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Emmys 2012: 'Modern Family's' Sofia Vergara on Playing Pregnant and Loving Her Looks (Q&A)

The three-time nominee, who will play an expectant mother in season four of the hit ABC comedy, has emerged as a front-runner in the race for supporting-actress gold -- and as the center of her own media universe.

Sofia Vergara
ABC

What a giant year it has been for Sofia Vergara: a third Emmy nomination for her and ABC's two-time-winning comedy series Modern Family, that much-publicized raise for her and her fellow castmembers, a Kmart clothing line and numerous endorsement deals. The 40-year-old Colombian actress, who started as a model and TV host, also recently was named the top-earning actress on television.

"I never thought I could make money and support my family by being funny," says Vergara.

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Here, she shares her thoughts on playing Gloria as an expectant mother, why she never tires of talking about her looks and how she shows off to her aspiring-director son.

The Hollywood Reporter: Are you excited for Gloria to be pregnant in season four?

Sofia Vergara: Not really. (Laughs.) It's easier when there aren't babies on set. Rico [Rodriguez] and Ed [O'Neill] and I work so fast together; we know one another so well that a baby will change that.

THR: How much of you is in Gloria's personality and vice versa?

Vergara: The writers are amazing. They write things for her that I wouldn't even think about. There's a lot of me, too: She's Colombian, she has an accent, she's an immigrant, she has a baby from a previous marriage. There is a lot of me and the women in my family. When I read a scene, I think, "What would my aunt or my mother do in this situation?"

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THR: How tired do you get with so much attention placed on your appearance?

Vergara: I think that would be ungrateful if I were upset because I'm seen as attractive or sexy. That's opened so many doors for me in my life. I'm 40 years old, and I love that people still think of me as sexy and as hot. It's very flattering.

THR: Do you feel being Latina pigeonholes you as an actor?

Vergara: I don't mind. I appreciate every role that I get. I cannot hide my accent; I can't hide my looks. I don't want to apologize for them. Of course, maybe in the future I can try other roles. I wouldn't mind. I think people just look at me on the TV and they just start thinking about laughing. I was in New Year's Eve and realized the moment I came onscreen, people were already laughing. But I hadn't said anything yet!

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THR: I heard you got started in this business through a Pepsi commercial as a teenager.

Vergara: Yes, I did a commercial, and it became a very big deal in the Latin market -- and from there I started being asked to be in movies and shows. But I was in my senior year of high school, so I didn't do anything else after that for two years.

THR: How strange is it to be back doing Pepsi commercials all these years later?

Vergara: Twenty-two years later! I love it. When I decide to do anything, like CoverGirl or Kmart or Pepsi, it has to be something I believe in, something that I know about, something that I can talk about. I just don't want to do it for the money. It has to be something that is part of my life.

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THR: Your Modern Family character, and even your ads for Kmart, have a positive, be-yourself vibe. Is there anything that gets you really mad?

Vergara: Oh yes, things get me mad. But the thing is, I get mad, and then I turn around and I forget. When I have a new person working with me or a new boyfriend, they have to adjust in the beginning. I can scream and I get really angry, and then I'll turn around and go to the bathroom, wash my hands and then come out and go, "OK, we're going to lunch?" I get mad in the moment, but I don't hold a grudge.

THR: Does your son, Manolo Gonzalez, who's an aspiring director, give you feedback on your acting?

Vergara: Yes, of course! When Modern Family started, he was still living with me. He would help me learn lines for auditions and get so frustrated. He'd say, frustratedly: "You're never going to get anything. Concentrate!" So now, when I'm nominated for anything or when the show is nominated, I always rub it in his face.

Modern Family returns at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, on ABC.

Email: Rebecca.ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford