“The writers trusted us and anything they wanted us to do, we’d do it.”
Vanessa Williams knows what she wants from an Ugly Betty reboot.
The legendary star, who played Wilhelmina Slater in the beloved comedy series, told GAY TIMES that she doesn’t know whether a reboot or a revival would be “organic” but admitted that if it does happen, she has a specific idea in mind.
“Where would Betty be now?” she said. “Initially, when Betty went to Mode and ended up here in London, I was saying to Michael that we should do Mode UK and come here, but we couldn’t get that going…”
Williams also shared where she thinks her iconic character Wilhelmina would be in present day.
“She’s still not married because she’s way too much to handle,” she laughed. “Even if she did marry it’d be temporary, she gets too annoyed with ineptitude way too quickly and she’d always find something that disappoints her in a man.
“She’d be alone, living in her fabulous penthouse and maybe travelling the world.”
In our interview, Williams also paid tribute to Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta, who tragically committed passed away earlier this year. He was found dead in a Miami motel room on 7 January in an apparent suicide.
“Just look at what he put on television. We’re talking 2006,” she said.
“Mark Indelicato’s character having parents who supported him being gay, Alexis Meade being trans, a powerful black woman running a business… She was intellectual, she had money, she was articulate and she had the power.
“Silvio listened, took chances and always pushed the envelope, and you wouldn’t have Glee and Jane the Virgin and all these shows. We had Ignacio not being able to get his green card, having trouble with immigration, this was all happening years ago.”
Williams continued to say that the cast “could easily have ran many more years” but revealed that it was “an expensive show”.
She added: “Whenever I see any scene from it, I forward it onto all my peeps and say, ‘Don’t you miss it?’ I see Michael [Urie] all the time as we live in the same building and I went to America’s baby shower. It was one of those casts.
“It takes a specific actor to have a big skillset, be comfortable with their body, do things humorously, but also be able to turn it on and make you cry. That’s what made our ensemble so good, as we felt like an acting troupe. ‘What’s next? Throw it at us!’
“We were there so late all the time and worked our asses off, but we loved it.”
Williams is about to make her West End debut in a revival of Olivier Award-winning play City of Angels.
From 6 March at the Garrick Theatre, she will step into the infamous role of Carla/Alaura in the film noir-inspired production, which focuses on a crime novelist working on a screenplay adaptation of one of his books as his marriage crumbles.
Josie Rourke’s production of City of Angels runs 6 March until 5 September 2020 – book tickets here.