Mimi Talks to Vanessa Williams

BATD ON Dec 16, 2009 AT 11:22 am

Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams stars as Wilhelmina Slater in the hit ABC show, Ugly Betty. With the season three released on DVD she talks about life, love and looking good…

Do you still enjoy playing Wilhelmina on the show?
Very much so. This has been one of my favorite seasons because you get a chance to see Wilhelmina’s normal fear-inducing personality – but you also see the tender side of her being in love. However, she is a changed woman towards the end of the season because everything seems to fall apart. She is alone, she stays up late at night with the baby and she is struggling. She is not the refined, prim and proper woman she is in her office. It’s been great to play this different side to her. 

Vanessa as Wilhelmina

Vanessa as Wilhelmina

Have you enjoyed moving back to New York with the show?
I love New York, but the reason the production moved here was because we got a 35 per cent tax credit from New York State. They also moved our entire set free of charge. However, this year they are rescinding and they are not giving us the same tax break. Luckily, we applied in time and we maintained it, but there are a bunch of shows that didn’t make it. We are happy that we have another season to shoot in New York, but I don’t know what will happen after that.

Are you as interested in fashion as Wilhemina?
No, I’m not. I enjoy fashion. I enjoy the creativity and the fantasy – and I enjoy watching talented people in the fashion industry like [Ugly Betty’s costume designer] Patricia Field, but I’m not as interested in fashion as Wilhelmina. I don’t like shopping. To me, that’s a waste of an afternoon. I shop when I need something specifically, but I don’t shop for fun. That’s not pleasurable to me.

What’s it like to work with Patricia Field?
 Patricia Fields is amazing. She can take something on a rack that you wouldn’t think would work on anybody – but she will think outside the box and make it happen. She’ll add a shoulder pad, take a belt or turn it inside out. Her genius makes outfits come to life – and they’re always very unique. My costume fittings are always fascinating. I’m a big fan of Patricia.

Click here to read part two of this interview

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