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Interviews, Magazines ♦ November 11, 2022

With the impending arrival of midterm elections, who better to preach than the voice of America herself, America Ferrera? Known for her highly acclaimed role as Betty Suarez in Ugly Betty, Ferrera claims awards as the first Latina to win a Primetime Emmy in the category for Best Actress, as well as an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Named in the top 100 most influential people of all time, the multi-hyphenate actress opts for an agenda to re-examine voter narratives and hearten civic engagement, particularly within the Latinx and Indigenous communities.

In efforts to reframe how people perceive their position in the electoral system, Ferrera underlines a mirror of approaches necessary to paint a picture for Latina communities. What is the 50-year plan? How does the community gain political power and cultural agency – in the long term?

Climate and voting activist, Saad Amer sits down with Ferrera to discuss voter engagement, Harness, and overall threats to democracy.

Saad Amer: Right now, America is under attack. You literally are America, and you took this personally, you know. *laughs* Why do you feel such a strong need not only to vote but to organize and get out the vote?

America Ferrera: I have a lot of my own criticisms about our elections, but I think it’s so important that we continue to show up and remind ourselves and each other that we have to engage with the system that exists; otherwise we are at risk of losing our democracy. We are living the reality that elections have consequences, and they have consequences for a lot longer than any one person holds office. We can’t afford to sit out elections that impact the lives of people who aren’t even born yet.

SA: You were just recently in Texas, and given that it’s a swing state, it could be Democratic or Republican in the midterms right now, depending on turnout and what the people of Texas vote towards. What were you doing there, and what did you want to say to the people of Texas?

AF: I think Texas is important for the entire country. Texas has set awful precedents in terms of gun control, gun safety, women’s rights, and protecting LGBTQIA+ youth. We need voters in Texas to show up and have their voices heard and ensure that Texas is actually being represented the way they want to be represented. There are strong forces working to disenfranchise Texas voters. I’m heading back to Texas this weekend. I’m going to San Antonio to do a really awesome, fun event called Quince to the Poles.

SA: That’s awesome. Is it like a party to the polls?

AF: It’s a party to the polls but very specific to a certain community. An organization I co-founded with my husband [Ryan Piers Williams] and Wilmer Valderrama called Harness has worked with many frontline organizers and artists on civic engagement. One of our team members, Allie Young, this extraordinary young organizer, did this in the midterm elections with indigenous people who rode their horses from their reservations. She was engaging with her indigenous community in a way that spoke to them, their history, their ancestors, their relationship, voting, and why they do it.

SA: Why do you think that storytelling is such a crucial component to how we view these different communities, and why do you personally spend so much time—as an actress—doing the work to change these conversations?

AF: If we want people to buy in, we have to win their hearts and minds. That is about painting a new picture, telling a different kind of story about who we are, who they are, what their place in this country is, and what their place in this electoral system is. We have to really interrogate which narratives and stories are winning and dominating in our culture and our country. We have to be very real about who’s doing the best storytelling and who’s really winning hearts and minds.

SA: I’m curious if there are any instances–you have a whole portfolio, a whole reel of all of these different roles that you’ve played– where there were stereotypes that you felt like ‘this is such a narrow way to understand my community or some other community.’

AF: I will say that the one thing I did that was really about breaking things down was in 2020, I took to my Instagram and did a little series in a moment called ‘America AF,’ and it was just me in front of my phone talking about voting and elections in the most simple and basic terms so that we can understand that actually not that hard to understand. It has been made complicated and hard to understand on purpose by people in positions of power who would like for us to be too intimidated to engage or too exhausted by it to engage.

SA: We’ve seen recently, with the decision of Roe v. Wade, how women’s bodily autonomy is now coming up for question, and I know you’ve been very vocal about this issue. Why do you think that this is such a critical issue in this election cycle?

AF: It just strikes to the core of, who are we? What do we believe? Do we believe that women are full humans or not? Are we created equal or not? You cannot have a free and fair country when more than half of the population doesn’t have the right to control their own bodies. It’s unconscionable; it’s hypocrisy; it’s completely devoid of any integrity. It’s a threat to democracy in and of itself and to the very ideas that this country was founded on.

Source: V Magazine

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Interviews, Videos ♦ October 28, 2022

Emmy-winning actress America Ferrera discusses her career, representation in Hollywood and the work she’s doing to get out the Latino vote.

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Interviews, Videos ♦ October 06, 2022

America Ferrera and Yonas Kibreab discuss their roles in Elio, the upcoming film from Pixar.

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Interviews ♦ October 04, 2022

America Ferrera likes to make the most of her workout routine.

