By Bel Hernandez Castillo
Excerpt reprinted by permission of Latinomagazine.com
“Some people ask me, ‘Are you scared that you are stereotyping Latin women?’…I don’t even know why that is supposed to be bad. I mean, this is who we are. We’re loud. We’re passionate. We’re colorful. We’re voluptuous.”
Sofia Vergara is the $27 million dollar woman. In July 2012, she was declared the “Highest Paid Actress in Television” by Forbes, topping the list with earnings of $19 million from May 2011 to May 2012. In addition, there are lucrative endorsement deals and income derived from her multi-media company Latin World, bringing her estimated worth for 2012 to $27 million. With this and a combination of talent, beauty and rarely talked about business acumen, Vergara is the biggest crossover talent from Latin America in U.S. television history.
Although the limelight was not something Vergara sought out while growing up in Baranquilla, it found her when a photographer discovered her on the beach. Soon after, the 17 year old was shooting the Pepsi commercial that would make her a household name in Colombia. This commercial opened doors for her in the U.S. at Univision where she worked as a television host on Fuera de Serie and A Que No te Atreves for over eight years.
It was during the late 90’s that Vergara met Luis Balaguer, a Spaniard living in Miami. Together they founded Latin World, a management agency to help guide Vergara’s career. Latin World was instrumental in getting Vergara the initial roles and press to promote her in the English-language market. Later on, as Vergara’s career flourished, Latin World would open doors for the biggest stars in the Spanish-speaking entertainment world.
In 2002, Vergara landed a small, albeit memorable role, in a the Barry Sonnenfeld movie Big Trouble. Although the film was a financial failure, her “toe fetish scene” and stunning good looks put Vergara on the Hollywood radar. She soon landed a starring role in Chasing Papi alongside Roselyn Sanchez, singer Jaci Velasquez, and Eduardo Verastegui. The film flat-lined at the box-office, but for Vergara, it was a major step forward, and with Latin World behind her, she took full advantage of a chance to promote herself.
She went on The David Letterman Show, Conan O’Brien, The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn, and the Howard Stern Show and the conversation inevitably became about Vergara’s D-cup, love life and good looks. Being a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue model at the time was probably a major plus in getting booked. But Vergara wanted to introduce herself to American audiences and got the results she was looking for.
Two years later, she was offered a development deal at ABC. This was…For the full article CLICK HERE