Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Trip to the Set of Ugly Betty

Darlings, we're just back from Queens, New York, where we had a very entertaining adventure visiting the set of Ugly Betty! TD bought the tour at an art auction, and I got to go along.

We boarded the F train for the Silvercup Studios in Queens. Whilst we were cooling our heels in the lobby waiting for our host, we saw Alec Baldwin walk by from 30 Rock! That's one of our other favorite shows. Then we realized we were in the wrong studio, and meant to be at Silvercup Studios East. A quick cab ride fixed that.

We've been big fans for years of Ugly Betty, about Betty Suarez, an outsider from Queens who works at a fashion magazine. The clothes, the sets, the colors are all dazzling – it's almost like watching a cartoon. The characters are wonderful, and America Ferrera, who plays Betty, is perfectly cast as an innocent, well-meaning, kind of dorky magazine editor.

Unfortunately, and you probably know this, ABC canceled Ugly Betty the day before yesterday. ABC has slowly killed the show by moving it all around the schedule (currently on Wednesday night at 10:00) and not promoting at all. The show has won Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and Peabody awards, but ABC has allowed it to die on the vine. It's a bit of a mystery. And we'll miss it because it's jolly fun entertainment.

But we were still looking forward to our tour. Our host was Ali, an assistant on the staff and she couldn't have been nicer. She brought us through the wardrobe department which was vast. Rooms of clothes and shoes and jewelry. Each star gets a rack of clothes.
Here is Betty's rack:

It's been fun to watch the Betty character change over the years. She has lost some weight and her braces and her big bushy eye brows; she has grown into her job at Mode.
This is Amanda's rack:

And this is the rack for guest star...wait for it...Liza Minnelli! Can't wait for that.

We walked through the set of the Mode magazine offices. It was strange to be on the completely empty set which we usually see bustling with "staffers."

TD relaxes in Wilhelmina Slater's office on her chaise. Silly goose.

The long hallway/tunnel at Mode.

Here is TD sitting at Betty's desk.

Welcome to Mode.

This is the set of the Suarez family home in Jackson Heights where Betty's father, sister Hilda, and her son Justin live. Betty's father came to the United States from Mexico but had problems with immigration, and was going to be deported until a bribe solved that problem (see my post below).

On the third set, the cast was actually filming a scene. And I'm not going to give away any plot secrets here. We stood in a room next to the small room where the scene was filmed and heard it and watched in on a moniter. When they were done with a shoot, the cast came in to the small room where we were to sit and relax in those tall chairs that have their names on them. Since they were working we couldn't interrupt them but it was fun to rub elbows with the stars. Ana Ortiz, who plays Betty's sister Hilda and actually is pregnant, was on her cellphone and she does not have that strong Hispanic accent – Ok, I get it, she's an actress! Mark Indelicato, who plays Justin, said, "I started a blog last night with three posts." It had the word "Marked" in the title, but I can't find it. (Update: this is his blog – Marked Territory.)
Here we are with Ugly Betty

who isn't so ugly any more.
We'll miss you Betty.


The Sluice Box said...

Wow, that's certainly a thorough behind-the-scenes peek at the world of UB.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

how great -plus you met the star! I totally don't understand ABC -do they have a death wish? This show is so amazing and has become my favorite tv show. Such disappointing news.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

How fun! Love the photos -- you and T.D. are so dashing. My friend Jon writes for the is such a bummer it's ending. Your behind-the-scenes trip is even more meaningful now.

Bart Boehlert said...

Lisa, your friend Jon must be very talented because the show is a riot!

Errant Aesthete said...


What a treat - you and TD looked fabulous, certainly as spiffy as the cast and, one would suspect, the crew. I agree with your assessment on the destruction of the show -- the constant rescheduling of the lineup -- which, unfortunately, is all too common with the networks. (Look no further than my former employer NBC in terms of stupidity).

It may not be dead, however. Could get picked up elsewhere.

Madonna B said...

Fun.... You look like 2
kidds in a candy shop!!