There are so many wonderful shows that come out through the year. What makes some stick is an unknown factor, you know? It's gotta be the right show at the right time. Really, you've got to have magic elements line up. But I felt that this was going to be something that was really going to ring true to people.
The hardest part of this year has been learning to enjoy it. It's almost like a full-time job reminding myself to live in the moment and not look for more, more, more...I see now that people who make movies, this world of creative geniuses that I grew up idolizing, are just normal people who wanted to do something and made it happen. Everything that's happened to me in the last year has only made me feel more like a normal person, more human, but in the most beautiful way.
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Salma and I had run into each other once or twice at film festivals because I was doing the press for Real Women Have Curves at the same time she was doing the press for Frida. She had seen Real Women Have Curves, and when the idea of Ugly Betty came up, she thought of me. Her enthusiasm about the project was so infectious-she spoke of it with such expectation. Everyone that was involved was really excited about the project. I really wanted to be a part of it.
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I think Hispanic women are beautiful with their curves. I'm not sure who feels that way in Hollywood. I was never told to lose 50 pounds. If they think that they just don't bother with you. You just don't get the role and you never know why. That's still better than physically harming yourself and becoming unhealthy just to star in a movie.
When you finish a series like 'Ugly Betty,' there are so many voices around you telling you what you should be doing next and what would be good for your future, sometimes you can't hear yourself. I've gotten pretty good at tuning everyone else out. Now it's just me; what pleases me creatively.
As early as second grade I remember feeling really different and isolated. I had the hugest crush on a boy, and my best friend had a crush on him, too. One day he said to me, 'I like your best friend more because she's paler and she has freckles.' And it was right then that I began to feel like, Oh wow, I'm different.
I think the body image thing, everybody can identify with that. In our culture there's just so much pressure and so much attention placed on the way we look. You just turn on the TV or flip open a magazine and there's people who don't look like any of us. I think this movie is like, finally, a celebration of reality and of our imperfections. We're not all a size 2 and we're not all a size 0, and you know what? That's OK, because some of us like to eat!