America Ferrera Says She ‘Couldn’t Afford’ Barbies Growing Up, Is ‘Grateful’ for ‘Barbie’ Movie’s Latino Representation
Of course, the 39-year-old “Superstore” actress plays a human character, Gloria, in the movie— nowhere near a plastic doll in Barbie Land — but her role is still set to be iconic.
One note: are we talking enough about Ferrera’s epic Barbiecore outfits worn on the movie set and subsequent premieres? No, we are not! They are perfection:
Okay, back to the topic at hand. The actress attended the “Barbie” world premiere in Los Angeles on Sunday and talked about the movie’s significance to her. One thing she zeroed in on? The upcoming film’s Latina representation, which she called a “big deal.”
As Ferrera explained to Good Morning America, she is “so grateful” to director Greta Gerwig “for writing [her] character Latina.”
America Ferrera talked about the “Barbie” movie inviting Latinos into a “big, shiny, heartfelt, beautiful” space
The “Ugly Betty” actress talked to GMA about the significance of having Latino representation in the “Barbie” movie. Apart from Ferrera’s portrayal, Colombian singer Karol G and Dominican-American rapper Ice Spice also appear in the film’s soundtrack.
Ferrera described, “It’s such a big deal that we have Latino representation in such a big movie about such a dominant and influential icon like Barbie.”
“I am so grateful to Greta [Gerwig] for writing the character Latina,” she said. “And inviting us to be part of the fun. Inviting us to be represented in this big, shiny, heartfelt, beautiful, hilarious world.”
Ferrera already gave fans much to talk about last month when she posted about Mattel commemorating her character with a Barbie doll. As she hilariously said, “Meet Gloria the doll who is not a doll, she’s a human but now she’s a doll. Don’t think too hard about it.” Okay, we’ll try!
As countless people wrote on Instagram, the doll is “incredible” and we all “need it immediately.” Even more amazing? Many commented on Ferrera’s post, asserting that Gloria “is the first Central American Barbie doll.”
As one fan said, “You’re the first person of Central American descent to have an official Barbie doll from the brand.”
Yet another added, “You are making every single Central American Child that played with Barbies growing up so proud!”
The actress said Barbie “didn’t represent” her growing up, but the movie is changing that
Ferrera recently explained to Screen Rant that she “couldn’t afford” to play with Barbies growing up.
“I didn’t play with Barbies growing up — I think mostly because we couldn’t afford it.”
She also felt a lack of representation from the brand: “I didn’t resonate with the world; Barbie didn’t really represent me.”
However, she believes the “Barbie” movie’s script changes that. Ferrera says, “This is an expansion of that world to include more of us.”
“Expanding it was such a joy,” she told the outlet. “To get to do it with this character, Gloria, who is kind of all of us trying to figure out what it means to be a woman, real or imagined.”
Another thing we can all get behind? The “joy” the movie is set to make all of us feel.
Of course, Ferrera plays Gloria, a human character who quips in the trailer, “Barbie in the real world world? That’s impossible.” Still, it seems like Gloria experiences just as much of a transformation as Margot Robbie’s Barbie does by leaving Barbie Land.
Upon watching the fun film, Ferrera explained: “I feel this burning desire to dance, wear bright colors; to just find joy, and really be all the things that I am. I feel like the movie gives us permission to be all of the things we are.”
Ferrera added in a Sydney, Australia press conference that she is still amazed by “the fact that someone had expanded the Barbie world where there was space for somebody like [her].”
“It feels important — there, I said it, this movie feels important to me on so many levels,” she said.
Watch the “Barbie” movie in theaters starting July 21.
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