Why America Ferrera Felt No One Thought She "Deserved" Her Historic Emmy Win

America Ferrera opens up about feeling like no one thought she deserved her historic Emmy win in 2007 and how she's grown from that experience.
By Alyssa Morin May 11, 2020 9:54 PMTags
America FerreraJC Olivera/Getty Images for National Hispanic Media Coalition

America Ferrera is laying it all on the table.

As some fans know, the 36-year-old star made history at the 2007 Emmy Awards. She was the first Latina to win an Emmy in a "lead actress" category. Her win that night was for her work on the hit comedy series, Ugly Betty.

Fast forward to 2020, and America is opening up about how she really felt after that groundbreaking win.

Chatting on the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, the Ugly Betty alum explained what crossed her mind as she accepted her Emmy award for a Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

"When I won the Emmy, I can't bring myself to watch that because the only thing I remember about being on that stage, accepting that Emmy, was the feeling that no one in the room thought I deserved it," she told the co-hosts. "And that's a shame."

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America Ferrera's Best Roles

Dax asked America to expand on what she thought others were thinking of her in that moment.

"[I was thinking] 'She doesn't really deserve that. What is she really doing in that role? That role is not interesting enough, it's not dark enough, it's not edgy enough.' You know, all of the bullsh--t."

Related: America Ferrera Honors Honduran Heritage at 2020 Oscars

"Which doesn't enter your mind on its own. There were people in my life perpetuating those narratives and making me feel like I hadn't earned this moment," she continued. "When I look back at that time, my heart aches for that 22-year-old girl, who didn't get to really enjoy those moments."

Moreover, she also shared that while working on Ugly Betty was rewarding and fulfilling, it was also a very "challenging" time for her.

"I loved this character, loved this world... to have a feeling of this character and this story so needed in the culture right now. I just have a gut instinct that's it's going to speak so strongly to so many people, myself included, and to see that happen? That's the best win ever," she explained.

ABC/PATRICK HARBRON

Adding, "It was maybe the hardest work I'll ever do in my life but I loved it. The hoopla and the whirlwind that happened around it was challenging and exhausting. My whole life changed... On one hand, it's what an amazing experience... but there was so much drama and so many challenging things happening in my personal life."

As she's gotten older, the Superstore actress says she knows her worth and doesn't need validation from other people anymore.

"I now know my value, and I know I'm a badass...," she shared. "There will always be more for me, because it's coming from inside of me. And I'm not looking for other people to validate me."