Fea on DVD7 Apr, 2008 By: Angelique Flores
Before ABC's “Ugly Betty” was Mexico's “La Fea Mas Bella.”
The show is based on the Colombian hit “Yo Soy Betty la Fea,” which has been remade in more than a dozen countries. “La Fea Mas Bella” remains the highest-rated telenovela in the history of Mexican television, tied with “Rebelde,” and it won the 2007 TV y Novelas award for Novela of the Year. The finale of the show was one of the most watched Spanish-language shows in U.S. history.
And now it's on DVD from Xenon Pictures/Televisa Home Entertainment and distributed by Lionsgate. The four-DVD set ($24.98) has more than 15 hours of the show with bonus features that include the funniest moments, the best kisses and bloopers. The release marks the first time a highly rated telenovela debuted on DVD in the U.S. market before it did in Mexico.
“People have told me they learned Spanish so they can watch my telenovela,” said Ang?lica Vale, the show's star. The actress, comedian and musician starred in the show as Lety, the frumpy secretary whose intelligence and value isn't apparent to her shallow coworkers. Lety must fight to win the gratitude and heart of her boss, played by Jamie Camil (7 Dias, “Mi Destino Eres Tu”).
Now English-speaking audiences can watch the show on DVD, which has English subtitles — the first thing Vale noticed about the DVD.
“I was so excited,” she said. “It's always vice versa; we're always looking for [English-language] movies with subtitles in Spanish. Sometimes you can find them in French, but not always in Spanish.”
The DVD's bloopers featurette was another surprise for Vale.
“I was so embarrassed of all the things we said in there!” Vale said. “I never realized we said so many stupid things, but it's super cool.”
Vale couldn't be happier with the show. When she signed on to do the novela, she had no idea it would become as successful as it did.
“Not even close. Not in my wildest dreams,” she said. “When I started, I knew that the character was for me. I saw the Colombian version [of the show], and I liked it a lot. A telenovela with comedy? I loved the idea.”
Vale was working on “La Parodia” at the time of the show's development and fought to snag the role.
The star, who has been in entertainment since she was 2 years old, wasn't worried about portraying “la fea” (the ugly girl).
“I was thinking that it was good,” she said. “I'm not skinny, blonde and with green eyes. I don't have the regular looks of the sweet girl and an angel face. I'm not like that. There wouldn't be another opportunity like this for me.”
Another opportunity that came for Vale after the show was her appearance on an episode of “Ugly Betty.”
“When I met America [Ferrera], there was a sisterhood of being ugly — on television, of course,” she said.
While the experience was exciting for Vale, she was nervous to act in English for the first time and to act outside of Mexico, where the TV actors work with an earpiece.
Vale isn't resting on her success as a Mexican TV star. Her next projects are a comedy tour and another pop music record.
“My father is a composer, and my mother is a big star (Ang?lica Mar?a). So I was born crazy,” she said.
The busy actress hopes to eventually break into films.
“That's the highest point you can reach,” she said. “I would love to work with George Clooney, with him as my boyfriend.”