LONDON (AP) — America Ferrera is ditching the clunky braces and the thick fake eyebrows of “Ugly Betty” for sexy, slinky outfits in her West End debut as the showgirl Roxie in “Chicago.”
The American actress who starred in the U.S. television series about a wise but wacky New York fashion magazine assistant is embarking on an eight-week stint in “Chicago” at the Garrick Theatre beginning Nov. 7.
At a press conference Monday, the 27-year-old Ferrera said performing on the London stage is something she’s “dreamed” about since childhood.
“For me, I grew up doing theater and working on the stage,” Ferrera told the Associated Press. “And I grew up a huge fan of musical theater and of the show ‘Chicago’ so, it’s very exciting all around.”
She joins a long list of U.S. celebrities who have played Roxie on the London stage, including model Christie Brinkley, Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams and pop star Ashlee Simpson.
“One of the really fun things about getting to play this role is that you know she’s been interpreted by so many actresses in so many different ways and she gets to be unique to whoever is stepping into her,” Ferrera said.
Starring opposite Ferrera will be actress and dancer Amra-Faye Wright, who plays fellow jailbird and femme fatale Velma Kelly.
British singer-turned-actor Darius Campbell, who is reprising his role as shady lawyer Billy Flynn, says Ferrera will be a great addition.
“She kind of captivated millions and won lots of hearts in ‘Ugly Betty,’” he noted. “This is the role that is going to allow us to see a big range of different textures in terms of vulnerability and also sexiness … this is a great character for her.”
Ferrera is also excited by the prospect of performing live.
“It just brings a whole different element to the acting than when you’re doing film or television,” she told the AP. “Just knowing that there are no cuts, there’s no edits, there’s no ‘Take two’s.’”
Ferrera will help celebrate the show’s 15th year in the British capital on Nov.18.