America Ferrera Cites the Actresses That Inspired ‘Barbie’ Monologue, but Points Out ‘Glaring’ Absence in All-Time List | Video

“It was interesting because Googling ‘Best movie monologues, top 25 monologues’ – they’re all men,” the actress tells TheWrap

America Ferrera revealed that her research to prep for her monologue in “the film”Barbie” yielded some galvanizing results.

Her singular scene in “Barbie” about the tensions of being a woman has connected with women of all ages and drawn references such as Kevin Costner’s recitation of the speech at the Golden Globes.

“It was interesting because Googling ‘Best movie monologues, top 25 monologues, they’re all men, and they’re all great monologues but it’s like, ‘Where are these moments for the women?’” Ferrera told TheWrap on the Oscars red carpet. “And there are some obviously, but that was one of the things that was so glaring to me. So I was like, I’m just putting that right in my monologue.”

 The actress cited her own inspirations, actresses who gave a foundation upon which she built her own moment.

“My favorite monologues [are] Sally Field in ‘Steel Magnolias,’ every monologue in ‘Network,’ a lot of Meryl Streep monologues. No one’s ever asked me this question actually about what monologues I, you know, watched or pulled from, and I wouldn’t say I pulled from them so much as watched many to kind of get the sense of what makes a powerful monologue performance.” 

As for the predicted toy film franchise boon, Ferrera had distinct advice for future projects attempting to do what “Barbie” did. 

“Don’t be predictable. Be surprising, and make it for people. You have to find filmmakers with a vision and something to say and support their vision and let them do their work. I don’t think that the secret sauce in a ‘Barbie’ was that she was a beloved toy,” the actress said. “I think that was part of it, but in a lot of ways, that worked against the film, potentially as well. Greta and Noah had a bigger vision, in the writing and Greta as a director and Margo and Tom as producers who hired Greta. They all knew that it had to be something bigger and more and deeper, and they found an opportunity in something known and established to turn it around and surprise people.”

Ferrera hopes to take what she learned from Gerwig into her directorial debut, “I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” based on the book by Erika Sánchez.

“The director matters so much, and the energy that a director creates and holds and either protects or doesn’t protect directly affects what’s possible, it directly affects what I as a performer am able to give and do based on what the environment is,” she said. “As a director, I take that as my job, to create a creative space and environment where beautiful work can come through and be done.”


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