‘Ugly Betty‘ returns for Season 4 on a new night, debuting this Friday at 8pm ET with its two-hour season premiere. This is a big season as Betty gets a new job, enhances her style, and yes, finally will lose the braces. We caught up with the cast recently who were more than eager to dish on what’s coming up in what’s being referred to as “the season of change.”
America Ferrera (“Betty”)
Betty’s style is very slowly evolving. I think people are expecting some sort of enormous makeover, that’s not at all what it is. It’s so much more about how she’s changing on the inside and how she sees herself and how she holds herself. Her new job is definitely a big part of that – she’s gaining more confidence in her abilities. And what I love about the new season is that she’s on the bottom again. As an assistant, she got good at her job and really was invaluable, and now all of a sudden she’s an editor, and she’s at the bottom and she has to work her way back up. And you’ll see in the first couple episodes, it’s going to take a lot of work to do that.
Betty and Daniel’s relationship is going through a big question mark because they’re not boss and assistant anymore. They still care about each other and are still friends. It’s trying to figure out , Well does she get you better coffee than I got you? And the jealousy comes and all those things, but it’s fun and is done in a fun way.
Vanessa Williams (“Wilhelmina”)
I think Betty’s coming up to our level. We’re not changing, she’s just adapting to our world. After four years, you know, she’s a smart girl, she’s going through a transition that normally people would do. She’s not losing her style at all, she’s not losing her essence. She still has her trademark glasses but her silhouette is getting narrower, her high heels are getting higher, she’s lost her ankle socks. The first couple seasons were black hose, she switched to ankle socks, and now she’s got a gorgeous foot.
Wili’s got some other stuff cooking this season, she’s got some blasts from the pasts that are haunting her, and she might not need Mode. In fact, the upcoming Bahamas trip is Wilhelmina’s last photo shoot at Mode, so she does a swimwear shoot in the Bahamas.
Becki Newton (“Amanda”)
Blondre the Giant (guest star Kristen Johnston – who appears in the premiere) is one of my favorite people in the world. She was so perfect in that role, and I respect her so much as an actress. She’s so funny. What’s amazing is as crazy and as kooky as she is with the physical comedy and the lines, when she has to be poignant, she is so good! For me, she’s someone I can really learn a lot from and I look up to (also because she’s so tall).
This season is a transformation for Betty and for everyone. It’s really, really exciting because the characters, the essences are still there- but you see them wanting more. Amanda is still Amanda, but you see her for the first time, realizing that there has to be life outside the reception desk. For the first three years, her goal was to look as good as possible and to steal as many clothes as possible. She still wants to do that now, but when she sees Betty and she sees Marc getting promotions, she also realizes there must be something else for her. It’s exciting for me, because I think she’s going to find it – within the magazine, which is really cool.
The Bahamas trip was so much fun. We had to report to the beach every day, it was very ‘Baywatch.’ We did have one particular scene between Amanda and Betty – on the waterslide, and as I was flying down the waterslide at the Atlantis resort, I thought “I’m actually getting paid for this.” This is incredible, more than ever I pinched myself.
Michael Urie (“Marc”)
I like to call it the “Marc and Mandi” show! Both of us are wanting to blossom and get out of our current comfort zones. Marc has been Wili’s assistant for five years now, and he wants more. He had more – he was almost there – he had an offer to be an editor at Vogue. He turned it down because he thought he had a job at Mode, and now he’s back to being Wilhelmina’s assistant. So for the first time ever, he is not happy there. He’s not happy doing that anymore. And at the same time, Amanda has been the receptionist for five years, so she doesn’t want to do that anymore. So they’re both going through this major change. In the beginning of season four, Marc is pissed at Betty (for taking his job.) He wants blood!
It’s the butterfly season. Betty is leaving her cocoon as a caterpillar and becoming a butterfly. She’s always fought against conforming to this world, and instead of conforming now, she is making it her own. She is saying I can do what you need and still be me – and still wear my little “B”. She’s changing, growing, and coming more into her own style. But she’s still Betty!