Sofia Vergara: Maiden Voyage (2004 Cover Story & Gallery)

Sofia Vergara: Maiden Voyage (2004 Cover Story & Gallery)Interview by Celia San Miguel; Photography by Robert Maxwell; Styling by Evet Sanchez for Fred Segal Beauty; Additional Credits.

Spanish-language networks are often criticized for their overly sexualized portrayal of women—after all, the ass-pinching, hot-tubbing antics of most variety shows are pretty much all they have going for them as far as content. Did Sofia ever feel as if she was being objectified? “Not really,” she says. “It’s all based on the ratings, so whatever works, we keep on doing it.” But surely constant leering from men must make a girl wanna break bones? “You know, the thing is that Latin men like sexy stuff.” Erm, make that all men. Which is probably why Sofia decided to treat her fans to her own barometer-busting, hot-as-hell website, sofiavergara.com. It’s racy, alright––no wonder it gets an average of 12 million hits each month.

Vergara doesn’t seem to mind that millions of gawkers see her nearly naked on her hot-as-hell website each month.

That’s more eyeballs than most chicks’ll catch walking past a lifetime’s worth of construction sites, but Vergara’s so comfortable with her sexuality that she doesn’t seem to mind. She’s also perfectly content to bear the nickname Sofia Viagra, as she’s affectionately known throughout Latin America (word to her unofficial sponsor Pfizer). In fact, it was a joke about her va-va-va-voomness that jump-started her film career. As a presenter at the 2001 American Comedy Awards, she unleashed a roar of laughter from the audience when she flirtatiously asked Austin Powers creator Mike Myers, "Do I make you horny, baby?" Days later, director Barry Sonnenfeld (of Men In Black fame) heard about the sultry model’s quip from producer Barry Josephson and invited her to New York to read for a part in their 2002 comedy-thriller Big Trouble. Cast alongside Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, Johnny Knoxville, Heavy D and Omar Epps, Sofia became the next potential Latin crossover star, and she remains grateful to Josephson: "I owe my being in acting to him, because he made me discover in myself something that I didn't know I was interested in."

Where are the struggling- actor stories about callus-inducing waitress jobs, closet-sized apartments, embarrassing auditions and ramen-noodle dinners? Sofia’s penchant for lucky breaks is enviable and almost unnerving, but it’s hard to dislike someone with such an optimistic, anything-goes outlook. Like Special Ed, this girl's got it made. Now living in L.A. with her 12-year-old son Manolo, Vergara has become a bona fide actress—last year, she joined Roselyn Sanchez and Jaci Velasquez in Chasing Papi, one of the first Latin chick-flicks aimed at the mass market. Next up is a role as a stewardess in Soul Plane, a comedy due this month about a black airline’s maiden flight. The cast also includes Kevin Hart, D.L. Hughley, Method Man, Snoop Dogg and Tom Arnold. Jessy Terrero, who directed the spoof, had no trouble getting Vergara to shine on camera. "Girls sometimes, when they’re that beautiful, have been spoiled throughout life by men, and they’re usually lazy in terms of the effort they give," he says candidly. "But Sofia worked really hard in this film—that’s why we expanded her character and gave her more love."

For her part, Vergara says she enjoyed the time on set with her costars, particularly Meth: "He’s a very nice guy. Really crazy." But the self-proclaimed hip-hop fan spends more time working with rap stars these days than hanging out with them; instead of accompanying her homegirls to Mark Ronson parties, this single mom is more likely to be rolling with Manolo to the local video game arcade.

"The arcade is like my office!" she admits. Wow, a woman who can go toe-to-toe with Max Payne and Lara Croft––if that’s not dream-girl-central, we don’t know what is. No wonder Vergara’s been romantically linked to a host of eligible bachelors, including British crooner Craig David, ballplayer Alex Rodriguez, rap mogul Sean Combs and actor Mark Wahlberg. Asked what her favorite dating activity is, she coos, "I love salsa and merengue." So, potential suitors beware: you will be expected to do more than a half-assed two-step. Would she go on a second date with a man who can’t dance? Sofia smiles, then lowers her voice coquettishly: "He’d better dance!" Your wish is our command.

ADDITIONAL CREDITS: (HAIR) Darian Reign/Sager French. (MAKEUP) Veronica Laurence. FIRST & COVER IMAGE: Top by Curve / Bloomers by Le Petite Coquette / Shoes by Stella McCartney. SECOND IMAGE: Tank by Gucci. THIRD IMAGE: Tank by James Perse / Brooch by Vionet, LA. FOURTH IMAGE: Dress by Petro Zilla.

Tags: sofia-vergara, modern-family, complex-cover-stories
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