Has playing Betty on Ugly Betty given you a different perspective on the role beauty plays in a woman's life? Lauren Moon, New Brunswick, N.J.
Definitely. In Hollywood there's a certain role that women fill, and it's usually to be eye candy. I'm pretty lucky that I've gotten to play parts that like Betty ask what a woman has to offer if she's not perfect and beautiful.
Where did the name America come from? Kimberly Laczniak, Milwuakee
I'm named after my mother. In Latin America, April 14 is Day of the Americas, and my mother was born on April 14, so my grandpa named her America. I would give you $100 if you could come up with a joke or a song about my name that I haven't heard.
How do you think Ugly Betty changed the way that network TV depicts minorities? Zinnat Ali, Vancouver
A young Latina girl as the center of a network television show? That just wasn't a reality, and now it is. And of course there was the depiction of Betty's young nephew. That was a huge challenge to stereotypes. Homosexuality is so unaccepted in Latino culture. To portray a Latino family that loves and supports and accepts this child for who he is was incredibly groundbreaking.
How does it feel to end a role you've played for four years? Rebekah McGlaslin, Enid, Okla.
It's a little sad. But I'm happy with where the story is ending. I'm just so glad we had four years, because I always saw this story as one of transformation from the inside out. I was always so terrified that we wouldn't get enough time to give Betty that growth.
How have you dealt with the challenges of being a Latina in Hollywood? Guilherme Lima, Rio de Janeiro
The thing about entertainment is that people want to label you right away, because it's easier for them to say, O.K., my brain now knows what you are. Latinas have struggled in Hollywood for a very long time to be seen as something other than the stereotypical maid, gardener, cholo, Pregnant Girl No. 5. I've been on those auditions. It's about getting rid of those labels.
What's next for you? Daniel Gonzales, San Diego
I just shot my last scene [for the show] at 3:30 this morning. In terms of jumping into something else, I'm just gonna breathe for a second and sleep and watch movies and read books. But sleep first and foremost.
I hear you went to Mali recently with Save the Children. What was that experience like? Lily Rubinstein, Brooklyn, N.Y.
I visited the village of Diassadeni, where I hope to build a school. We saw the one they currently had, which was built of mud and sticks and was being eaten away by termites, and there weren't enough desks. And I thought I could do something very small and give them the tools they need to get where they already want to go. They want to send their kids to school. They'd give anything to send their kids to school. They just need a school.
What are the biggest issues facing your generation? Sarah Murawski, Minneapolis
Where do you even begin? For me, it's the treatment of women in the world. There are women who still have no chance to get an education. There's no hope for them to get beyond what the men in their world dictate for them.
Will you be doing another Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants film? Adam Griffiths, Kent, Ohio
There are four books, and in the first movie we did the first book. And in the second movie we did the second, third and fourth books all in one. I don't think there's any source material left.
Have you ever stolen anything from wardrobe? Andrea Piskora, Hoboken, N.J.
There's not a lot of Betty stuff that I'd like to take with me, to be honest. Except Betty does have good shoes. But stealing is bad! Why would I do that?