While she insists she had no comedy background before coming to the United States, Sofia Vergara steals the show among a cast of comic talents and Emmy winners as Gloria on Modern Family.
It’s a part that’s catapulted her to fame in the States, meaning more people recognizing her in public — unless she keeps quiet.
“As long as I don’t speak, I’m safe,” she says in her distinct Colombian accent, which is only slightly exaggerated for the show.
How important is it that your character is Colombian? And what do you think about the jokes about Colombia featured in the show?
I love it, I think it’s fantastic and everybody loves it. You know, Colombians, we don’t get offended. It’s not like the writers are inventing things about Colombia, you know? It’s a reality, what can we do? We just have to laugh about it. You know, the country has changed. It’s not like that’s happening in Colombia right now, thank God. So I don’t get offended at all. I think it’s hilarious. I think it’s funny.
There aren’t a lot of Colombian icons in the U.S. Do you feel like you’re filling that role?
Well, I love it because there’s not a lot of known actresses. I mean, we have Shakira, who is one of the biggest singers right now. She’s from Barranquilla, my hometown. But there was nobody on national TV or like a known household name, and for me it’s been amazing to represent Colombia — you know, to not only represent me as a Colombian actress, but with the show that I’m able to show a little bit of Colombia, not only the stereotyping things about the bad things, the mafia, whatever, but also like the food or the real essence of the personality of a Colombian person.
So you like what the writers have done with Gloria?
For them to write for a hot Latin woman, I thought it was going to be a problem, but they’re great. At the beginning I was worried — “How are they going to know how a Latin woman thinks?” They even write my mispronunciations now. They know me so well. Usually they write, “And Gloria says something in Spanish,” and they let me say whatever I want, you know? They’re not going to tell me what to say in Spanish. And of course I say something that I think is funny.
Do you have any idea what’s coming up for Gloria this season?
You don’t really know because every episode is a little story, so they don’t need to write the thread out until the end. I know what we have filmed these past two months. There’s a lot of jealousy between Gloria and Stella the dog. That’s the main drama in her life right now, the dog. She hates the dog. And also a little bit of jealousy because of Manny’s romantic life.
How does Gloria’s relationship with Manny compare to your relationship with your own son?
It’s very similar. I mean, my son is older now — he’s 20 years old. But it’s very similar. He was always like an old soul. It’s funny because sometimes I’ll watch my show with my son and he just looks at me like, “Did you tell them that?” I love when (people think) he’s my brother. He hates it, he wants to throw up in front of the people. Like for example if I’m with him and somebody says, “Oh, tell your sister to come,” and I don’t say anything, I don’t correct them, he’s like, “Tell them! Tell them you’re my mother!”
Modern Family airs Wednesday nights on Citytv.