Q&A: Ana Ortiz on the Future of "Ugly Betty"

Lovely actress Ana Ortiz spoke to Vivo Por TiVo about the new season of Ugly Betty (premiering tomorrow night at 8 p.m.), partying with the cast and crew in the Bahamas, and waking up in bed next to heartthrob Adam Rodriguez. Plus, she tells us what’s in store for Hilda this season, what it was like working with Shakira and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, and spills the beans about a top secret affair that will have audiences buzzing.

What’s coming up for Hilda this season?
This season is going to be really great for Hilda. There’s a lot of good stuff with her son, with him coming of age and handling stuff, and you’ll see how she copes with that. She’s also in sort of a love triangle, and Adam Rodriguez is coming on the show! He’s soooo smoking hot! My job is really hard! [Laughs]

Have you already met Adam?
I knew him. We go way back. You know how Latinos are. People are like, ‘do you know so and so?’ And half the time I’m like, ‘uh, yeah.’ I guess we all do know each other. He’s just fabulous.

Is he playing your love interest?
Yeah!! He plays an old flame—somebody from Hilda’s past.

Hold the phone. I read that your character is going to be involved with Ralph Macchio and a firefighter this season? Untrue?
You know, I was wondering about the firefighter. I still don’t know what’s going on with that. Because right now, Ralph Macchio’s back and the love triangle that Hilda’s involved in involves Ralph and Adam. And Adam’s character, whose name is Bobby, isn’t a firefighter. He’s kind of just like a bad boy.

Tell me what no one on earth knows about this coming season of Ugly Betty that has to do with your character and hottie Adam’s character…please!
I know later today we’re shooting a scene where we wake up in bed together! Oh God, I’m telling you things that I probably shouldn’t. Oh well, whatever. You see, this is why [the Betty producers] don’t tell me anything! Hilda cheats on Archie!

Woah! Thanks for that spoiler! Now tell us, What’s it like working with Adam Rodriguez?
It’s a dream. Who gets to go to work and hang out with Adam Rodriguez and Ralph Macchio? It’s the coolest. He’s so professional and what’s really cool is to see him doing comedy. I’m just so used to seeing him do drama, and Adam really surprised all of us because he is hilarious. He is so funny that he fit right in. He doesn’t miss a beat.

How is this season of Betty different from previous seasons?
I hate to say like, 'we’re back,' but I really feel like we got back to the essence of the show this season. Everything is really balanced in the sense that he show is working with both sides of Betty’s life: the work side and the family side. And there’s so much more fun because we’re on at 9:00 now, so we can push the envelope a little bit more. So when we go over the top, we really go over the top, and when we bring it down to the heart of the show with the family, they’re not afraid to go there and do some good emotional stuff. And then being in the city again, we’re really taking even more advantage of that. It’s great.

I know you shot an episode in the Bahamas. What was that like?
No, we just got back. They don’t call it "Paradise Island" for nothing. It was incredible. We were at the Atlantis and it was magic. It was so cool for all of us to be away together because, although we are very close, everything gets so scattered. We got to hang out and party! It was a really wonderful bonding experience not only for the cast, but for the crew too.

Tell us about the partying!
I think the best one was the night of the premiere party after we screened the first episode. One of the producers brought everybody back to the hotel room. We went there and just plugged in an iPod and we were all dancing. Vanessa Williams was doing Salsa! I mean, we were all doing salsa. And we were drenched in sweat. It was a big explosion of energy!

Did your daughter Paloma go to the Bahamas with you?
She did. She’s a little mascot for the show! If I don’t show up with the baby to set, America would be like, 'Where’s the baby!?'


You have so many famous faces guest starring on the show this season, including Shakira and Jaime Lynn Sigler. What’s that been like?
It is so thrilling. These people are people I’m always dying to meet. It's a testament to the show that our fellow Latinos are watching and that they really get it, and they’re like, ‘oh yeah, we want to be a part of that!’

Is it true that this season of Betty centers on a mystery?
There’s some stuff with Vanessa Williams’s character Wilhelmina about who stole the money from Mode.

I hear you are also doing a musical episode. Any idea what you’ll be singing?
No. They haven’t given us the music or anything like that, but I think that the episode is sort of based on Justin’s sort of fantasy world. It goes into musical form from his point of view.

Can you tell us anything juicy about the new season that nobody knows?
If I start a rumor that Jennifer Lopez is coming on, do you think she will?

Do you want her to come on the show?
I would die. I think I would freak out. I would pass out. I wouldn’t be able to act.

Ugly Betty
has lost some steam over the years, and ABC moving it to Fridays and then postponing the season premiere makes me think it’s headed for cancellation. Are you worried that the show will be cancelled?
It’s crazy because as an actor you are always living on the edge, like, 'Oh God, this could be my last day at work.' So I’m kind of used to that. I think for us, though, the move to Friday will be good. We are the only comedy there. At first, we were a little bit like ‘oh, this is going to be the last season,’ and if it is, we’ve had an amazing run and I can’t complain. But, I actually am feeling really confident about us. We are up against cop shows. Our fans love us, they’re so loyal.

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