Last night the final episode of UGLY BETTY aired, and I have to say, I'm sad to see it go!
Obviously, I have a personal connection with this... I had the honor of portraying the lovable super-skank "Gina Gambarro" for a few episodes early in the show's life. Clearly, Gina moved out of the neighborhood (and off the show) a couple of seasons ago, so I'm not trying to claim any real ownership in what was so great about BETTY, but the show did mean a lot to me as an actor and a viewer!
I remember shooting the pilot episode on location in Queens and feeling the buzz of excitement surrounding the show... we were sitting in a tent watching the monitor, and I remember Silvio Horta (the show's creator) and one of the producers watching a close shot of America Ferrera's face , they just shook their heads in amazement ... "People are going to fall in love with her..." and they were right!!
There are a lot of people talking about why UGLY BETTY was important to television ( here's one article that I really liked...)
In a time when reality TV and cookie-cutter procedurals were taking over television, BETTY came on the scene and was a breath of fresh air. Colorful, a little crazy, and totally heartfelt... how could you NOT fall in love with Betty? I always thought she was an inspiration... a smart, ambitious Latina woman who was prettier on the inside than she was on the outside, overcoming resistance and challenge until she became the confident, accomplished professional she was at the end of the show, all the while staying true to herself! Beautiful!! And I don't think the importance of Justin's coming-out should be underestimated, either. There are gay teens all across the country who choose to deny who they are while they are in high school because it's easier for the people around them, their parents, friends and family, to accept. But I'm sure it's not easy on THEM to feel like it's not ok to be who they are... Showing Justin's experience on national prime-time television is one HUGE step forward in promoting tolerance to what homosexual teens go through. Showing Justin have a boyfriend, kiss him, dance with him, and how his family completely accepts and loves him was really great to see!! Thank you, UGLY BETTY for putting that on TV and showing everyone its OK!!
yea, maybe the story lines got a little over the top at times, but the cast was amazing, it was fun and heartfelt, and I still agree that people will look back on this show as a unique and significant part of TV history... I loved being able to work on this show, the cast was truly wonderful, and I feel honored to have been a part of it.
Bye Bye BETTY!!!! You will be missed!
(check out my Gina page for more pics and videos)