It’s no big stretch from rambunctious, sexy Gloria to Sofia Vergara’s character Selima in a role that casts her with Sharon Stone
In the film, Vergara plays Selima, the best friend of Stone’s character, a dermatologist who’s depressed due to an unhappy marriage. Stone employs the services of Fioravante (Turturro), an unlikely gigolo, to spice up her love life, roping in Selima for said threesome.
Obviously, Vergara’s turn as Selima isn’t a massive stretch. The sexy, rambunctious Selima is very much like the sexy, rambunctious Gloria DelgadoPritchett, the character that has made Vergara a global superstar – and reportedly the highest paid actor on television – on the wildly popular Modern Family. Vergara, though, is not worried about being typecast.
“I’m not going to tell my agent that I have to get cast in Schindler’s List 2 or something,” she smiles. “I know where I can do a good job and John told me exactly what he wanted from me, and it was a lot of fun and I felt comfortable in the role.”
Indeed, when it comes to acting, Vergara is blunt about the fact that she knows her “limitations”.
“I’m very insecure about it,” she says, plainly. “It comes from not doing it long enough. I have no school for it. When you don’t have any of that, of course you get insecure. It’s something that I’m always conscious of – that I have to still learn.”
She’s also more than aware that the public have a hard time separating her from Gloria.
“I mean, I am who I am. There’s a lot of Gloria in me. It is hard for me to play other characters because I know I’m loud and I have a distinctive accent … I can’t fix it. It’s just who I am.”
There is no doubting, however, that when it comes to comedy, Vergara is a natural. She puts her extraordinary comic timing down to her “big, crazy Colombian family, where you have to be loud to stand out”.
“I have some aunts and uncles who are characters, so I’ve been surrounded by comedy my whole life,” she says. “But I never thought I was going to be making a living out of being funny. I never dreamt of it.”
Vergara is also keenly aware that, at 41, “it’s not like I’m 21 any more”. And though she is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, she says she’s aware of the endless pressure to look good that’s placed on women in the entertainment industry.
“We women put a lot of pressure on ourselves anyway. Nobody wants to age, nobody wants to look in the mirror and see wrinkles or a saggy neck or the saggy knee. It’s even harder when you have to see it in pictures or on the TV. We’re women – we care, we’re vain. So to see it all out there exposed, of course, I feel the same pressure,” she says.
“I’m always trying to do things that I hear that are good for you — I drink the green juice, I put the cream on, I exercise … I’m like every woman trying to make it less horrible that everything’s going to drop eventually.”
She says there’s a more holistic approach to ageing in Latin America than there is in the US. “Women in the US have the money to try anything, so they go crazy with the plastic surgery. Women in Latin America embrace ageing more because they don’t have the money. They’ve got more important things to spend their money on than Botox.”
Vergara is also honest about the fact that she sees herself firmly as a brand.
“My motivation was never about being famous, but it was about having a business,” she declares. “It’s a way to earn a living for me. I think if you base this career in just the fame and recognition it goes a bit wrong.”
She says she always knew she wanted to “be a celebrity” so she could “do endorsements and grow my business”.
That includes, not only her own clothing line and contract with Covergirl cosmetics, but she’s also just launched her first perfume, a dream come true.
Sofia Vergara and John Turturro in Fading Gigolo