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Sofia Vergara: ‘My boobs opened a lot of doors for me, but I’m still here because I’m not afraid of taking a risk and I work harder than anyone’

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Sofia Vergara: ‘My boobs opened a lot of doors for me, but I’m still here because I’m not afraid of taking a risk and I work harder than anyone’

On Monday, the guests who were having a midday cocktail in the lobby of the opulent Four Seasons Hotel in Madrid, Spain, had no idea what was taking place one floor above them. A team of assistants spent an hour preparing every last detail for this newspaper’s meeting with Sofia Vergara, 51. The Colombian actress was staying there and took a little longer than expected to arrive, as befits an international star of her stature. When she finally arrived, Vergara was stunning with her big eyes, great hair, large mouth, big voice, her laugh, everything. Dressed in a satin gray shirt and pants, with just the right amount of tightness to reveal her figure without bursting at the seams, Vergara did not seem to be in a hurry, nor was she taking a break. At around 3 p.m., we said goodbye as new friends. A few hours later, she ate Spanish TV host Pablo Motos alive on television with her acerbic answers to his stale questions. We tried to ask Vergara about the episode the next day, but it was not possible to speak with her again. The diva was already onto something else. Below is our interview with Vergara

Q. In ‘Griselda,’ you play Griselda Blanco, a drug trafficking boss. How much respect did she command?

A. Empowered women are trendy now, but 12 years ago when I was drawn to the story and wanted to produce it, not so much. That was precisely what appealed to me: that the boss was a woman who had to become worse than any man to be the best of them all.

Q. Is that empowerment?

A. Griselda was a very badass woman… Women are not saints, [they’re not] perfect. The interesting and complex thing is that this woman had children, friends, employees. She was loyal to some and implacable with others. She degenerated [as a result of] power, fear, ambition and insecurities. Just like a man. No more, no less.

Q. Did you prepare for the evil Griselda while playing the hilarious Gloria Pritchett on Modern Family?

A. Yes. I had a huge hit with Modern Family. After the first episode, I became famous all over the world, but I’m a Latina who doesn’t look so Latina, and I don’t have the same opportunities as American actors. I’m not complaining, that would be ungrateful, I’ve done much more than I ever dreamed, but it’s harder for me to find roles. The way I look, I can’t play a scientist, or a judge. So, I decided to seek a life for myself.

On Monday, the guests who were having a midday cocktail in the lobby of the opulent Four Seasons Hotel in Madrid, Spain, had no idea what was taking place one floor above them. A team of assistants spent an hour preparing every last detail for this newspaper’s meeting with Sofia Vergara, 51. The Colombian actress was staying there and took a little longer than expected to arrive, as befits an international star of her stature. When she finally arrived, Vergara was stunning with her big eyes, great hair, large mouth, big voice, her laugh, everything. Dressed in a satin gray shirt and pants, with just the right amount of tightness to reveal her figure without bursting at the seams, Vergara did not seem to be in a hurry, nor was she taking a break. At around 3 p.m., we said goodbye as new friends. A few hours later, she ate Spanish TV host Pablo Motos alive on television with her acerbic answers to his stale questions. We tried to ask Vergara about the episode the next day, but it was not possible to speak with her again. The diva was already onto something else. Below is our interview with Vergara

Q. In ‘Griselda,’ you play Griselda Blanco, a drug trafficking boss. How much respect did she command?

A. Empowered women are trendy now, but 12 years ago when I was drawn to the story and wanted to produce it, not so much. That was precisely what appealed to me: that the boss was a woman who had to become worse than any man to be the best of them all.

Q. Is that empowerment?

A. Griselda was a very badass woman… Women are not saints, [they’re not] perfect. The interesting and complex thing is that this woman had children, friends, employees. She was loyal to some and implacable with others. She degenerated [as a result of] power, fear, ambition and insecurities. Just like a man. No more, no less.

Q. Did you prepare for the evil Griselda while playing the hilarious Gloria Pritchett on Modern Family?

A. Yes. I had a huge hit with Modern Family. After the first episode, I became famous all over the world, but I’m a Latina who doesn’t look so Latina, and I don’t have the same opportunities as American actors. I’m not complaining, that would be ungrateful, I’ve done much more than I ever dreamed, but it’s harder for me to find roles. The way I look, I can’t play a scientist, or a judge. So, I decided to seek a life for myself.

Q. You can’t play a scientist?

A. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with being realistic. When I started on Modern Family, 15 years ago, I still looked a lot more exaggerated than what you see now. I’m not saying there aren’t female scientists like that. But those roles are not for someone like me. When I heard about Griselda, I wanted to play her. Because she was Colombian, because she was a woman, because I experienced the drama of drug trafficking, because my brother Rafael was part of that business and they killed him in 1996. Because of all that, I knew I could do it. And I did do it when I got them to trust me to do it. I got them to give me the money because I had already been Gloria Pritchett; I was always Sofia Vergara.

Q. Aren’t you worried that the series will be interpreted as trivializing the violence of drug trafficking?

A. We aren’t making anything up. That is my country’s history. All that happened. We Colombians are survivors. We lived through terrible times and circumstances. No one is laughing at anyone or justifying anything.

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