Rebecca Romijn has revealed how she ended up playing a transgender character on ‘Ugly Betty’ and her desire to do the role “justice” despite being a cis woman.
The star portrayed Alexis Meade, the sister of Mode magazine’s Editor in Chief Daniel Meade (eric Mabius), for three seasons.
Her character faked her own death in order to undergo gender confirmation surgery before attempting to take over the family company.
“The executives at the time didn’t love the idea of the character,” the 50-year-old actress told The Independent.
“There was a real boys’ club running the show behind the scenes at that point. So to try and make it palatable to the boys’ club… they pitched me. And I jumped at the chance.”
“I do feel like it helped open doors for the trans community”
Trans representation has always been scarce in television, particularly when ‘Ugly Betty’ was airing – something that made Rebecca “really wanted to do that character justice — and make her as hot as possible,” she said.
Rebecca added she would “never be cast in that role today” but is hopeful that playing it in the early-2000s “helped open doors for the trans community”.
“I’d like to think that, anyway,” she continued. “I don’t want to pat myself on the back too much.”
Although the actress would love to be involved in a reboot of ‘Ugly Betty’ one day, Rebecca confirmed that it’s unlikely she would return as the character fans know and love her for.
“I do think Alexis should be cast with a trans actress,” Rebecca explained. “That would be the correct thing to do.”
“We love each other, we keep in touch, but, who knows”
Whether or not the show could ever return continues to be unclear.
Vanessa Williams, who portrayed fan favourite character Wilhelmina Slater on all four seasons of ‘Ugly Betty’, previously said she thinks a reboot is unlikely.
“The concept would be great. Unfortunately, our creator-executive producer, Silvio Horta, died last year due to suicide, so I don’t know what the status of the rights are,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2021.
“We love each other, we keep in touch, but, who knows. At the moment, not at all [possible].”