SPOTLIGHT: The Midas Touch

America: One of the truly marvelous things in the relationships between parents and children is that it never stops evolving and, logically, when you are small and you see your parents you think that they are infallible. But when you grow up you realize that they are simply human. In some way that makes what they have done be even more amazing. I believe that raising children is not easy. It's not that I know from experience, but from what I know, I can say that all parents are heroes to their children.

SRD: When they gave you the role in "Ugly Betty", did you know that you had hit the lottery before it became the success that it is today?

America: The truth is that I did not know if it was going to be a success or if it was going to have good ratings. But I knew that it was something special the moment that Salma Hayek told me that it was about a kind and very intelligent girl, that works in a fashion magazine, and that looks like no one else that works there. There was something in the way in which Salma described this character and the world that surrounds her that caused me to realize how beautiful this story could become. I had the foreboding that people were going to like it.

SRD: What have you learned from Salma having worked so close to her during these years?

America: What I learned from her is that Salma does not feel that there are barriers for anything she proposes. It impresses me that she does not succumb in an industry dominated by men.

SRD: Did it surprise you that "Under the Same Moon" is the best selling Spanish movie in U.S. box-office history?

America: Truthfully, no, because when I read the script, although they asked me to do a minor role —two minutes in the whole the movie— I liked it a lot and I felt very connected with the story. It gave me a very human sensation. Even when you are going to see blockbuster productions of fantasy and superheroes, you can put all the large names that you want and present them in an ostentatious way, but what makes something function well at the theater and attractive to people is the human connection that I found when I read the script for "Under the Same Moon."

SRD: Do you think that you have a good eye at the moment for picking projects or do you truly have King Midas' touch?

America: I wouldn't call it a good eye. I just do what truly resonates with me. Besides that, the fact that it seems good to me does not mean that others are going to think the same thing. I just guide myself with my intuition.

SRD: Would you say that part of your success is due to your representation of the authentic woman and not the image that has been sold to us by Hollywood during years?

America: Well, that is something that can be seen in my career. I know from my own experience that old and young women, men, homosexual and heterosexual, old and young, all they are seeking to be represented in an authentic way. It is certain that we like to see superhero movies and to look at photos of models to distract us with very distant worlds than ours, but at the same time, when we seek a human connection we also want something that we can identify with. And I believe that Betty and, certainly, Carmen in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" more honestly represent the way the majority of people are seen.

SRD: Do you volunteer with some charity work?

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