America Ferrera on Racism in Hollywood and Why Her Man "Better Write an Effing Good Role for a Woman"

Bust magazine

America Ferrera sat down with her best friend Amber Tamblyn for a refreshingly honest interview running now in Bust magazine, and boy did she open up. She dished with Tamblyn about everything from wearing "white face" for a Hollywood audition, to acting in her boyfriend's new film and how she feels about the end of Ugly Betty ("I love the show, but I so hope that at the end of that run, I'll have more to show for it than box sets"). It's a really great conversation between two women who obviously love and respect each other dearly. Check out some of the best parts below:

On dying her hair blond in an attempt to win a part written for a white woman:

"There was a part in this movie with this director who shall remain nameless. It was a story set in Texas about this family, and they weren't sure who they were going to cast as the male role, so they were holding off on the female role, depending on if the male role was Latino or not. They didn't want to put two Latinos in the same movie, because then it would be "a Latino movie." So in my delusional state, I thought if I dyed my hair blond, I could show them that I could play anything. It was obviously very sarcastic: Is it really the color of my skin that's going to stop you from giving me this role I could be really good at? So I stripped my hair. I looked fucking crazy. I only took one Polaroid and I burned it."

Amber Tamblyn: "You wore whiteface..."

"I did! I'm not even kidding! I had such resentment. And that was one of those moments where I just thought, Wow. I didn't even get the chance to fail at that part because of the color of my skin."

On her new animated film How to Tame a Dragon:

Amber Tamblyn: "You play..."

"A Viking. Who is blond."

Tamblyn: You finally got to play a blond girl.

"A blond girl with blue eyes and a sick body."

Tamblyn: You're like the Latina Precious.

"Exactly. The cartoon version of myself is who they wanted to cast in that movie."

Tamblyn: That is really fantastic irony.

"America, we loooooove your voice, but we can't make a cartoon that looks like you." [both laugh]

On starring in her boyfriend's new film, The Dry Land:

 

"I had no intention of being in the movie. It wasn't a role I wanted to do until it was perfect. I kept saying to him, "If for no other reason than your girlfriend is an actress trying to look for good roles in this industry, you'd better write a fucking good role for a woman."

 

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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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