During our recent webcam chat (watch above) about her new comedy series “Superstore,” America Ferrera described her character Amy, a longtime employee at a giant megastore, as “lacking that luster of hope that life is going to turn out great.” As this one-time Emmy champ explains, “she’s probably the character who’s the most grounded in reality who resigned herself to what her life is day-in and day-out.”
Yet Amy remains a mystery throughout the first season, especially to the new guy, Jonah (Ben Feldman). “When it comes to your workplace,” says Ferrera, “there are different levels of what you show of who you are.” Throughout the season, the audience learns bits and pieces about her character that she keeps hidden from her coworkers, including a marriage and a child. “The truth is you can work with someone for 10 years and never ask the right question to get this little piece of information about who they are.”
The show takes a humorous look at a wide range of cultural issues, including “our assumptions of people and our own hesitation to take on other people’s expectations of what you are based on your race.” Ferrera credits a diverse cast, including Colton Dunn as the wheelchair-bound Garrett, Nico Santos as the highly-competitive Mateo, and Lauren Ash as the tough-as-nails Dina, for these hot topic storylines. “We have people from all kinds of backgrounds,” she says, “and that gives us an advantage because we’re allowed to make jokes and do storylines that might be super sensitive if there weren’t that many people represented in the cast.”
Ferrera recalls her Comedy Actress win at the 2007 Emmys for the first season of “Ugly Betty.” “It’s so funny looking back at that first time because it was all so new, and everything was so exciting, being at the Emmys and being in a room with all these people that you’ve admired for so long, being there with my cast that I loved and getting to have this experience with them. It was overwhelming.”
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