05.20.2014 | By Mariana Dussan |
A career more than 20 years in the making is finally starting to reach the heights it deserves, but can it keep rising? From all that we can gather, it seems like its inevitable for the Colombian actress. Read on!
Since the early 90s, Sofia Vergara has been recognized all across Latin America, but it wasn’t until 2009 that she became a household name in the U.S., since then the Barranquillera native from Colombia has swiftly escalated the ranks and now five years later she is a leading lady starring opposite of Academy-Award-winner Reese Witherspoon in a buddy comedy.
According to JoBlo, the untitled project – formerly called “Don’t Mess With Texas” – has been halted for over a year, but is finally starting production this week in New Orleans. Witherspoon plays a police officer who protects Vergara, a drug boss’ widow, from crooked cops and gunmen.
Variety also reports that Vergara and her manager Luis Balaguer will executive produce the upcoming comedy set for release next year on May 8, Mother’s Day weekend.
It might have been easy for the Barranquillera to get to where she is now, but it’s been quite a long journey.
It all began in 1989 when a young Vergara was discovered. “I did a TV commercial for Pepsi when I was 17 and it was huge all over Latin America so I started getting propositions to work, to model …” she told BlackFilm.com.
“[Then] I started in a TV show in Colombia … for two years, I then [moved] to Univision in Miami … [to host ‘Fuera De Serie’] a traveling show for five years, then the game show [“A Que No Te Atreves”], for another couple of years.”
The success of Vergara’s career has been marked by her taking chances, and after living in the U.S. for a solid time she saw the opportunity to explore new markets. “I will always be grateful to Univision for giving me my start,” she told The Miami Herald. “But there are a lot of offers now and I want to move on.”
In 2002, she got her first American film break as Nina in “Big Trouble.”
Subsequently, she began to book more roles following her big-screen debut. These include films like “Chasing Papi,” “Soul Plane,” “Lords of Dogtown,” “Four Brothers,” and “Madea Goes To Jail.” At the same time she also did roles for both Spanish and English Language television like the ABC sitcoms “Hot Properties” and “The Knights of Prosperity,” the Colombian series “Amas De Casa Desesperadas,” and the Mexican novela “Fuego en la Sangre.”
Coming from zero professional acting experience, Vergara has jumped at every opportunity available knowing that if she was going to make it as a Latina with an accent, she would need a bigger resume than most actresses. “Any job I can get in the American market is great because it’s not easy,” she told BlackFilm.com. “There’s not many jobs for women with Latin accents. Anything that we can get that is good and decent, and helps you get into another level, you have to take advantage of it.”
All her hard work finally paid off in 2009 as she received the role of her life as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in the ABC hit-comedy series “Modern Family,” and although she found immense success with the eccentric character, she also fell under accusations of pursuing a stereotypical image of Latinas. But Of course, Vergara is not ashamed and defends it openly.
“It’s the best thing that ever happened for my career,” she told The Daily Beast. “I’ve been a mother since 19, so I could relate and everything attracted me. I was going to be Colombian, a mother, and very loud, crazy, and Latin. It was a role made for me.”
And there is a reason she embraces her character.
“For every 100 roles that come out for another actress, there are two that fit somebody like me,” she told Self Magazine. “I mean I cannot play a scientist. I know who I am. I know how I look. I know how I sound. I’m not going to tell my agent: ‘Book me for Schindler’s List 2.'”
So whether people like it or not, the Colombian actress has taken her accent, curves, and humor and used it to the best of her advantage allowing her to slowly but surely get roles in more prominent films like “Machete Kills” directed by Robert Rodriguez, “Fading Gigolo” directed by Woody Allen and “Chef” starring Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr.
By now, Vergara has the game down packed and she will undoubtedly keep on climbing the Hollywood ranks.