Awesome twosome

Awesome twosome
Actors Sofia Vergara (L) and Reese Withersponn arrive at the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Arlington

Sofia Vergara walks into the interview room at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, US, first, telling all the journalists how tired she is from doing press for three days straight.

But instead of looking fatigued, the 42-year-old Colombian star of hit TV comedy Modern Family is radiant and beautiful, just as you would expect her to be.

As one of the most beautiful women in the world (and engaged to one of the hottest men on Earth, US actor Joe Manganiello), she is incredibly funny and does not take herself seriously.

Following Vergara's entrance is her latest partner-in-crime, US actress and mother of three Reese Witherspoon, 39.

She looks just as gorgeous in a blue Prabal Gurung top and skirt that match her stunning blue eyes and Christian Louboutin pumps that still do not get her anywhere close to Vergara's statuesque height.

The Hollywood heavyweights - Vergara was the top-earning actress on US television in 2012 and 2013 and Witherspoon is an Oscar- winner - look as if they have been BFFs despite only meeting for the first time on the set of Hot Pursuit, the new action-comedy they both produced and star in.

Opening here tomorrow, it sees Witherspoon as Officer Cooper, an uptight, inept cop who tries to protect the outgoing widow of a drug boss Daniella Riva (Vergara) as they race through Texas trying to run from crooked cops and murderous gunmen.

During the interview, Vergara and Witherspoon continued their modern-day female Odd Couple act, with playful banter accompanying practically every question.

Sofia, you are from South America and Reese, you are from the South. Is there any difference?

Vergara: There's no difference. I joke that she has a hot Latin woman inside of her waiting to explode because it's the same. It's like I'm talking to one of my cousins.

Witherspoon: We like a lot of the same things - family, make-up, clothes. And we're all loud and funny and make fun of each other.

How is your Spanish, Reese?

Witherspoon: I thought my Spanish was excellent until I had to speak Spanish on the set and started laughing. Sofia was like, "This is so funny! Let's make more scenes like this!".

Vergara: I understand now why people laugh at me. I couldn't keep a straight face. She was struggling and nervous and conscious of what she was saying. I was enjoying it.

Did you have to spend some time on the set to get to know each other or was there instant chemistry?

Witherspoon: We didn't have any time. She was coming straight from Modern Family and she had to be back on the show within two months.

So we caught up while filming.

How do two beautiful woman make a pseudo-lesbian kissing scene look so disturbing?

Witherspoon: Well, my character is completely asexual so her character is the one pushing mine to bring out her sexuality.

Vergara: I was worried about how to make it funny. The director (Anne Fletcher) started pulling her hair...

Witherspoon: It hurt.

Vergara: But it looked funny. Witherspoon: I had whiplash for three days. My husband asked why my neck hurt and I told him that Sofia was pulling my hair while we were making out.

And he was like, "Um, you shouldn't be complaining about that".

You got hurt while filming the fight scene and had to go to the hospital. What happened?

Witherspoon: Yeah, she sent me to the hospital. She pushed me so hard...

Vergara: But she asked me to. I'm, like, "Are you sure?", during the fight scene.

I kept feeling bad because I would shove her into the sofa and every time I asked if she was okay, she kept telling me yeah and keep going.

And then suddenly I see her face and she tells me she has appendicitis.

Witherspoon: I couldn't stand up.

Vergara: Yeah, I thought I had popped her ovary or something like that.

Witherspoon: I honestly don't know what happened to me. I was in the hospital for a night and then went to work in the morning.

Reese, your character seems to be a complete opposite from who you are. Was it hard to get into character? Did you base it on someone?

Witherspoon: I loved that character, but I don't know where she came from.

She's a little nerd with no friends. I was inspired by Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona. Growing up, Holly was one of my personal heroes as a Southern girl, so probably that.

You've mentioned before that you had Sofia in mind for the part of Daniella Riva. What was it about her that made you think of her?

Witherspoon: I thought she was a fresh comedy voice.

She's so willing to make fun of herself and there's a part where she can be so loud and short with people, but it's still so funny you just love to watch that.

Reese, you had an amazing year producing films like Wild and Gone Girl. And during awards season, you came up with the #AskHerMore movement. Do you see a shift in Hollywood, where people are asking more about your artistry and movie than your fashion choices?

Witherspoon: Someone else started promoting that idea and I thought that it made so much sense.

It gets so frustrating when you work so hard to produce, direct or star in a movie - like Wild was the hardest thing I've had to do in my entire life - and sometimes you're on a red carpet for a movie and it's so reductive when you're just asked, "What are your shoes?".

It's important to know that we as actors want to talk in-depth about our careers and also that audiences want to hear about it.

Sofia, you were in Chef and Fading Gigolo last year. Is Hollywood looking for you to play Gloria, the hot mama from Modern Family, on the big screen?

Vergara: They are movies that require a little bit of my time so I can do them on my hiatus or when I have a week off because Modern Family is my priority.

But I think, yeah, people want to see Gloria because everyone likes her.

And when they read a script with a person that sounds like her, they think of me. I take advantage of it and I love it.

How do you make time for yourself when you are working during every hiatus from the show?

Vergara: I've been taking my 15 minutes of fame very seriously.

It's been six years since I've been on Modern Family and those shows have an end. I started acting very late in my life. So of course I wanted to take advantage of it. I'll be 43 soon.

Even though I have little time off, I have a drive to do more and I've been working for 25 years.

My son is older now so it's easier. I've been getting back some of that time for the past four years since he went to college. I've also learnt to integrate my life with my work. I want to enjoy everything.


This article was first published on May 6, 2015.
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