We catch up with Ana María Orozco for a sneak peek at what audiences will see and some insights into what she’s learned after 17 years playing the popular character.
Betty is back by popular demand. Having charmed millions in the 2017 theatrical production of the long-running telenovela Yo Soy Betty La Fea (aka Ugly Betty), Ana María Orozco takes the stage once again for a second season.
Uniting once again the writing/directing team of Fernando Gaitán and Mario Ribero Ferreiro, the second season of Yo Soy Betty La Fea Teatro puts Betty and the Ecomoda team in the hands of an ‘attractive Italian investor’ to keep the company afloat. Hilarity and hard-won lessons are bound to ensue.
BP: After 17 years, what new aspects of Betty’s character will we learn in this second season?
AMO: Well, she’ll have the same appearance. But she’s going to sing and dance. That’s a first for her.
BP: Why is Betty so popular with Colombians?
AMO: She’s popular with a lot of people, not just Colombians. And not just with women, either. A lot of men like the character as well. It’s really a combination of factors. She’s a fully-rounded character with the same vulnerabilities and anxieties that a lot of us have. She’s trying to make her way in the world like we all are. She’s also dealing with class conflicts, which is the reality here in Colombia. There’s also a humorous aspect to her as well: she’s a clown sometimes.
BP: Do you think that the success of Yo Soy Betty La Fea has changed Colombian attitudes towards beauty?
AMO: No, I don’t think it’s changed attitudes. But it doesn’t shy away from talking about them, either. We explore what it takes to overcome stereotypes. We look at how women compete with each other based on their appearance. We try to answer, “What is beauty?” Those are important topics in Colombia, which places a lot of importance on physical appearances. The show questions those attitudes, even if it hasn’t changed them.
BP: Why do you like to play this character?
AMO: As an actress it’s a great opportunity to play such a complex and nuanced character. Sometimes she’s a clown, but she also has a rich interior life. There’s a lot to explore.
BP: Have you learned anything about yourself by playing Betty?
AMO: Certainly. It’s been a great learning process. I think characters like Betty bring you to different places within yourself. I identified with her because I had the same feelings and experiences when I was younger.
Yo Soy Betty La Fea Teatro opens January 25 at the Teatro Cafam de Bellas Artes (Avenida Carrera 68 #90-88).