While at the Emmys, America Ferrera opened up about her experience working in Hollywood and how that has pushed her to try and created more diversity and more opportunities for minorities in the industry. That being said, at some point, she also shared how at one audition, she was told to ‘sound more Latina.’
It was a story moment that was titled This Is What I Sound Like when the actress recalled her very first acting audition when she was no older than 16.
‘I was this little, brown, chubby valley girl who spoke, you know, like, a valley girl. I walked in, I did my audition. The casting director looked at me and was like, ‘That’s great. Can you do it again, but this time sound more Latina?’ ‘Um, so, like, do you want me to do this in Spanish?’ She was like, ‘No, no, do it in English. But, you know, just like, sound more Latina.’ I am Latina. And this is just what I sound like.’ She looked at me and she was like, ‘OK, sweetie, thank you. Bye,’’ she told the awards show’s audience.
That experience was definitely something that confused her and something she would never forget.
However, as it turns out, her loved ones were not as surprised by what happened to her at that time.
America Ferrera went on to dish that ‘I told my family, and they said, ‘They wanted you to talk broken English….to sound like a chola. What did you think would happen? They’d have you starring in the very next role meant for Julia Roberts?’’
Young Ferrera responded that, yes, that is exactly what she had thought but obviously, the industry is rather flawed and gives less opportunities to minorities unless they are ready to portray stereotypical versions of their cultures.
And yet, that bad experience did not deter the actress who was determined to be successful and also ‘create more opportunity for little brown girls to fulfill their talent and their dream.’