America Ferrera On Hollywood Diversity: ‘What Do You Do When Someone Says, ‘Your Color Skin Is Not What We’re Looking For’?’

America Ferrera revealed what it’s like being a Latina actress trying to get into the movie industry, and the revelations are quite shocking. In her interview with The New York Times, the 31-year-old actress shed light on how it’s like to confront diversity problems in modern Hollywood.

Apart from America Ferrera, The New York Times interviewed 26 other people within the movie industry. The interviews were published on Wednesday and included disturbing stories involving ethnicity and gender problems, as well as awkward situations that took place at some point of the interviewees’ lives.

America Ferrera went as far as painting her face white to try to get a role in a movie she was interested in. According to the Superstore actress, she was 18-years-old and she received a call from the film’s representatives.

They told America Ferrera that they had already cast a Latino in another role of the movie, which is why they were not looking to cast another Latina. In a show of defiance, she bleached her hair blond, painted her face white, and made the audition tape.

“I never heard back. I just remember feeling so powerless. What do you do when someone says, ‘Your color skin is not what we’re looking for?'”

Recalling this story, America Ferrera joked that blond doesn’t suit her and that now she never proves her point through audition tapes.

America Ferrera has always worked hard to earn a living, as her family never had a lot of money to spare, according to People. The actress was interviewed for the latest issue of People, where she revealed what it was living like as the youngest of six kids born to Honduran immigrants.

“If I wanted money to do anything, I had to earn it.”

America Ferrera revealed that she had already had her first job by the time she was a tween. And that job was… cleaning up after her neighbor’s pet pig. While a picture of some cute-looking pig has probably appeared in your head, here’s the disappointing and disturbing part of that story.

“And it wasn’t the cutest or friendliest pig. It was big and had wiry hair. It wasn’t Babe.”

America Ferrera admitted that she didn’t “love” that job (and who would, really?), but she will get down on her knees and “scrub your pig’s poop if it means not having to beg my brother for $2 so I can get an ice cream.”

The actress added that she was never too proud to make money. By the time America Ferrera was a teenager, she was working the early-morning waitress shift at the restaurant in the hotel where her mother worked.

And she was a horrible waitress, as said by America Ferrera herself. The Ugly Betty actress said that she is not a morning person, which is why she was always struggling to get her brain functioning properly that early in the morning.

“I’ve always been a big sleeper. I love my sleep. So I’m glad my waitressing days are behind me.”

America Ferrera also revealed that every red carpet show or photo shoot felt like a “stressful occasion” when the actress started out. But in the same interview with People, Ferrera admitted that she had finally found the key to enjoying her time as a celebrity.

The key is to understand that you never get to change the outside world’s opinion about your appearances.

“If everyone hates my dress but I like it, that’s all that matters. I’m finally learning that being not perfect is okay.”

[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]