BWW Interviews: America Ferrera As She Opens In CHICAGO!
Hi America - and welcome to the UK! How are you finding London?
I'm enjoying it very much. This will be my first time here for a good amount of time. I've been here for a few days at a time before, so I'm excited to feel a little bit like a local and get to see more than just the touristy spots. I'm here over Christmas and all the way till the end of the year.
Ugly Betty was your big break, bringing you to an international television audience. Playing Roxie Hart is a slightly sexier role...
It's fun! We wrapped up the series about a year and a half ago, and I've done a couple of roles between then and now, so Betty seems ages ago for me, even though I know for a lot of people that's the last thing they have in their minds.
I think Roxie is so much fun, and such an incredible challenge to get to step into shoes that have been filled by really wonderful actresses and wonderful women, and to get to discover who I am inside that character, inside her skin. Roxie is passion-driven - she wants to be noticed, to have attention. She's incredibly empowering. I think what's really fun about her is that she's guiltless and unashamed of who she is, and what she wants. I wouldn't say that she's an incredible role model for how we should base our morals and what we want out of life, but she is wonderful to watch and wonderful to play. She is just exactly who she is, and has no qualms about it.
One of my favourite things about this role and about this show is that I think it only becomes more relevant every year, in terms of what it says about our culture and our society and our thirst and hunger for sensationalism and our ability to make celebrities of anyone. I think it taps into something that's really going on in our culture. That's fun, to get completely, guiltlessly lost in that character and explore that character's lust for attention and to be loved. I've not ever got to play a character like this, and I'm finding it to be really a lot of fun.
You rehearsed on Broadway before coming over to London - would you like to work on Broadway?
Yeah, absolutely, always, in the same way that the West End is a place I've always wanted to work. Broadway is one of those markers in any actor's career - how wonderful it would be to join the gorgeous and incredible people who have gotten to do shows on Broadway.
Do you have a dream role for the future?
I have a lot of dream roles. When it comes to musical theatre, one of the first musicals I ever became obsessed with and addicted to was Gypsy. I watched Bette Midler's version of it 500 times, I think. I always wanted to grow up to play Mama Rose - that's on the dream list of musical theatre roles I'd love to play, but that's hopefully a long way down the line.
Is there a chance of an Ugly Betty film?
I don't think that's a real thing at the moment, but anything's possible.
And next year?
The plan is to go back to New York and there's a Broadway thing in the works, so we'll see...
America Ferrera is playing Roxie Hart in Chicago at the Garrick Theatre.