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Did You Catch America Ferrera's Real Husband in Barbie?

Reflecting on her Oscar nomination, Ferrera and Seth Meyers also confessed which celebrities made them "starstruck" to the point of tears. 

By Samantha Vincenty

Barbie was one of the biggest movies of 2023, and it was one of America Ferrera's biggest roles to date, too. Her role as Gloria landed her an Academy Award nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role, and the Superstore alum (Amy and Jonah forever!) sat down with Seth Meyers on February 15 to discuss the film's impact—on both herself, and the movie's fans. 

How to Watch

Watch Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC weeknights at 12:35/11:35c and next day on Peacock.  

After re-airing Ferrera's famous Barbie monologue, Meyers asked what life has been like for the newly-minted Oscar nominee. Despite her own fame, Ferrara confirmed that even for a seasoned star, meeting fellow nominees at the 2024 Academy Awards luncheon earlier that week was a *very big deal.* Ferrara was particularly awed to meet director Martin Scorsese, for one. 

"More often than not, it's someone you had a childhood connection to," Ferrara told Meyers, explaining who makes her starstruck. "So it's always very embarrassing. I'm debating whether I want to even say this out loud...I watched the movie Titanic in movie theaters seven times." When she finally met Leonardo DiCaprio at another awards show where she'd won for Ugly Betty, "I went around the corner and started weeping."

"I hope Leonardo DiCaprio never sees this," Ferrara told Meyers, who confessed he'd had a similar encounter with Julia Roberts while hosting the Emmys in 2014.

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America Ferrera on Late Night With Seth Meyers Episode 1487

How America Ferrera's husband came to play her husband in Barbie

Barbie's massive cast was packed with talent–even relative background Kens, like Bob Marley: One Love star Kingsley Ben-Adir, were movie stars in their own right. But Ferrera's favorite scene partner has to be her own husband, Ryan Piers Williams. 

"He played your husband in Barbie," Meyers pointed out, sharing a still from the film in which he's talking to Ferrera's character and their onscreen daughter Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt) in the car. 

"That's my man," Ferrara confirmed.

So how did your husband find his way into playing your husband?" Meyers asked.

Joking that Williams "was typecast," Ferrera shared that it actually began with her first Zoom chat about the Barbie script with director Greta Gerwig. 

"I was telling [Gerwig] all my favorite parts that made me LOL. And then I was like, 'Oh, my God, I laughed so hard when it got to the part where you cut to, 'white husband at home learning Spanish,' because my husband is literally in the other room doing his Spanish lesson right now," Ferrera recounted. "And he's like, 'Are you talking about me?'" 

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Per Ferrera, this prompted Gerwig to say, "Oh, my God, does he want to play your husband?"

Ryan Piers Williams and America Ferrera on the red carpet at the Premiere of Barbie

"I was like, 'I don't know.' And then months and months later, she meant it, and there he is," she continued. 

Clarifying that Williams was actually acting when he was practicing his Spanish in the film, "he grew up in El Paso, which is like 80 percent to 90 percent Latino. He took Spanish for 12 years, and he cannot speak Spanish."

"But," Ferrera laughed, "the part that sucks for me is that he understands it! So I can't talk trash about him when I want to." When she asked Meyers what language he's teaching his kids who are seven, five, and two years old, the Host joked, "they can barely speak English." 

Watch the rest of America Ferrera's Late Night with Seth Meyers interview below. 

America Ferrera Talks Barbie Being a Cultural Phenomenon and Still Getting Star-Struck