Sofía Vergara Opens Up About Her 'Very Interesting and Very Difficult Year' (Exclusive)

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Vergara also noted that she had high hopes for 2024, telling PEOPLE during her Toty Transforma AHA launch party, "Everything is going to be okay"

<p>Monica Schipper/Getty</p> Sofia Vergara on Nov. 2, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California

Monica Schipper/Getty

Sofia Vergara on Nov. 2, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California

Sofía Vergara is ready to take on a new year.

The Modern Family alum got candid in an interview with PEOPLE at her Toty Transforma AHA launch party on Thursday in Los Angeles, about her thoughts on the past year and maneuvering through different challenges that have sprung up.

“I’ve had a very interesting year,” says Vergara, 51. ”I don’t want to say ‘bad’ or anything like that, but it’s been very interesting and very difficult.”

“I went through a divorce this year, the SAG strike that went on for so long,” the actress explains. “I’ve seen my friends struggle — some had to take their kids out of their schools or had problems with their mortgages, so it’s been a weird, weird year.”

Vergara is referring in part to her split this summer from Joe Manganiello after seven years of marriage, along with the nearly four-month SAG-AFTRA strike, which put a majority of film and TV projects on hold.

<p>Dia Dipasupil/Getty</p> Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara on Feb. 24, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California

Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara on Feb. 24, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California

Related: Sofía Vergara Acknowledges Her Life Has Seen 'a Lot of Changes' Since Joe Manganiello Split

However, while she admits that there have been several obstacles for both her personally and the entertainment business as a whole, she believes that there’s a brighter future on the way. “It’s not like it’s bad,” Vergara continues. “I think all the things are resolving, everything is going to be okay and I’m very excited for next year.”

One of the things she says she’s looking forward to is a new Netflix show she’s a part of called Griselda, which premieres in January. “I start the world press tour right after New Year’s [Eve], so I’m ready for that. It’s going to be exciting,” she says.

<p>Monica Schipper/Getty</p>

Monica Schipper/Getty

When asked if she thought that 2024 would be a “fresh start” for her, the actress tells PEOPLE, “I hope so," but adds, “I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a fresh start at 51."

"I don’t know if I’m fresh anymore, but I’m just excited," Vergara says. "I’m excited for the TV show that is coming. I’m excited for Toty, which has been doing really well since we started and people are loving it because it’s such a good quality product.”

She also teases that there's more on the way, saying, “I have a lot of projects for next year that hopefully people will love as well.”

Sofia Vergara on March 12, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California
Sofia Vergara on March 12, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California

Vergara says it's been "amazing" to watch Toty, her suncare brand that launched in June, grow to the extent that it has in the U.S. And she's excited to endorse something that she believes in.

"All the products I pick to endorse or create or be part of, it’s stuff that I really use and really care about. And it’s stuff that works," she says. "I don’t want to make people waste time because I’ve wasted a lot of time with products — we all have. Now technology and science are so good that we have really good products; it’s not just [petroleum jelly] on your face, which is really good too, but we have options that are real."

"But you have to know which ones they are because there’s so much stuff out there, especially with Instagram," adds the Emmy winner. "I don’t know about the rest of the world, but if I’m on Instagram and I see something that I can buy, I’ll buy it. It usually gets me and then it comes and I’m like, 'Oh, it’s a piece of s---.' But the model looked so good in the post or story."

"But these products are amazing, I swear, and they’re scientifically tested," Vergara says of Toty.

Related: Sofía Vergara Reunites with Modern Family Costars Julie Bowen and Jesse Tyler Ferguson: 'Missed U'

While the America’s Got Talent judge may be looking forward, she also isn’t afraid to take a trip down memory lane with her former Modern Family costars. She recently gave fans a behind-the-scenes look of what she described as the "first" cast reunion for the award-winning ABC sitcom.

In photos from the gathering, Vergara laughed with her on-screen family, including Julie Bowen, Sarah Hyland, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ariel Winter, Rico Rodriguez, Ed O'Neill, Nolan Gould and more.

Although Ty Burrell missed out, he was a part of the reunion in spirit as the entire cast posed for a photo together alongside a portrait of him in character as Phil Dunphy. The cast also shouted "we miss you Ty" and "love you dad" at the photo, which they propped up above a fireplace in a video shared to Vergara's Instagram account.

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"So lucky to have worked with this people for 11 years❤️," Vergara wrote in another caption. "I love and miss u all guys!!! #modernfamily."

Vergara has also appeared to move on in the romance department, having been photographed on multiple dates as of late with orthopedic surgeon Justin Saliman.

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