instagram story Wednesday confirming the news by sharing a post from Variety about the upcoming feature. Hours before, Gomez shared a photo on an Instagram story of Ronstadt’s memoir, “Simple Dreams.”

A director and additional cast members have not been announced for the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which noted that producer James Keach and Ronstadt’s manager, John Boylan, are attached to it. A distributor does not appear to be on board at the moment.

Keach also produced “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” a documentary about her life that opened nationwide in 2019.

Boylan’s company Great Eastern Music posted a note on its website, saying that the two stars, who are both of Mexican descent, spent a few hours at Ronstadt’s home “discussing the project and getting to know each other.”

Early last year, Ronstadt’s “Long Long Time” soared up the streaming charts after it was featured in an episode of the HBO series “The Last of Us.”

After the episode aired, Spotify announced that streams increased by over 4,900% from the week before. The Grammy-winning singer also trended on Twitter as viewers responded to the episode on social media. Google searches for Ronstadt and the song also spiked shortly after the episode aired.

“Long Long Time” is featured on Ronstadt’s second album, “Silk Purse,” which was released in 1970. The song led to her first Grammy Award nomination, for a category then known as female contemporary vocal performance, in 1971.

The song “means a lot,” said Ronstadt, a National Medal of Arts recipient. “It’s still one of my favorites.”

Ronstadt — who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 — has spoken about her progressive supranuclear palsy, a variant of Parkinson’s disease that has robbed her of her singing voice since its diagnosis in 2013.

“There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s going to get worse every day. That’s the way it is,” she said in a 2019 Los Angeles Times story. “I feel frustrated with it. It’s hard to brush my teeth now and lift up jars, and I drop things all the time. Sometimes I fall down. But that’s the new normal. I just have to accept it. I had a long turn at the trough.”

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(Los Angeles Times staff writer Fidel Martinez contributed to this report.)

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