She was two semesters shy of finishing dental school. But a more glamorous career happened on the way.
Colombian-born Sofia Vergara has made a name for herself as Gloria on ABC’s new edgy comedy, Modern Family.
Known as one of television’s sexy bombshells, the newly-Emmy nominated Vergara is still naive when it comes to awards shows. “I don’t even know if I can take my son; I have no idea how many tickets I get!”
Receiving a nomination was a shock, while she was announcing them on the air. “I knew Modern Family would get nominated; it was such a great year for us. But I never thought I would be. For two seconds when the guy said, ‘Sofia, congratulations,’ I thought he was congratulating me on my birthday the next day!”
Her son, Manolo, (named after a Scarface character) is number one in her life. “I am a divorced parent. Sometimes his father couldn’t come to see him and I would say he was in Colombia. I would invent a million things to cover for him, so he’d still look good in front of his son. You don’t want to hurt a kid’s feelings. It’s not necessary.
“My son is like Rico Rodriguez [who plays Manny, her on-screen son]. When he was five years old he would say, “Mom hold my hand, because it’s very dangerous!”
Manalo wants to follow in her footsteps. “He wants to be an actor, a director, and a writer. He just returned from summer school in Florence, Italy. Next year, he’ll go to college and study film.
“He used to rehearse with me for auditions and was always very critical of my accent. He’d say, ‘You’re never going to find a job if you don’t fix it!’ And now, I got nominated for an Emmy with the accent!”
Vergara revealed that the first Modern Family script of the season is called “Earthquake.” Last year, the season finale was shot in Hawaii. ”It’s my dream that the show goes to Colombia this year.”
And the actress is very proud of home. “One day, we had a dinner at Gloria’s house during an episode. Production cooked everything traditionally Colombian. The whole cast ate it and they .loved it.”
She referred to the hardships for an actress of Latin or any ethic roots to find employment in this fickle city. “It’s still difficult as a normal American person.”
Since she’s lived in the U.S., Vergara’s had several American beaus. “At first they don’t understand that I can be very emotional. I can scream for a while, turn around and completely forget about it and ask, do you want chicken or do you want rice? But then they realize that I let my anger go and it’s on to the next thing. Why hold on to anger for days or weeks?
“My family has always been like that. Somebody screams at somebody and the next day I do a party and we are all together again. When you are in Colombia, you think it’s normal. In the States, it’s not so much.”
Named one of People Magazine’s 2010 Most Beautiful People, it’s hard to believe, but the actress is not always happy about her appearance. “I don’t look good anymore in bathing suits. I’m not complaining, but it’s not the same when I was 20!”
Sue Facter writes about all things A-List for publications worldwide. Her credits include USA Today, People, Los Angeles Times and TV Guide.