Entertainment

America Ferrera Almost Quit Acting. Here’s Why

In a recent interview with The Frame’s John Horn, America Ferrera opened up about the struggles she’s faced to combine her love of acting with her passion for activism. These days, America has been definitely been able to spread awareness on a variety of issues, but getting to this point took years of soul-soul searching. America explains the professional and personal evolution she went through to get to where she is today. Here are a few quotes from that 13-minute interview, but I urge you to check out the entire interview via The Frame. It’s definitely a great listening experience for anyone facing a similar situation.

On her early career.

CREDIT: AMERICAFERRERA / INSTAGRAM

“When I was 16 years old, auditioning for jobs, I wasn’t thinking about representing anyone. I was thinking about, you know, getting a job, and getting to do what I loved to do.”

On how “Real Women Have Curves” influenced her.

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CREDIT: REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES / NEWMARKET FILMS

“With the first film I ever did, “Real Women Have Curves”, I just noticed that it was an opportunity to represent people, and to create representations that don’t exist out there. And so that very quickly became part of the math for me.”

On how she’s using her producer role to create opportunities.

Almost out the door! #cfdaawards @cfda @katespadeny @ireneneuwirth @karlawelchstylist @shoandco #livecolorfully

A photo posted by America Ferrera (@americaferrera) on

CREDIT: AMERICAFERRERA / INSTAGRAM

“I think who I am as a person, and who I am as a storyteller, I very much take that into consideration. And especially now as a producer, somebody who’s out there, y’know, trying to enable certain stories to come through, I’m absolutely thinking about all those things. How do I create more accurate, more authentic representations of people who don’t get to be seen.”

On those who paved the way for her career.

CREDIT: AMERICA FERRERA / INSTAGRAM

“I happened to be in the right place at the right time to play Anna in “Real Women Have Curves” or Betty Suarez in “Ugly Betty.” I realized how fortunate I am and who had to come before me and play 200 maids so that I could step in and play “Ugly Betty” on broadcast television. And I do think that there is so much work that needs to be done.

On how she combines activism and entertainment.

CREDIT: AMERICA FERRERA / INSTAGRAM

“I think it’s the artist’s role to reflect the world we live in, to represent people and stories and voices […] it is the role of the artist to push culture and society forward, to push us towards progress, and not just merely reflect what we see in some sort of neutral way, if neutral is even possible in this day and age.”

[HT] America Ferrera nearly quit acting to be an activist — now she does both


READ: 7 Great America Ferrera Clapbacks Of 2016

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America Ferrera Recounts Her First Hollywood Audition Where She Was Asked to Sound “More Latina”

Entertainment

America Ferrera Recounts Her First Hollywood Audition Where She Was Asked to Sound “More Latina”

The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, and big-name stars gathered to celebrate and acknowledge groundbreaking television programs. One of the celebrities that made a special appearance was America Ferrera.

In a segment called “This Is What I Sound Like,” Ferrera spoke about her troubling experiences as a young Latina actress just starting off in Hollywood.

Before the segment, “Grown-ish” actress Yara Shahidi introduced the segment, emphasizing the importance of representation onscreen.

“The stories we tell on TV shape how we see ourselves and others,” she said. “And how we are seen can many times determine how we are treated. The dream of television is the freedom to live our full and nuanced lives outside of boxes and assumptions.”

In a pre-recorded segment, Ferrera then described her first audition in Hollywood–an experience that ended up being a formative one.

“I was 16-years-old when I got my very first audition and I was this little brown chubby Valley Girl who spoke, you know, like a Valley Girl,” Ferrera explained. “I walked in, did my audition. The casting director looked at me and was like, ‘That’s great. Can you do that again, but this time, sound ‘more Latina?””

According to Ferrera, she asked the casting director whether she wanted her to do the audition in Spanish. The casting director declined. Ferrera tried to explain the contradiction of the directions, telling the casting director: “I am a Latina and this is what I sound like.” Needless to say, she did not get the part.

When she went home to tell her family the story, they seemed unsurprised by the blatant stereotyping Ferrera was facing. They told her that the entertainment industry will want her to “speak in broken English” and “sound like a chola”.

“What did you think was gonna happen?” her family members asked her. “[Hollywood was] gonna have you starring in the next role made for Julia Roberts?”

According to Ferrera, the realization that Hollywood saw her in a different way than she saw herself made her want to “create more opportunity for little brown girls to fulfill their talent and their dream.”

NEWMARKET FILMS

Since then, the Honduran-American actress has starred in numerous projects that illustrate the diversity of the Latinx experience in America, from “Real Women Have Curves” to “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” to “Ugly Betty“. Most recently, Ferrera dipped her toe into the producing waters with the bilingual Netflix series “Gentified“.

Although Ferrera is putting in the work for more Latinx representation onscreen, the Television Academy still has a long way to go when it comes to recognizing Latinx talent. Unfortunately, the only Latino person nominated for an Emmy this year was Argentine-Mexican actress Alexis Bledel for her work in “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

Here’s to hoping that Latinos like America Ferrera will continue to make their voices heard, giving inspiration to little brown girls everywhere who want nothing more than to see themselves onscreen.

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Yalitza Aparicio Says She’s Waiting For A Role That Won’t Pigeonhole ‘Because of Appearance”

Entertainment

Yalitza Aparicio Says She’s Waiting For A Role That Won’t Pigeonhole ‘Because of Appearance”

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty

Since the start of her acting career, Oaxacan actress Yalitza Aparicio has been sure to see that her work helps uphold her community. While many actors on the rise tend to focus on racking up more acting roles and fame, Aparicio has been much more vocal about her desire to focus on her advocacy and work for organizations like Cine Too. What’s more, ensuring that she secures proper representation for Indigenous people like herself.

While Aparicio first made headlines and won our hearts with her performance in the 2018 film Roma the Indigenous actress has yet to appear in another role on screen.

It turns out, it isn’t for a lack of offers.

Speaking with Indie Wire about her career, Aparicio has said that she is taking her time to find a role that properly represents her and her community.

“My objective in my career is to give visibility to all of us who have been kept in the dark for so long,” Aparicio claimed in a recent interview with IndieWire. “The acting projects I’m working on are moving slowly because I’m putting all my efforts in not being pigeonholed because of my appearance.”

Aparicio, who is 26-years-old, was born in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, rocketed to fame when she took on the role of Cleo in Alfonso Cuarón’s 2018 movie Roma. The film, which was nominated for various Academy Awards followed Aparicio as Cleo a housekeeper who works in a wealthy household in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma. Aparicio’s role brought her praise not just for her skills but for her role in solidifying a much-needed portrayal of Mexico’s Indigenous community.

Still, despite the praise and fame, the role brought her, Aparicio is adamant that her next role will be something greater.

“I come from a community where there’s no movie theater, and as a consequence, the population — especially the children that grow up in those communities — has less of an interest in the cinematic arts. [Cine Too] has the possibility to reach these children and provide an opportunity to instill in them the passion for cinema and teach them about this art form,” she explained in her interview. “I’m conscious that every step I take may open doors for someone else and at the same time it’s an opportunity for society to realize we are part of it and that we are here,”

In her interview, Aparicio points out that while she is very aware that Indigenous filmmakers and allies “have a complicated job because these things can’t be changed overnight,” she is still pushing for real change.

“Wherever I go, I’ll always be proudly representing our Indigenous communities,” she asserted. “We can show people that the only limits are within us.”

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