As someone whose strong accent can be used for laughs, Sofia Vergara found great joy working with Reese Witherspoon on the set of their new action comedy Hot Pursuit. “Well, her Spanish is not very good. It’s obviously not her best work,” Vergara told Movie Fanatic and laughed. There’s a scene in the film where co-star Reese Witherspoon’s character reveals she knows Spanish and can understand Vergara, even if her linguistics are not top notch.
“That was one of my favorite scenes because she had to struggle a lot. I could see fear in her eyes. I could see anxiety and confusion. It was great because that’s how I feel in every single scene of my life! I’ll be looking for words and people will be making faces, even though they don’t want to. So, I really enjoyed it. I tried not to help her that much because it was a personal thing that I was experiencing. Now that I’ve seen the whole movie, I understand why people laugh so much at me. It’s hysterical to see somebody trying to talk in another language and looking confused!”
As teased in the Hot Pursuit trailer, Vergara is a drug lord’s trophy wife who is reluctantly set to be transported from San Antonio to Dallas to testify (with her husband) against the top dog in the cartel. Witherspoon’s San Antonio cop is her escort and when they get ambushed at Vergara’s house, it sends the mismatched pair on the road trying to get to Dallas and stay alive.
Vergara (recently seen in Chef) was jealous of Witherspoon on one hand. While the Modern Family star had to wear enormous heels and high end dresses, the Oscar winner for Walk the Line had to wear a cop uniform and comfortable shoes.
“I was miserable all the time, compressed like a sausage in that white dress, sweating, and then those high heels -- and the blisters,” Vergara said. “She was all carefree and sitting on the floor. And she wouldn’t even change for lunch. It was like the dirtier she looked -- the better. She knew what she was doing!”
The two actresses bonded immediately and found that even though their characters are polar opposites, in real life the pair shared great affinity for many things. “People think we’re so different and then we sit down and we like the same food. We like makeup. We like having the family around. We like the same places to travel. We had kids young. We have a lot of similarities,” Vergara reported.
Vergara also found that what sets Hot Pursuit apart is that it’s not two women fighting over a guy, or even fussing about a love interest. It’s about two strong women finding their way under extreme circumstances. “This is a movie with two different women who have two different personalities and they’re trying to achieve the same thing and trying to survive. I think a lot of girls can look at this and learn many things from the relationship. You don’t have to look the same or be the same to understand another human being and support each other.”
If Vergara seems completely at ease with all her success, it is because she is. The Latin superstar is also a producer on Hot Pursuit and she admitted that she did not become the highest paid actress on television overnight.
“I’ve been working in the entertainment business for 25 years. Not at this level, of course, since I got lucky with Modern Family. But I try to make my work part of my real life,” she said.
“I’ve been working for 70 percent of my life. I try to enjoy it. To make it real, [I] bring my friends and my family to enjoy everything with me. Life goes fast so you can’t take just work very seriously. So hopefully I haven’t changed.”
Beyond the fact that Vergara hopes that Hot Pursuit is a success and that it leads to other female-led films featuring strong characters, she is delighted that it features two people from different cultures working together and not painted as adversaries.
“It would never have occurred to me that I was going to be able to do a movie with somebody like [Reese]. It’s such a big help to the Latin actors and actresses. Hopefully, this movie will do good and more studios and producers will think of adding us into movies and television shows,” Vergara said.
“I can’t complain because I’ve had such good luck getting jobs, like Modern Family. That has opened all the doors for me. But, we still need more. We need more places where somebody Latin can do their thing. And people like Reese are helping.”