There’s no other actress quite like 37-year-old Colombian bombshell Sofia Vergara, or as her legions of male fans call her “Sofia Viagara.” With sun kissed locks, never ending curves, and nearly perfect assets to make anyone fall on their knees, it’s no wonder Vergara is known as one of the sexiest Latinas in Hollywood. Not only has she graced more than 100 magazine covers, but she has also starred opposite famous hunks, like Mark Wahlberg, Terrence Howard, and the late Heath Ledger. Whether she’s an enticing waitress trying to rob Mick Jagger (“The Knights of Prosperity”), or showing off her comedic wit as an irresistible murderess (Madea Goes to Jail), she never fails to make a grown man’s eyes pop right out of his sockets. Now, Vergara is ready to spice things up on Broadway as one hot mama.
This spring, Vergara is making her grand debut doing the one thing she has never done before: sing and dance in front of a live audience. As the reigning cellblock diva Matron “Mama” Morton in the Broadway musical Chicago, Vergara is scheduled to perform in the hit show for a five-week limited engagement. We sat down with Vergara at New York City’s Ambassador Theatre where she tells us how she’s more nervous than one may think, why Latinos will love Broadway more than ever, and what she really looks for in a man.
nocheLatina: Why did you choose to do Broadway now and take on the character of Mama Morton?
Sofia Vergara: I didn’t think about it. It was an opportunity that my agent had for me. I found out that they were looking for someone and I came to New York, auditioned, and got the part. It wasn’t anything that I thought I would be able to do! I’m not a professional singer or dancer and I just started acting not that long ago. It was a surprise!
nocheLatina: Talk to me about your experience in getting this role. What were some of the challenges that you faced?
Sofia Vergara: It was very difficult because this is something completely new to me. I don’t have any background that you would expect from someone in Broadway. However, the opportunity looked fun and I wanted to do it. The hard part was only having two weeks of rehearsal. I am so nervous! I’ve never sung, let alone in front of a crowd. It’s one thing to be singing a Britney Spears song in your car, but when you’re on Broadway, you have to let everything go and show what you’re really made of. I’m scared.
nocheLatina: In your own words, who is Mama Morton?
Sofia Vergara: Mama Morton is a lot of fun to play. She’s a very strong, manipulative woman and I think her songs are great. They’re very interesting and full of life. When you hear them, you know exactly what kind of woman you’re dealing with. She’s not one to dance around all the time, so for me it was perfect! Regardless, you have no idea how nervous I was singing and doing all those moves on stage. Just thinking about it petrifies me.
nocheLatina: Do you treat this part like you would with any other film role?
Sofia Vergara: Well yeah, in a way. I read the script, memorized my lines, saw the movie Chicago, then I went to see a performance so I can study how the other actors do it. You get a sense of what the director wants, how it should look on stage, and you just follow that.
nocheLatina: It’s interesting because it seems like a lot of Latinos who live in the city don’t often come to the theatre because they think it’s too expensive or just not for them. What are your thoughts on that?
Sofia Vergara: I don’t think we come from a culture where we’re trained for that. We don’t grow up thinking that we should go out and watch some little play, let alone act in one. We grow up thinking, ‘I have to go to work, I have to make money, and I have to support my family.’ I think the beauty of living in New York City is to be surrounded by all these opportunities to work and learn more about the arts. You don’t have to be Latino to be part of everything that New York City has to offer. It’s amazing how one can hop on the subway and go watch any live performance where you can experience art. It’s beautiful how someone who loves music can come to Broadway and be entertained. I think more than ever people want to escape their everyday lives and just have a good time. It’s almost like taking a mini vacation without the price of one. I think once our people realize that, then they’ll feel Broadway isn’t so far away from them.
nocheLatina: You’ve mentioned in an interview that you weren’t sure if you were capable of singing, dancing, and acting live. Do you still feel this way?
Sofia Vergara: Oh of course, I feel that way even more. I can’t stop thinking about it. I wish I can just say, ‘Please, please give me three more weeks!’ But I think I’m at the point where I just need to relax and try to do the best that I can because there’s no turning back now.
nocheLatina: How has the cast of Chicago treated you so far?
Sofia Vergara: They are amazing and some of the nicest people that I’ve ever met. I’ve haven’t had the chance to meet everyone because I’m so busy practicing and rehearsing my scenes, but everyone else that I’ve met is just unbelievable.
nocheLatina: That’s good to hear. I often hear that Broadway actors keep to themselves.
Sofia Vergara: You know what, if I was them, I would hate it if someone like me suddenly came in. They’ve been doing this for so long and know every single line and scene like second nature. They have everything so pact down and ready for any moment. Now, someone likes me comes along who hasn’t done any singing or acting. I would be so annoyed having to get used to someone like me. However, their response has been the complete opposite and I couldn’t thank them enough for that. It makes this experience easier to cope with.
nocheLatina: As someone who lives in California, how do you like it in New York City?