“I love moving my body. I try [to work out] once a day,” Ferrera tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I think my relationship to moving my body and working out has really evolved, and I’m in a place where I just want to enjoy it. I want to have fun, I want to move because I can, because it feels good, and because it always makes my day better after I’ve done that.”

Sharing that dancing is her go-to way to stay in shape, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants star says, “Dancing has always been a huge part of my family life, even as a little girl.”

“[But] I think for a lot of people with children, it’s very, very hard to carve out time for anything that isn’t work and kids. I feel like in order for me to keep showing up for myself and moving my body in ways that I enjoy, I have to find those workouts that are not just me punishing myself and saying, like, ‘Okay, you have an hour. Go beat yourself up,’ ” Ferrera, 38, continues. “It’s less about that for me at this stage in my life. It’s more like, let me find time in the day to move my body because it feels good to me, and find joy in that.”

Ferrera’s love of dance has followed her throughout the years, according to the Emmy winner, who says she now incorporates her two young children — son Sebastian Piers, 4, and daughter Lucia Marisol, 2, whom she shares with husband Ryan Piers Williams — into her routines.

“We have family dance parties on Saturday and Sunday mornings, spontaneous dance parties, often to Latino music,” she says. “Ever since my first kid could stand up without our help, we have been having dance parties as a family … moving our bodies for the joy of it to music that we love.”

Ferrera reiterates that dancing is “something I grew up with in my household as a kid,” explaining, “I remember waking up on the weekends to very, very loud salsa music playing while my mom cleaned the house. You didn’t really have a choice: You had to clean, or you had to dance — and sometimes both at the same time.”

She adds: “So it just feels like [something special], passing on to my kids the gift of how much joy there is in moving your body to music that you love. It’s a tradition, and it’s cultural for me, so it’s really important to us.”

Ferrera has recently partnered with Zumba for its new Zumba Beginnings program, which the Ugly Betty alum says is a form of “self-care” for her.

“It’s so many of the things that I love when I’m looking for a workout — It’s fun, it’s high energy. I love anything that has to do with choreography because it takes my mind off the fact that I’m working out. And before you know it, it’s done, and I’ve done my workout for the day,” she tells PEOPLE.

Noting that she loves “a lot of things” about Zumba’s newest program — which is free and provides users with content to familiarize themselves with basic Zumba steps before taking part in mini-workouts at varying lengths — Ferrera says, “I can just open my laptop and stand up out of my desk and do a class.”

“It doesn’t have to be so brass tax and humdrum. You put in your time and get on with your day,” she continues. “You can have a great time doing it.”

“And anyone can do it,” adds Ferrera. “It’s not about being the best, it’s not about being a professional dancer or someone who works out every single day — anyone can do it.”

Source: People

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Interviews ♦ October 04, 2022

America Ferrera is done punishing her body through exercise.

“My relationship with working used to be about fixing flaws. For years, I was in a cycle of beating myself up,” Ferrera told TODAY Parents. “It took me a lot of work to transform that relationship into one that is based in deep gratitude for the ability to move my body in ways that make me feel strong, joyful and alive.”

“Moving our bodies because it brings us joy is something we want to model for our kids,” the mom of 4-year-old son, Sebastian “Baz,” and 2-year-old daughter, Lucia, added.

Recently, Ferrera rediscovered her love of the Latin dance workout Zumba when she partnered with Zumba for Beginners. The choreography is so much fun that Ferrera forgets she’s even exercising.

“I’ll wake up the next day and I’m like, ‘I didn’t realize I was working that part of my arm, or that side of my abs,’” she explained. “You’re getting a full-body workout.”

Another perk: She can occupy her kids with an art project while she streams a 30-minute Zumba class from home.

“I get that boost of energy and that bump of endorphins,” the “Superstore” alum said. “Then I can get back to whatever is next on my on my schedule.”

Ferrera shares her two children with her husband, director Ryan Piers Williams.

During a 2020 appearance on “Conan,” the Emmy winner opened up about how she and Williams differ in terms of their parenting styles.

“I’ll listen to ‘Wheels on the Bus’ and read them ‘One Fish, Two Fish, Green Fish’ and Ryan will listen to Cardi B., or whatever he wants to listen to,” she joked.

Source: Today

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Interviews, Videos ♦ September 13, 2022

America Ferrera chats with ET’s Will Marfuggi about ‘Elio’ at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. She praises the Pixar film’s message about self-acceptance. While she stays tight-lipped about her role in the ‘Barbie’ movie, America says fans should ‘expect the unexpected.’

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Interviews, Videos ♦ September 10, 2022

America Ferrera talks about the best part of voice acting, making the surprise announcement of Pixar’s new film ‘Elio’ and what fans can expect from the film.

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