Q&A with America Ferrera

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Actress America Ferrera will headline this year's annual Keyholder event for the Women's Fund of Central Ohio on Thursday, May 9. The program serves as a gathering to empower and inspire women and girls in the community. Author Sheryl WuDunn will also speak about women and philanthropy. We spoke with Ferrera via email about Hollywood life and making a difference-take a peek at the Q&A. To hear more from Ferrera, tickets for Keyholder cost $50 and are available at

–Heather Weekley, @heather_weekley

Which character has been your favorite to play, and why?

It's hard to pick a favorite but I would say the most impacting character has been Betty from "Ugly Betty." I spent so much time with the character during some pivotal years of my life. I feel like I grew up with Betty.

Tips on juggling work, marriage, friendship, possible future parenting?

There's nothing easy about juggling life, work, friends, family, marriage, etc. I find I'm constantly having to check in with my priorities and really pay attention to what I need most in my life at the moment. Sometimes I need to dive head first into a consuming creative process, and sometimes I need to shut off my working brain and spend time with my friends and family. I think the work lies in being mindful of how I am spending my energy and whether or not the returns of my energy investment are worth it.

Secrets to staying happy & healthy: What are yours?

I try to spend time with the people I love. I think it's important to spend time alone. And I believe whole-heartedly in therapy. I don't think one can actively change and grow alone. We need others to help us see ourselves.

You're in a position to make a difference: What causes are you most passionate about?

I am involved in several different issues- voting, women's health and security, education-but ultimately I am most passionate about all people having the chance to live their lives with dignity and opportunity.