America Ferrera believes her 'Barbie' character being Latina helped her get a role in the film.
The 39-year-old actress starred as Gloria, a Mattel employee, in last year's hit blockbuster and doubts she would have been cast without her past.
America told The Hollywood Reporter: “To be frank: For most of my career, I wasn't considered for roles that weren't specifically Latino. And so, in itself, that limits what people are ready to think of you as and when available to you.
“The gift that Greta (Gerwig) gave me was that she actually wrote the Barbie part as Latina. I suspect that if she hadn't written it as such, I might not have wasn't the person they spoke to.”
However, the “Ugly Betty” star stressed that Gloria was “not a Latino role” and was not included in the film as a box-ticking exercise.
America said, “However, even though the role was written Latina, it was not a Latina role. Being Latina was not the point of the character. She became a full human and representative of so many things . It wasn't a Latino role. 'Check the box'. That started to change somewhat, at least for me.”
The star has received widespread praise for her performance in “Barbie” — particularly for her powerful monologue about the challenges of being a woman in the modern world — but she doesn't just expect to be inundated with work afterward .
Ferrera explained: “I would be delighted if this time of being involved in highly visible films gave me more opportunities to play the kinds of roles and create the kinds of stories that I want, but that's hard to predict. I've had many moments in my career of wonderful success that didn't necessarily lead to more opportunities.
“I've learned to slow down and let go of those expectations. In fact, I'm preparing to direct my first feature film, and I've been involved in it long before the 'Barbie' script came to me.”