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Sofía Vergara: The Goddess of Television

Posted by Cait on September 2014 in, Special Features

Sofia-Vergara-article_horizontal_imageSofía Vergara, the highest paid actor on TV, talks to us about her life in Hollywood.

Why do you think Modern Family has been such a success?

I think that viewers have a really good time and identify with the situations in which the characters find themselves. Modern Family reflects, with humor, realism, diversity and lots of heart, what happens to us and our loved ones in the modern world. But, most of all, I believe it’s the love among the characters and the actors. We are a family behind the cameras, that’s the real key to our success.

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In many ways. I’m passionate, loud, and I defend my family like a lioness. And, just like Gloria, I also go quickly from anger to calm and laughter. The character was inspired by my mom, my aunts, and by many of my girlfriends. Beyond the exuberance and commotion that Gloria causes is her unconditional love for her husband and children and her goal to see her loved ones happy and solve all their problems. That’s her most endearing quality and what I most admire about her. And it’s very Latino!

There are many actors who want to make the crossover to Hollywood. How did you manage it so successfully?

Perseverance, good humor and kindness. Sometimes you’re just not right for a role, but if you are polite, entertaining and likeable, they’ll remember you and call you again for other opportunities. It’s also essential to be honest and humble and listen to those who know more than you, but without losing your instincts when it comes to making important decisions. I agreed to darken my hair to look more Latina, but I didn’t give up my strong accent as others advised me to do. It takes a lot of passion and a cool head to make good decisions without throwing in the towel or getting depressed.

You’re also in the film Chef. Tell me a little about the movie and your experience working on it. 

It was delightful. We filmed in several cities, but the one I liked best was Miami. We filmed in legendary restaurants like Versailles and Hoy Como Ayer on Calle Ocho. With Cubans, Colombians, Venezuelans and all my people exuding positive energy, I felt right at home! And by my side was Jon Favreau, who is a tremendous actor and director but, above all, an excellent person. It was one of the best times I’ve ever had!

What do you think about Latinos in Hollywood?sovia-Vergara-article_vertical_image

We still need more representation both in front of and behind the cameras, but there are more and more opportunities every day. Albeit with blood, sweat, and tears, it’s worth it to keep opening paths, without looking back, with a positive attitude and a smile. This is not the time to complain or focus on the fact that we deserve more, but to show that we can bring a lot not only to this industry, but to all industries.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?

With a lot of planning and by trying to take time to work like crazy, and rest like crazy too. It’s very easy to get burned out when you don’t find a middle ground.

How do you keep your feet on the ground?

I am surrounded by the same family, the same friends and the same colleagues as always. The only thing that changes is the size of the paycheck and the number of paparazzi waiting outside the gym. So it’s easy to keep life essentially as it should be.

How do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

By working happily and gratefully, because that is what most distinguishes us Hispanics and, of course, eating more than I should and making the occasional toast or two with a shot of tequila, aguardiente and rum.

How do you feel about being nominated for and winning prestigious awards?

Very proud. Modern Family has, collectively, won almost 70 major awards, and when we don’t win, we celebrate anyway! It’s a lot of fun to go to all those ceremonies, to be involved with and meet people I have always admired. After five years, I still enjoy each opportunity as though it were the first. It sounds silly, but it’s true!

When you were younger, did you ever think you would be walking the red carpet in Hollywood?

Like all young girls, I loved watching those shows with my family, talking about the dresses, betting on who would win. Sometimes I can’t believe that I am living it and with my family at my side. I enjoy it more each time because I feel more confident around journalists and industry colleagues. But, I admit that I continue being a fan, admiring superstars and their spectacular dresses. The road from Barranquilla to Hollywood has been long, hard, winding and at times uncertain, but, ooh, it has really been worth it!

What is your mantra for living?

They can’t take the past away from me, so let the music play on!

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