America Ferrera disagrees with people who only ask questions about her appearance. During an ATX panel in 2017, the Ugly Betty The actress lamented that so many of the questions she asked about the beloved TV series centered around her physical appearance. It is time, she said, for a change.
Ferrara rose to fame in ABC’s “Ugly Betty” in the 2010s
Between 2010 and 2016, Ferrera played Betty Suarez, a tough-styled college graduate who lands a job at a high-profile fashion magazine called Mode. She is the personal assistant to the editor. The role was no different from a previous movie, The devil wears Prada (2006). But Ferrera brought a sweetness to her role, which, combined with the character’s lack of privilege, made her an instant and lasting success with audiences.
Where moviegoers befriended aspiring writer Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) opposite Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) for nearly two hours, they were with Betty Suarez for the 6-season ride. In short, Ferrera conquered and then held the hearts of lovers of American television for six years.
The fact that she is “ugly” also seems to have resonated. This meant that people who felt identified with her adorable clumsiness were also inclined to ask the same question over and over – the question of appearance.
Ferrera said too much emphasis was placed on appearance
Too much emphasis is placed on the feminine appearance, Ferrera told audiences at the 2017 ATX Festival in Austin, TX. “It’s funny when people are like, ‘Oh, what was it like playing an ugly character?’,” Entertainment Weekly reported. “I mean, you never ask that of men. You know? We just say, ‘What a great performance. It’s good for you to have endorsed this character.
Additionally, she said it was disheartening to know that playing an ugly character was the most daring thing an actress could do. “I think it’s a little sad when, as a woman, the bravest thing you can do is be ugly, you know?” According to EW, the crowd enthusiastically accepted the thunderous applause.
Salma Hayek was responsible for choosing Ferrera as “Ugly Betty”
According to EW, Ferrera knew nothing about the role until executive producer Hayek enthusiastically declared her perfect for it.
“I hadn’t heard anything about the show, and she just ran over to me and said, ‘You’re my ugly Betty! “” she told ATX. “And I was like, ‘I don’t know what that means, but I’ll be what you want me to be.’ And then she introduced me to the show. She said it was this Colombian show, and it was about this girl that looks like a train wreck. I was like, ‘I got it. Good.'”
Ferrera’s reluctance did not last long. Hayek reportedly persuaded Ferrera by explaining in more detail how the main character “enters this fashion world, and she makes everyone look beautiful from the inside out,” she told the crowd. “And I immediately knew that this show had to exist. I knew this little America was growing up with so few realistic portrayals of women – beautiful… and real – I just knew immediately that this show was going to exist and that it was going to resonate with people. And so from there I was a million percent.
Ferrera went on to be acclaimed for her role in the NBC comedy Superstore. But the overall message Ferrera left to the public that day was that Ugly Betty was ultimately about valuing people for the whole, not just how they looked.
“This is the subject of the show. It was about valuing a person for all they have to offer beyond the surface. “
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