America Ferrera on 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' & 'Ugly Betty' reunion! (EXCLUSIVE)
The transformation of America Ferrera since we saw her first in 2002's Real Women Have Curves to now is nothing short of outstanding. This Latina of Honduran ancestry really has excel at the American Dream, in Hollywood nevertheless. If anybody would have told me then that 12 years later she would be the very blonde and Scandinavian Astrid, in How To Train Your Dragon 2, I would just have laughed. But her improbable history is a testimony to her talent, work ethics and true niceness.
Believe me when I say she is the real deal. I met her in Miami, during the publicity tour for DreamWorks latest amazing project and she made me proud of being Latina. She also left me VERY excited about of two possible projects. I really cant wait and I'm sure you will feel the same way once I tell you all about it.
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In the spirit of full disclosure, I got a little star-struck. I mean, I was sitting next to Ugly Betty and Helen Chávez. It seemed surreal. But, not only there is nothing ugly about her--she is gorgeous and although she has dropped several pounds since stripping to her underwear in that first movie, she still has some amazing curves. America has it going on.
"I have been very lucky to get roles that mean a lot to people in this time, when more spaces are opening for Latinos," she said. "But more importantly, there is more and more room for us to tell our stories behind the camera as well. It's necessary."
Among those roles is Astrid, the viking in the franchise How To Train your Dragon. "She is strong, capable and a leader, but she is also a good friend, an excellent girlfriend and a loyal person. There is a lot of Latina in her," says America of her character in the Dreamworks success. "To be able to do her is one of the things that I love the most about animation. I can become a blonde viking without a problem."
And I'm glad she did. Astrid steals the movie in How To Train Your Dragon 2, which opens today nationwide. Her playful punches to Hiccup and how she manages to both tease him and show him how proud she is of his achievements will melt your heart. She also saves the day in more than one way. I loved how the character has evolved, and can't wait to see her in the third movie, which is in the works.
Also in the works are reunions of Ugly Betty and The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants. Yay! America is cryptic about both: "There are conversations going on," she reveals, smiling widely, so there is BIG hope. I can't wait!
I went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 with my 11 year-old. To say he loved it seemed like and understatement. I found it a bit too dramatic for young audiences. Although all the kids were excited when they left the theatre, there were enough blotchy faces to make me think twice before I recommend it to very young audiences. However, if your children are 8 or older, go. It's a great choice for that family weekend activity. You will laugh, cry, cheer and have plenty of conversations for hours.
Ah, you may also have renewed request to get a dragon for your family. Toothless and the rest of the dragons are as charming as ever. Even I would love to have a pet like that.
Images Alicia Civita, Getty Images, DreamWorks