America Ferrera struggled to relate to upcoming mixed-marriage comedy "Our Family Wedding" - because she was exposed to so many cultures growing up in Los Angeles. Ferrera plays a Mexican woman who upsets her relatives by deciding to wed her African-American boyfriend in the movie.
But the "Ugly Betty" star, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Honduras, insists the plot was a world away from her own childhood in California. She tells America's Parade magazine, "I grew up in a multicultural environment. I went to public schools and there were kids from wealthy families who lived in the neighborhood, and then 20 buses came in every day with kids from downtown who were of every race that you can think of."
"I had friends from all kinds of backgrounds. I had a lot of black friends and when I'd go to their homes, I just felt like I was walking into my house. It wasn't like, 'Oh, God. I feel like I've walked into another world'."
And she likens interracial couples' difficulties in marrying to the struggle same-sex pairs endure. Ferrera adds, "I have friends who have gone through it and there was some drama. You know, like the grandpa or the grandma really liked the boy she was marrying, thought he was a really nice guy, but wouldn't come to the wedding because they didn't believe in mixing the races."
"It's sort of like what we're going through with gay marriage now. People who are not outwardly prejudiced but have, like, kind of internal issues. People may think of themselves as completely open-minded and then when it's a part of your life, all of those things can sort of come up."