Sofía Vergara: Sofía's Choice

The Modern Family star explains why she supports the Latin gay community but didn’t want gay children of her own.

BY Brandon Voss

September 14 2011 4:00 AM ET

 Growing up in Barranquilla, Colombia, what was your exposure to gay people?
I don’t know if they were all in the closet, but there weren’t many. The only ones I remember were my hairdresser and the makeup artists in my town. But then I made a close gay friend in my early 20s after I moved to Bogotá, and he’s still one of my best friends. Now most of my friends are gay.

How did your conservative Catholic upbringing influence your views on gay people?
I had the opportunity to be educated and to travel around the world with my family, and those things help. The more that you’re exposed to different things, you stop seeing them as weird. Besides, my family never had a bad experience with gays, because the gay people we knew were amazing, hardworking, and professional. The only thing is that, when I was younger, I remember thinking, I hope my son or daughter isn’t gay. Not because it’s a bad thing but because I knew how hard it is in the Latin culture to be gay. Life is already difficult, and it’s hard enough to find someone and be happy, so I thought that being gay would just triplicate the trouble.

You’ve been a part of gay-inclusive projects before Modern Family. You appeared in The 24th Day opposite James Marsden and looked right at home drinking at a bar with a gay friend. Was that art imitating life?
Oh, yes. Gay men make fantastic friends for women like me. They have a similar sensibility, you can go shopping together, and you can talk about boys together, but they take less time than us to get ready — well, sometimes.

Are you close with Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson?
Yes, we’re super-good friends, and we have a great time together. He’s one of my favorites on the show. He also has a very handsome boyfriend [Justin Mikita], and I always tell Jesse that I want him.

You’ve been getting to work with funniest gay actors in Hollywood: Jesse in Modern Family, Neil Patrick Harris in The Smurfs, and Sean Hayes in The Three Stooges. Coincidence?
I don’t know if it’s something in their DNA that makes them so funny and special, but I guess that’s why we make such a good match onscreen.

Have you ever played a gay role?
I did a movie called Grilled with Ray Romano and Kevin James that went straight to video. I played a transsexual, a guy who had gone all the way with the operation to become a woman. I had a great time playing that character.

Was it a challenge?
No, because I look like a transsexual anyway. I’m a woman, but I’m super-exaggerated with my boobs, my ass, my makeup, and my accent. When I get ready for an event, I always look at myself in the mirror and say, “I look like a transvestite!” I love it.
Tags: television

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