A Golden Day-After With 'Betty'

Reporters got a grand tour of the set Tuesday and met star America Ferrera.
Reporters got a grand tour of the set Tuesday and met star America Ferrera. ((Abc / Karen Neal))
By Lisa de Moraes
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 16

On a very chilly morning after the Golden Globes were handed out, a pack of intrepid Reporters Who Cover Television lit out in a tour bus for the "Ugly Betty" set in Hollywood, to catch exclusive "We're thrilled to win the Globe" quotes from America Ferrera, executive producer Silvio Horta and anyone else they could run down.

Cast members were tastefully sprinkled around the Mode magazine set in director's chairs, wrapped in blankets, cashmere shawls and down coats.

"There's no heat," one producer said dourly. "This is California. . . . We have air conditioning, but no heat."

The reporters pounced on Ferrera, asking whether her win as best sitcom actress meant she "felt more a member of the club" than before, "How much sleep did you get last night?" and "When did you realize how much this show means to people?"

Ferrera told them she'd had her picture taken after the trophy ceremony with Steven Spielberg and it was just like being at Magic Mountain having her picture taken with a cardboard cutout celebrity figure.

The press demanded to know whether Salma Hayek had assured her ahead of time she was going to win.

"She's like my mother -- she had to say that," Ferrera responded, then realizing the hideous gaffe she'd just made, added quickly, "She wouldn't like that I said 'mother' -- she was like my sister!"

From Horta they learned the show's Globe win for best comedy series did not guarantee an automatic second-season pickup.

Little Mark Indelicato, who plays Betty's Mode-obsessed nephew Justin Suarez, assured reporters, "I get so much fan mail saying 'thank you!' " from young fans who say they are just like his character and equally misunderstood. One reporter asked if his character was gay.

"It hasn't been stated whether Justin is gay; it hasn't been stated whether Justin is straight," Indelicato said nervously. He added: "It has nothing to do with me."

Exec producer Hayek and co-star Vanessa Williams were nowhere in sight. But the show's very nice set designer, Mark Worthington, took reporters on a tour, explaining that Mode's Jetsons-meets-"2001" look was a result of a line in the pilot script that referred to the magazine's "iPod-esque lobby."

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