Sofía Vergara Recalls Hiring a Dialect Coach to Get Rid of Her ‘Beautiful Accent’: ‘It Was a F—ing Waste’

“It’s hard because this accent is beautiful, but it’s like, I cannot be a scientist, I cannot be an astronaut,” Vergara said of the roles she’s offered.

Though actress Sofía Vergara has become known for her beauty and melodic accent, she was once determined to get rid of the latter over fears her speech would limit her opportunities.

While discussing the roles she’s been offered since her days on Modern Family, the Griselda star, 51, revealed that she didn’t want to be her character “Gloria [Pritchett] again” in another comedy series, but “I cannot take this accent away no matter what.”

“I tried at the beginning of my career,” she recalled during The Hollywood Reporter’s drama actress round table. “When I moved to L.A., I’m like, I cannot believe Penélope Cruz or Salma Hayek don’t change their accent, they’d have so many more opportunities. I’m going to do it.”

“Then I spent so much money and time with people teaching me, and it was a f—ing waste,” Vergara added.

After spending 11 years on the ABC sitcom as Gloria, a Colombian bombshell and single mom, the actress opened up about the difficulties with finding a dramatic role.

“It was almost playing myself in a way,” she explained. “I never went to an acting class in my life. And when I decide to do something different, it’s hard because this accent is beautiful, but it’s like, I cannot be a scientist, I cannot be an astronaut.”

Hiring a dialect coach wasn’t the only preemptive measure she took to further her career. While Vergara revealed she’s never lied to “get a job,” she confessed that she “lied to my agents so they’d take me when I moved to L.A.”

“I said I could sing and dance. Why not? I didn’t think they were going to send me out,” she laughed. “Then they sent me to an audition for Chicago on Broadway.”

Despite her initial fears, she landed the part, playing Mama Morton in Chicago.

Though Vergara may be best known for her roles in comedy, she wowed audiences with her portrayal of Miami drug queenpin Griselda Blanco in Netflix’s Griselda.

During an appearance on former costar Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s Dinner’s on Me podcast, the actress reflected on having “a lot of similarities” to the drug lord and how her own family’s experiences with grief influenced how she approached the character.

Vergara’s older brother — who had been involved in the drug “business, unfortunately, for some time” — “was killed in Colombia in the ‘90s.”

“So a lot of those things, I thought I understood. I understood that business, I understood that woman, and so I thought it was a really interesting character,” she said, noting that she didn’t approach the role looking for “a character to prove that I can be a dramatic actress.”

“I thought it needed to be somebody that I kind of, like, knew who she was,” she added.


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