America Ferrara

Real Women Have Curves

Interviewed by Neil Davey

American indie pic "Real Women Have Curves" is the story of curvaceous Mexican-American Ana (played by America Ferrara) with a bright future ahead of her - and an overbearing mother blocking the way...

What was it about Ana that attracted you to the part?

I really admired Ana's unwavering enthusiasm. It's easy to get knocked back in life, to lose sight of your dream. In Ana's case, the problem is not an enemy, it's her mother! She doesn't have to open magazines or turn on the TV to feel bad. She has this constant reminder in the next room.

Was that sort of parental pressure something you could relate to?

Definitely. Acting wasn't encouraged in my house! My mom didn't trust the business. For her, ironically, education was the most important thing. I was going to college, no matter what, as my mom was always saying "You can't waste your brain", so I relate to Ana on that level. And there's also the family perspective, which I think everyone can relate to. There's a time in everyone's life where you have to become independent.

The film isn't just about Latin women and 'the weight issue', is it...

Ah yes, the weight issue. Ana's mother, Carmen [played by Lupe Ontiveros], is rather well rounded herself but believes that slim is good and can't understand why Ana is so happy and confident in her own body.

Carmen is insecure and she reflects her own insecurities onto her daughter. But it's funny, because Ana's not like a beast. She's normal. But what is normal now? Is it normal to be size zero? Is it normal to weigh 90lbs? Starving yourself is not beautiful! But it's not an issue that's only out there for women. The title stamps "chick flick" all over it, but a lot of men relate to the topic. A lot of men have told me that the film was their life too.