Sofia Vergara Blames ‘This Stupid Accent’ for Her Limited Acting Jobs
Corporate lawyer Amy Chua once wrote that a foreign accent is “a sign of bravery.” And while we agree entirely, having an accent is still a deal breaker in some industries — at least, that has been Sofia Vergara’s experience.
“I’m always looking for characters because there’s only so much I can play with this stupid accent,” Vergara joked. “I can’t play a scientist or be in ‘Schindler’s List.’ My acting jobs are kind of limited.”
Vergara’s comments were part of her conversation about her experience playing Griselda Blanco, her first character in an all-Spanish production.
And while the actress has no talent shortage, breaking the glass ceiling in Hollywood is still a matter of stereotypes.
Like many Latinas, Sofia Vergara seems to suffer from imposter syndrome, and it’s heartbreaking
“Eva Longoria doesn’t have an accent. Jennifer Lopez doesn’t have an accent. Jessica Alba doesn’t have an accent. Is it frustrating? Absolutely. In the beginning, more so than now,” she told the LA Times. “And the frustration was towards me. How come I can’t…get it right? I’ve been here 30 years. How can I be so dumb? I have to fight in English and act in English. It’s exhausting.”
Sofia Vergara was born and raised in Colombia. She moved with her family to the United States in 1998 after her brother was fatally shot.
Her role as Gloria Pritchett on Modern Family made her a star, but at a price: tokenism.
From Ellen Degeneres to her recent run-in with Spanish host Pablo Motos, Vergara has faced constant mockery for her accent.
However, despite the roadblocks, Sofia Vergara proves tenacity is a born talent
As reported by “Variety,” Vergara approached the creative process on “Griselda” with a new mindset.
To become the famous drug trafficker, the Colombian star had to learn acting techniques that were far removed from her experience as a comedy star.
“I had no idea what it meant to have a process,” Vergara said. “It was complicated because I had no real training as an actress. I was married to Joe [Manganiello], who is a classically trained fucking actor. I would ask him things [like], ‘What do real actors do? Can I do this?'”
To that end, Vergara hired acting teacher Nancy Banks, who has worked with Margot Robbie and Jennifer Aniston.
As Vergara explained to the Times, the acting lessons forced her to think about her character in new ways.
“What does the character need from the other character?” she would ask herself. “What does [she] dream about?”
“The night before we started shooting, I was sitting in the living room, and I thought, ‘Why the hell did I think I could do this?” said Vergara. “‘Just because I put on a rubber nose, they’re not going to know Gloria Pritchett is talking?’ They’re going to say, ‘Who does she think she is?”‘
“When I was in those scenes [as Griselda], it was like rage and a lot of stuff about my upbringing and where I come from and who I am,” she added. “I knew those people. My brother was in that business. I knew those feelings. And I understand [Blanco] because all those people who have done really bad things are not bad all the time. They think they’re doing the right thing by people. It’s absurd, yes, because they do horrible things, but I knew that mentality.”