Sofia Vergara: I love New York! I actually lived in New York City for about a year and a half. One of the reasons why I took this role was to come back to the city.
nocheLatina: What do you like to do during your spare time?
Sofia Vergara: I adore eating here because you can always find all these great small restaurants and I also love walking around. It never feels like you’re in the same place twice and it’s just a great feeling to experience the energy of the city.
nocheLatina: What’s your favorite dish?
Sofia Vergara: Of course, Colombian. Queens is one of the best places to find delicious Colombian food, especially Jackson Heights. But honestly, I like anything. I love Indian, Vietnamese, Italian, anything that’s good, I’ll eat it. That’s why I love New York. You can find anything here.
nocheLatina: You’re considered as one of the most beautiful Latinas in Hollywood. Have you ever felt any frustrations on being recognized more as a sex symbol and not enough as an actress?
Sofia Vergara: No, I’ve never felt that way. Acting has always been an adventure for me. It’s not something that I’ve been trying to achieve my whole life, but I can’t complain because I’ve been working ever since I decided to become an actress. I haven’t done anything huge yet, but I’ve been working, earning money, and making a wonderful life out of it. It’s also a reality that if you’re a woman, you have to take advantage of it. There is always going to be a younger, prettier girl who will attempt to take your place, but I’ve been maintaining myself for a long time. I’ve been working for 20 years.
nocheLatina: Is it true that you’ve never had any plastic surgery?
Sofia Vergara: I’m 37, I don’t really think I need it.
nocheLatina: People in Hollywood tend to get surgery at any age.
Sofia Vergara: That’s true, but maybe when I’m 45, I‘ll think about it. At 37? Not yet.
nocheLatina: What’s your biggest beauty secret?
Sofia Vergara: I don’t know if it has any connection, but I haven’t eaten red meat in about 15 years. I eat chicken, shrimp, and turkey, but no cow for me. I also drink a lot of water. I’m always carrying water with me. I read a book that describes all the benefits water can give to the body and it changed my life. When you drink water, you feel good, and it shows.
nocheLatina: Tell me one thing that few people know about you.
Sofia Vergara: I can read like crazy. I can sit down and read for four hours straight. I read up to three-four books a month.
nocheLatina: Are there any books that you’ve been reading lately?
Sofia Vergara: I love Latin American literature. Carlos Ruiz Zafron is so amazing. I highly recommend his book La Sombra del Viento. I just finished reading it and I’m still completely hooked. I also love Indian romance novels.
nocheLatina: Are you one of those Latinas that has to catch up on their novelas?
Sofia Vergara: No, I barely watch TV, which would explain why I’m always reading. I prefer curling up to a good book than sitting in front of the television. I don’t even have a TV in my bedroom. My son Manolo thinks I’m an alien. He’s going to be 18. Being a teenager is like being in a different planet!
nocheLatina: Our male readers are dying to know, what does it take to be with Sofia Vergara?
Sofia Vergara: I think when you get older, you start to become more picky when it comes to guys. But, I love a man with a great sense of humor, someone who can make me laugh. I would want to be with someone who is successful or with the potential of being successful. That’s something I think every woman is attracted to, a man who has his own life and knows what he wants. Looks aren’t everything, but for some reason, my cousins all think I have bad taste in men! To me, the men I’ve been with are beautiful, but all they can say is, ‘Ew, look how ugly he is! Why can’t you be with someone who looks good?’ But to me, I look at them and all I can see is how gorgeous they are. So apparently, I don’t have very good taste, at least that’s what I’m being told.
nocheLatina: After you’re done with Chicago, do you see yourself doing Broadway again?
Sofia Vergara: I don’t know. I try not to make plans now. I have a new series in the works called ‘An American Family.’
nocheLatina: Speaking of that pilot, I know it’s still in its early stages, but is there anything you can reveal about the show?
Sofia Vergara: It’s a half hour comedy. My character is married to a 60-year-old guy, but it’s a beautiful relationship and it’s one of those times where audiences will think ‘Wow, they actually do love each other.’
nocheLatina: Do you have any final thoughts that you would like to let our readers know?
Sofia Vergara: I hope everyone comes to watch the show and support me in Chicago. I think it would be great to unite Latinos in the city so we can raise more awareness about the arts. It will hopefully open more doors for us and show the Latino community that Broadway is also ours.
Catch Sofia Vergara as Matron “Mama” Morton in Broadway’s Chicago at New York City’s Ambassador Theatre through Sunday, May 24. Upon completion of her Chicago National Tour in Miami between May 26-31, she’ll return to Broadway on Monday, June 1 through Sunday, June 7.