Inside Hillary Clinton's Friendship With America Ferrera

"Barbie" actor America Ferrera and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might not be the likeliest of duos, but surprisingly, their friendship stretches all the way back to the late 2000s. Those who closely followed Clinton's multiple presidential campaigns probably had a hunch that the two were connected, but for everyone else, we got a peak into their relationship at Glamour's Women of the Year Awards in November 2023. 

America Ferrera received the first Global Woman of the Year award at the ceremony, and Clinton was on hand to present it. Clinton spoke highly of her friend in her speech, saying, "She is determined. She's brilliant. She uses her platform and power to amplify women's voices, particularly Latino voices, and fight for equality for all," per People.

Clinton also revealed just how far back the two women's connection goes, describing how she first met Ferrera during her 2008 presidential campaign. Their friendship has continued through Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign to more informal settings like pizza parties and family get-togethers.

America Ferrera met Hillary Clinton while working with her daughter

America Ferrera and Hillary Clinton's friendship began after Ferrera and her "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" co-star Amber Tamblyn became co-chairs of HillBlazers, a youth outreach program of Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. Ferrera canvassed neighborhoods on foot with Clinton's only daughter, Chelsea, and was extremely vocal in supporting the politician. In a press release, Ferrera said, "This election is too important to stand on the sidelines. I believe that Hillary Clinton can turn this country around. I am confident she will be a champion for young women and men across the country," per the American Presidency Project.

Ferrera also spoke to Glamour in February 2008 about her decision to support Clinton, citing Chelsea as a large inspiration. "Spending time with Chelsea makes me admire [Hillary and Bill] even more as parents who raised this incredibly self-possessed, intelligent woman. I think it speaks so loudly for who Bill and Hillary are as parents to see how wonderful Chelsea turned out to be," the "Ugly Betty" star said. 

In the APP press release, Clinton returned the love for Ferrera, calling her a positive role model for women and girls. Eight years later, Ferrera supported Clinton again in her 2016 presidential campaign. The actor wrote an essay for Latina magazine in which she said Clinton "thrills and inspires the hell out of me," as reported by Time.

America and Hillary's friendship transformed from political to personal

Following Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss to former President Donald Trump, America Ferrera served as the opening speaker of the Women's March on Washington in January 2017. The actor and politician sat down with the New York Times in September of that year, describing their experiences as women and, in Ferrera's case, a Latino woman and how they've inspired each other over the years. Over time, their friendship morphed from political to personal.

In Clinton's Women of the Year Awards speech, she said, "I have to just say that for me, getting to know America and the joyful group of gutsy women that traveled with her in those days in 2008 means that I could not be happier to be here today to see her receive this award. I have been really blessed to see America and [her husband] Ryan and their kids in very informal settings. They've gotten to know my grandchildren," per People.

The former First Lady said that of the countless memories she shared with Ferrera, her fondest was a pizza party she hosted with Ferrera's family over the summer of 2023. (According to Clinton, Ferrera even got a movie review from the politician's 9-year-old granddaughter, who told the "Barbie" actor how much she loved her in the summer smash hit.) Indeed, we don't doubt that this powerful friendship will spawn even more political, social, and cultural movements for women's and minority empowerment in the future.