Sunday night, “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera became the first Latina in the history of the Emmys to win the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series award.
After learning of the feat and pausing to take it in, Ferrera said the extra significance of her achievement was not lost on her.
“That’s pretty amazing, I mean, that’s great. It’s a lot to take in,” she told Access Hollywood. “I think the show has done really, really wonderful things for the Latino community and Latinos in Hollywood and I hope that it just continues to do the same and I hope we have so many, many years ahead of us.”
The win for America may mean even more, thanks to Ferrera’s recent revelation that as a teen, she once felt she had to dye her dark hair blonde and put white powder on her face, for an audition.
“I did, yeah,” she confirmed to Access. “It was a role that was written for a very standard, white skin, blond hair, blue-eyed American and it was a role that I wanted the opportunity to at least fail . . . so I just did something that was a little silly and would have never worked.
“[The casting directors] laughed, then said ‘We get it, we get what you’re saying, but you still don’t have the part.’ I was like, ‘Ok.” America recounted.
Fans of “Ugly Betty” can bet that during America’s win, somewhere in the world, a very pregnant Salma Hayek was cheering. At the event though, Sally Field, who won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series led the backstage America Ferrera Cheer Club.
“Aw, that is so sweet,” America said after Access informed her Sally admitted to being a Ferrera fan. “Sally is amazing . . . Sally Field is one of the people I grew up studying and admiring and loving and so that in itself is a dream come true.”
Field made her own headlines Sunday night, for her Emmy speech, which praised military mothers and lashed out at war, using an expletive. The emotional speech also saw Field screaming when the music rolled in to cut her off. Her enthusiasm on stage in particular, was something America responded to.
“Her speech, it was great,” America said. “In person she’s so calm and normal and then she gets on stage and she becomes this ball of energy . . . [In her speech], she got in wonderful stuff.”
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