In the film, America plays Gloria, a Mattel employee who helps Barbie through her existential crisis. Ryan, meanwhile, plays El Esposo de Gloria — yes, that's the character’s name in the credits — whom viewers see learning Spanish on Duolingo.
America told People in January 2024 that she told Barbie director Greta Gerwig over Zoom that the Duolingo tidbit tickled her because Ryan was “literally in the other room doing his Spanish lessons.”
“Right away, [Greta] was like, ‘Oh my God, does he want to play your husband?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know, you’ll have to ask him,’” America added. “When it came time, she was like, ‘Remember when I asked you if your husband would play your husband?’ And he said yes.”
Ryan Piers Williams, America Ferrera’s husband, has shared the screen with her before, too.
America and Ryan met in 2005, when she was a University of Southern California undergrad and he was a grad school alum casting his first film, according to People. That film was Muertas, a 2007 short about the spate of murders of young women in Juarez, Mexico. Ryan wrote and directed the film and played Ethan, while America played Rebecca.
The couple also costarred in The Dry Land — a 2010 drama film about a U.S. soldier returning from war — and X/Y — a 2014 drama film about a New York friend group — both of which Ryan wrote and directed.
“We met working, and working together has always been a big part of our relationship,” America told Metro in March 2015. “Often, when we’re working together, we’re completely consumed by what we do anyway. To be completely consumed by the same project and be on set together in the long run becomes quite a bonding experience.”
America and Ryan got married in 2011 at a star-studded wedding.
The duo tied the knot at a June 2011 wedding with “close friends and family” in attendance, as America’s rep told Peopleat the time. Her Ugly Betty costars Vanessa Williams, Judith Light, Mark Indelicato, and Rebecca Romijn were all there. Judith officiated and Vanessa hosted the wedding at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y. Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, and Amber Tamblyn — America’s pals from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies — were also there to cheer on the bride and groom.
America and Ryan have two kids together.
The couple now has two kids: Sebastian Piers Williams entered the mix in May 2018 and Lucia Marisol Williams arrived two years later.
“Motherhood has been amazing,” America told Access Hollywood in February 2020. She said that she was obsessed with Sebastian and looking forward to meeting Lucia, who was still on the way at the time.
“In a way, having children, and especially children who I hope identify with their cultural roots, like, it all feels so much more important,” she added. “I feel like being a mother has energized me and has focused me.”