America Ferrera on her ‘Good Wife’ Role: "It's Very Different Than What I Did on Betty"

After getting to play one of the most iconic characters in pop culture history as the braces-having, poncho-wearing Betty Suarez on Ugly Betty— America Ferrera doubted she'd be able to land another great role in a TV series. "I certainly didn't expect to jump into anything on TV that shortly after being off Betty," America, 26, tells

But the Honduran actress says that’s precisely what she found with her new recurring role as Natalie, a graduate student fighting for U.S. citizenship on CBS’ critically acclaimed series, The Good Wife. "For me, the appeal was just how [creators and executive producers Robert and Michelle King] were really interested in addressing this topic and having the character set in the world of these hot-button issues of immigrants in this country,” Ferrera explained. “My heart is very close to those issues."

Ferrera, who is known for her political activism, and supported Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign, helped producers create her character by discussing important topics with them, like the DREAM act. "It's a very different vibe than what I did for four years on Betty,” America says of her role on The Good Wife.” “We were in a very heightened world and it was kind of silly."

She adds that she enjoys that The Good Wife, which has earned a reputation for pulling its stories directly from today's political headlines, is grounded in reality. "What I think is so great about [The Good Wife]," she says, "is that so much of what they're talking about is based in reality and so you always have that grounding you. You know that what you're doing and the scenes you're portraying are real life."

In her next appearance on the show, her character Natalie will receive help from Eli (Alan Cumming) as she tries to achieve her legal status in the U.S. 

The Good Wife airs Tuesday at 10/9c on CBS.