America Ferrera’s Directorial Debut ‘I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter’ Takes Flight
We always knew America Ferrera would break the glass ceiling — and in 2024, the prophecy was fulfilled. After earning her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress role in “Barbie,” Ferrera will finally have her directorial debut.
While the “Real Women Have Curves” actress was already working on adapting Erika Sánchez’s New York Times bestselling novel, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” the project had struggled to find a studio. After initial negotiations with Netflix, the adaptation has already kicked off at Amazon MGM Studios’ Orion Pictures, according to Deadline.
A story beloved by Latinas will finally see the light
When “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” hit the bookstores back in 2017, most Latinas felt seen like never before. The novel follows Chicago-based teen Julia Reyes, a daughter of Mexican immigrants. Julia struggles with the death of her seemingly perfect older sister, Olga, and a shattered family.
“Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college,” reads the back cover of Sánchez’s epic book. “They do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was her sister Olga’s role.”
The novel was a National Book Award finalist in 2017 and the 2018 Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award winner.
However, for Latinas out there struggling with their mother-daughter relationship, this book changed everything. It proved we’re not a monolith and that loving Whitman, Dickinson, and the Ramones does not exempt us from a comedic dose of family drama. Furthermore, this literary masterpiece showed us we’re not alone fighting the windmills of impossible ideals.
That’s why, when America Ferrera announced she’d taken on the mission of bringing “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” to the screen, we wanted to know every single detail.
The fantastic work of a brilliant team of women
By February 2021, Ferrera worked on the details with Netflix to bring the story to life. Meanwhile, screenwriter Linda Yvette Chávez (Gentefied) began adapting Sánchez’s novel.
“The depth, wit, and searing intelligence of [Erika’s] writing, and her young Latina heroine, struck me to my core and left me wanting so much more,” America Ferrera said in a statement. “The opportunity to direct the work of these two incredibly talented Latina writers is a dream come true. I can’t wait to share this film with the many fans of the novel and to introduce this funny, profound, and resonant story to the world.”
While we only had a few insights into the process — mainly Ferrera’s casting call on Instagram — we now know the movie is rolling.
As Deadline continued, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” producers include Doreen Wilcox Little, MACRO Film Studio’s Charles D. King and Poppy Hanks, Aevitas Creative Management’s David Kuhn, and Anonymous Content. Sánchez and MACRO Film Studio’s Greta Talia Fuentes will executive produce. Anonymous Content optioned the rights to the book under the company’s first-look deal with Aevitas Creative Management.