Emmy Contender America Ferrera Smashes Ethnic Barrier in ‘Superstore’

“Ugly Betty” Emmy winner discusses defying stereotypes to TheWrap Emmy Magazine

Superstore Season 1 america ferrera

A version of this story on America Ferrera first appeared in the print edition of TheWrap Magazine’s Emmy Issue The Race Begins.

After Emmy, SAG and Golden Globes wins for “Ugly Betty” made her famous, America Ferrera turned down show after show until she found a role that did not specify a Latina actress: Amy in “Superstore,” a 10-year floor supervisor at a Best Buy-like big-box store.

“The exciting thing about playing Amy is she’s the exact opposite of relentlessly optimistic, energetic, full-of-goodwill Betty,” Ferrera told TheWrap. “Amy is absolutely a cynic who doesn’t expect wonderful things, but still has a heart.”

Like its star Ferrera — who traded sardonic quips about Latina stereotypes with Eva Longoria at the Globes — “Superstore” has politics on its mind, representing the happy collision of Ferrera’s smart art with heart and the offbeat comic style of creator Justin Spitzer, co-executive producer of “The Office.”

“Justin is a pure-blood comedy writer,” said Ferrera, 32. “Both of us do what we do well, and move a little in the other’s direction to make something new and fresh to people.”

The show’s reviews kept improving as the ensemble’s chemistry built toward an epic finale. “It just shows what can happen when people of color are allowed to play… people,” said Ferrera.

Read more of TheWrap Magazine’s The Race Begins Emmy Issue:

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