Actress, producer, and TV series director America Ferrera will soon add filmmaker to her list of career accomplishments. The Barbie star will make her feature directorial debut with the upcoming Amazon MGM Studios’ film I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. It was previously set to debut on Netflix before the change of studio was announced on February 5, 2024.
Based on Erika L. Sánchez’s bestselling novel of the same name and adapted by screenwriter Linda Yvette Chávez (TV’s Gentefied), Mexican Daughter tells the story of Julia Reyes, a strong-minded teenager with a pair of traditional Mexican immigrant parents who wish she were more like her sister Olga—the epitome of what someone might imagine a “perfect Mexican daughter” to be. When tragedy strikes, Julia realizes that she is the only one who can mend the family together.
Ferrera says that years ago, she fell in love with Sánchez’s novel, a 2017 National Book Award finalist and winner of the 2018 Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award. She looks forward to directing the adapted screenplay by Chávez.
“The depth, wit and searing intelligence of [Erika’s] writing, and her young Latina heroine, struck me to my core and left me wanting so much more,” Ferrera said in a statement. “The opportunity to direct the work of these two incredibly talented Latina writers is a dream come true. I can’t wait to share this film with the many fans of the novel, and to introduce this funny, profound, and resonant story to the world.”
While this will be Ferrera’s first foray into feature filmmaking, she has directed episodes of NBC’s Superstore and Netflix’s Gentefied over the last few years. As an actress, she has also shared a set with talented directors like Patricia Cardoso (Real Women Have Curves), Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown), Patricia Riggen (Under the Same Moon), Miguel Arteta (TV’s Ugly Betty), and of course Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, the latter which she scored an Oscar nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role. So it’s more than likely she picked up a few pointers along the way.
“It’s so wonderful to direct,” America Ferrera told The Today Show in 2018. “I’m so inspired by all of my friends who I see just stepping up and doing it. Eva Longoria is directing up a storm. Gina Rodriguez is directing…Jane the Virgin. When you see others taking that step, you just go for it.”