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How Did America Ferrera’s Kids React To Barbie? Actress Reveals Son And Daughter’s Distinct Response To Film

America Ferrera is nominated for an Oscar for her role in Barbie however, her kids don’t care much about it. During a conversation with correspondent Dave Karger at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Virtuosos Awards on Saturday, 11 February, where she was being honored, the actress recalled her experience watching the film with her kids at the Los Angeles premiere in July 2023. Ferrara said that watching the movie at the premiere was the first time she could take in its message without being critical of her performance.

America Ferrara reveals her kids’s reaction to watching Barbie

America Ferrara said that she kept trying to imagine what her 3-year-old daughter, Lucia Marisol, could see while she was sitting in her lap watching the movie, Barbie. Ferrera recalled that she could hear the words in the movie for the first time and feel their meaning.

“And so that was moving, and it was so deep for me,” she said. But after the screening, Lucia only had one question. My daughter turns to me and says, ‘Why were you driving that car?’ ” Ferrera recalled, adding that her internal reaction to Lucia’s question was, “Awesome. I’m so glad that’s what you took from that.”

ALSO READ: Top 10 America Ferrera Movies And Shows To Watch Amid Her Rousing Speech At The 2024 Critics Choice Awards

America Ferrera in Barbie (IMDb)

Ferrera admitted that her daughter’s question was better than her son Sebastian Piers’ reaction. She said that her 5-year-old boy made no comments about the movie until two weeks after the premiere. 

“He goes, ‘Mom, did the construction workers ever finish building that wall?’ ” she shared. He was likely referring to the wall that construction workers in Barbie told Ferrera’s character Gloria they were building to keep more dolls from escaping Barbieland (which had transformed into Kendom) and going into the real world.

“Your mother was in a movie and nobody cares,” Ferrera joked of her kids’ reaction to Barbie. “Anyway, kids will humble you, and it’s wonderful.”

America Ferrera on getting Barbie praise from her idol Tom Hanks

Speaking at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Virtuosos Awards America Ferrara opened up about a moment when her idol Tom Hanks praised her for her recent performance in Barbie. 

“I don’t know that I’m ready to talk about it. I’m not ready to talk about what he said, but I guess whenever anyone asks me, who were the actors you grew up wanting to be? I’d say Tom Hanks,” the 39-year-old actress said.

America Ferrera in Barbie (IMDb)

“I wanted to be Tom Hanks more than any other actor. I did. He’s every man. He’s like, we all see ourselves in him, right? He came up to me at an event and he said very nice things to me and I’m still recovering from it, and that was truly the moment where I felt like … ‘Okay, I’m happy, I can tap out now,'” Ferrara recalled. “Tom Hanks just said nice things to me.”

For her role in Barbie, Ferrera earned an Oscar nod in the Best Supporting Actress category. She was among 10 actors this year who earned their first-ever nominations for the March 10 ceremony. The actress celebrated her recent achievement by expressing gratitude to her costars from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn, and Alexis Bledel, who all sent her congratulatory messages.

“They FaceTimed me as a group right away. It’s wonderful to be celebrated and held up by these women who I’ve had the honor of growing up within the industry,” she said, adding, “Every moment feels like another unbelievable pinch-me moment.”

Among the other people who helped Ferrera celebrate her Academy Award nomination were her husband, Ryan Piers Williams, and their children, Sebastian and Lucia. “My publicist got to me first. And then my husband called me from the car as he was driving our kids to school,” Ferrera told Variety. “He was screaming and emotional. I heard my kids in the back seat, like, ‘What are you screaming about?’ “

ALSO READ: ‘These characters rarely, if ever, looked like me’: America Ferrera gives a heartfelt speech at 2024 Critics Choice Awards

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