Sofía Vergara is part of the colorful cast of Escape from Planet Earth, the animated feature directed by Cal Brunker opening in theater this Friday and featuring the voices of Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Brendan Fraser, George Lopez, Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry. The film follows the comedic misadventures of friendly aliens on Planet Baab who find themselves trapped by evil forces on the distant “Dark Planet” after they respond to an interplanetary call for help.
At a roundtable interview at the film’s press day last week, Vergara talked about her character, Gabby Babblebrock, the hot and spicy anchor for BNN News. She discussed why she accepted the fun role on short notice, how the recording experience compared to her previous work in Happy Feet Two and The Smurfs, why she wasn’t surprised by the film’s large Latino cast, what she likes best about shooting Modern Family, how she finds time to keep up with her large Twitter following, indulging in beignets at Café du Monde in New Orleans’ French Quarter during the recent Super Bowl, and starring opposite Danny Trejo in the upcoming Machete Kills. Hit the jump to read more.
Sofia Vergara: I’ve done Happy Feet Two which was great, and I was a person (Odile Anjelou) in The Smurfs and Smurfs 2. It’s fun. This one was a quick thing. They asked me three days before, “Do you want to do the voice for this character?” I was like, “Yes, of course. Why not?” It was only two hours. I went from the set of Modern Family to the recording studio and did it in two hours. It was really easy. Happy Feet was a different thing because it was in Australia. It was with all the actors in a booth, so that was a lot of fun because we were actually working with Robin Williams, and Hank Azaria was great. But on this one, I was alone and I did it and I left.
We’re so used to actors who do animation saying, “Oh I wanted to do it for my children.” Jessica Alba wanted to do it for her kids, but your son is too old for this.
Vergara: He’s 21, so he doesn’t really care. But no, I did it because the cast was great. It’s a beautiful movie for kids. It was only two hours. I didn’t have to travel anywhere. I thought it was really cute. Why not?
And you walked down the aisle on this one?
Vergara: I did, and my ass looked huge. (laughs)
Did they show you the drawing of it before you did it?
Vergara: No, not really. I didn’t have time to think too much about it, because like I told you, they asked me three days before if I was interested. They sent me the pages the day I did it. I just didn’t want it to sound too much like Gloria. That was my main concern. Journalists don’t talk normal. They’re like this (mumbling really fast). I tried to do that a little bit so that people didn’t think, “Oh, that’s Gloria giving the news.”
You play an alien in this film. Do you believe in life on other planets?
Vergara: I believe in everything. You can never say no because again it’s surprising. I’m 40 years old, and there were things that I didn’t believe in when I was young, and now I realize how dumb I was. So, I believe in everything. It’s a huge galaxy, so why not?
Your character falls for the hero as opposed to the brainy dweeb. Which do you prefer?
Vergara: The hero. The muscle guy. Tall and blue.
Are you still shooting the show, Modern Family, right now?
Vergara: No. It’s not bad. I think I have the best job in the world. It’s like we go in. We’re such a big cast that not every day we shoot, so sometimes I have one day off of the week. It depends on the episode. It might be one episode will be more difficult than the other. But Ed (O’Neill) is so professional. He comes in and he knows all his lines. And Rico (Rodriguez), he knows his lines, my lines and Ed’s lines. (laughs) It’s like we go in, do our thing, no drama.
Are you interested in space? Do you like to look at the stars?
Vergara: Yes, I love it. I grew up in Columbia where the cities are not that big and polluted so you get to see a little bit more. (laughs)
I was at the premiere Saturday and they mentioned you were at the Super Bowl this weekend. What was that experience like and were you and Nick rooting for the same team?
Vergara: We weren’t really rooting for either team because our team is the Giants. We went just for the experience of being in the Super Bowl because he went to college in Tulane which is in New Orleans. He wanted to show me Tulane. We went there. I had been to New Orleans, but not to that area where he went to college. All we did was eat. I mean, thank God I don’t live in the city because I would be a monster.
Was there a favorite New Orleans delicacy that you liked?
Vergara: The beignets. You’re supposed to have one with your coffee. The first time I had five and I’m not exaggerating. They’re like this big. And then the next day, we went to one where they were this big (meaning bigger) and I had three. And then, I felt the whole time we can’t keep doing this. But once the feeling of being full goes away, then you’re like, “Okay. Where are we eating now?”
Did you go to the Café du Monde in the French Quarter?
Vergara: That’s the first one we went to.
Won’t they recognize you there?
Vergara: Yes, but I have security, and I try to go everywhere that I really want to go not feeling like… They’re going to talk and invent things anyway so why keep myself from enjoying the things that everybody else is enjoying just because it’s not like what I want.
So you don’t care about what you eat?
Vergara: (laughs) I do, I do. I don’t do it all the time. For example, vacations or going to another city, for me it’s like…. Actually I’m the best when I’m in L.A. I think it’s easy. Everything is healthier. But when I’m in New York, I can’t do it. I try to compensate by working out a little bit more. I’m not being that bad. My bad thing is desserts. So what I do throughout my whole life, what I have learned since I wanted to be more [svelte], because before when I thought it was fantastic to be really voluptuous, I wouldn’t edit myself, but now what I do is I try to eat a healthy lunch or dinner with chicken, and not too much, and a little bit of mashed potatoes with vegetables, and I save the calories for dessert.
Vergara: (laughs) Oh, I didn’t know that.
Are you and Jessica Alba doing Machete Kills together?
Vergara: Yes, but I didn’t see anyone when I did Machete Kills. I just saw the director (Robert Rodriguez) and Danny Trejo. That was it.
Do you and Jessica have any scenes together?
Do you have any plans for your hiatus this year? Is there something you’re going to be doing?
Vergara: I have a lot of things like my endorsements that I have to take care of that I try to do during that time. My Kmart thing, I take care of Kmart at that time. I’m sure I’m going to end up doing it. I always try to do something so that I have a little presence in the movie the year after. It’s hard to get a big role in a movie, because usually I only have those four months and usually movies either start before or then I have to start Modern Family, so it’s hard to get something that you really want to do unless you become [big]…not yet…but maybe when I can decide I’m doing this and that. So I’ll try to do something here and there hopefully, but I don’t know yet.
Vergara: I hadn’t thought about that because now it’s so normal more and more. I guess it’s not anymore like, “Ohhhhh!” We’re everywhere now.
What’s the biggest thing your fans want to always know about you? What will they ask?
Vergara: My fans? Well the girls always ask, “What do you eat?” “How do you stay in shape?” “What do you wear?” That’s why one of the things I always wanted to do was a Kmart line for that demographic. And men, they’re always on Twitter asking “Will you marry me? I’m 17, but would you marry me?” “Would you go with me on a date?” “Would you send me a kiss?” I mean, girls, it’s all about looks and I want to buy this. Guys, it’s all about sex.
Vergara: No, it doesn’t. But there are a few that have a really bad tone, like nasty. “I’m going to do this to you.” Those sometimes I’m like “Really? Do you have to show me that?”
You have so many thousands of followers. You can’t possibly read all those Tweets?
Vergara: All of them, no. But every once and awhile, if you’re in an airport waiting, that’s when you get to read more. Or you’re just sitting in the car waiting to go to the awards show, and then you have time to. That’s where Twitter is good.