The starlet-to-be Sofía Vergara, with dreams bigger than Colombian mountains, desired to beat stars Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz. The actress believed Hollywood would not appreciate her accent, and it would act as a hindrance in her acting career. 

Sofía Vergara en visita a Miami en 2017Maqui015 Vlogs
Sofía Vergara en visita a Miami en 2017 | Wikimedia/Maqui015 Vlogs

Determined to outmaneuver them in at least one aspect, she embarked on a hilarious (and ultimately futile) mission: to completely erase her accent. Hang on tight, as we explore Sofía Vergara’s unneeded and costly war with her rather melodious accent!

From “F***ing Waste” to Fierce Flair: Sofía Vergara Battles the Accent Bias

Sofía Vergara & Eric Newman en entrevista con Tony Dandrades sobre la serie Griselda en 2024 (5:00)
Sofía Vergara & Eric Newman en entrevista con Tony Dandrades sobre la serie Griselda en 2024 | Wikimedia/Tony Dandrades

Sofía Vergara’s Colombian lilt is as charming as her comedic timing. But for the actress, that signature accent wasn’t always a source of pride—but a “f***ing waste!” In fact, she believed it’d roadblock her career and was desperate to get rid of it.  

In a conversation at the full drama actress roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter, The 51-year-old Griselda actor said that she struggled to play the character of Gloria Pritchett on Modern Family because of her accent. Talking about the obstacles she faced due to her accent in a more irate and frustrated manner, she drew comparisons to celebrities like Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek. She thought she could best them in terms of picking up the American accent only to realize a harsh reality–she cannot. The drama actress explained:

I tried in the beginning of my career. You know, when I moved to L.A., I’m like, I cannot believe Penélope Cruz or Salma Hayek don’t change their accent, they’d have so many more opportunities. I’m going to do it. But now I realize it’s a f***ing waste!

The actress then talked candidly about the challenges she had landing a serious part after playing Gloria, a Colombian bombshell and single mother, on the ABC sitcom for 11 years. She elaborated that she never went to an acting class, and playing that character came naturally to her, as if she were just being herself. 

However, when Vergara wanted to do something different, her accent always made it difficult. She pointed that out at the roundtable discussion, stating:

I spent so much money and time with people teaching me, and it was a f***ing waste!

Popular for her beauty and melodic accent, Vergara hired a dialect coach as a preventative step to advance her career. But she immediately regretted that, as she thinks this accent is beautiful, and that she cannot be something that she’s not. 

Despite her initial struggle, Sofía Vergara stunned viewers with her portrayal of Miami drug queenpin Griselda Blanco in Netflix’s Griselda. This success, however, came with years of feeling typecast due to her accent, a sentiment that deeply resonated with fans. 

Fans’ reaction to Vergara’s “different” accent

Jason Winer, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, Steven Levitan, Julie Bowen and Ed O'Neil 69th Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon Waldorf=Astoria Hotel | Wikimedia/Peabody Awards
Jason Winer, Eric Stonestreet, Sofía Vergara, Steven Levitan, Julie Bowen and Ed O’Neil 69th Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon Waldorf=Astoria Hotel | Wikimedia/Peabody Awards

When Vergara opened up about the challenges and how she felt with her “different” accent, fans expressed their astonishment. Defending her, they took to social media, saying it was kind of disgusting that she felt held back. 

One user tweeted, “Instead of saying ‘why can’t she learn to speak another accent’ we should be asking ‘why aren’t there more roles that allow hers?'” Another user wrote, “‘Stupid accent’ makes me so sad because I love her voice so much!”

Sofía Vergara’s joinery with her accent is a master class in defying expectations. She was initially annoyed by what she saw as a constraint, but in the end, she came to appreciate her heritage and unique voice. Vergara demonstrates that charm and skill can cut through linguistic barriers with performances like Griselda, which have received critical acclaim.

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