MGM and Fox Home Entertainment recently gave us the chance to chat with Regina Pavón, who plays Zoe Solares in the award-winning telenovela Yo Soy Betty La Fea (Ugly Betty). The show has been nominated for numerous Emmys and Golden Globes, and it won the Latin Grammy for Best Telenovela of 2007. In the interview we learned more about Regina’s process in creating Zoe, how Zoe connects with her co-stars and fans, what she likes to do in her spare time, and why she loves working on Yo Soy Betty La Fea. Regina Pavón on being Zoe Solares
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What drew you to this role?
Being part of a show as big as Yo Soy Franky has been amazing. Not only because of its enormous fan base, but also because it is a great opportunity to grow as an actress. As a Latino actor, I have always had to fight for my place in Hollywood. However, I never felt discriminated against until I started auditioning for bilingual roles and saw that they would be given to non-Latino actors that barely spoke Spanish.
Why did you want to play an LGBTQ+ character?
I want to play these characters because, even though I’m straight, I want to tell people that we all need to get over our phobias and differences. We are all human beings, it doesn’t matter what gender you like or your sexual preference. I think playing Zoe will help me spread that message. It is so important and people need to know that. Also, I thought playing a lesbian would make for some really interesting acting scenes with Alma! Regina Pavón on being Zoe Solares
How was it working with Gina Rodriguez?
Gina is amazing. I love her to death. She’s definitely my angel and has been an incredible blessing to me and to our show. I had never worked with a Latina actress before and Gina has completely inspired me to work harder and be better; she gives me hope that Latinos can make it in Hollywood. I’m always looking forward to working with her again because she’s such a good friend, too.
The show tackles several current issues
from immigration rights, gender identity and immigration, to LGBTQ relationships and parental acceptance. We talked with Regina about what attracted her to play Zoe, a new character for her. (She’s starred in Amor Vincit Omnia for 5 years now) How does it feel to play someone so different from Alma? How has she been received by Latinx viewers? And we couldn’t help but ask what lies ahead for her after Despertar. Tune in! Regina Pavón on being Zoe Solares
What do you like about playing this character?
When I first read the script, I was struck by how much I related to her. She’s a strong and funny woman who struggles with her sexuality as she tries to find herself in a world that can be very unforgiving of women like her. At times, we look exactly alike—in both good and bad ways! But what’s interesting is that her real-life counterpart is actually not a lesbian at all.
Describe your favorite scene.
The scene that stands out most to me was when I was talking with Alma and we were recalling our favorite memories. We hadn’t been in contact for a long time, so it was good to reconnect. Alma gave me all her strength. That’s something that women do very well, especially mothers and daughters who have spent a lot of time apart.