AE: Getting back to Callie, did you know in advance that she would be paired with a woman, or did that just pop up in the script one day?
SR: There was talk of a lesbian relationship on the show. They didn’t say who or what. I volunteered myself to portray a relationship like that. I voiced an interest in having Callie’s experience be less cookie cutter. I thought it would be really great if it had more to do with Callie discovering herself to be a more open person and not a conventional one. First she was straight, now she’s in a gay situation. I thought that would be more interesting.
I have a number of friends who have had that experience and it’s underrepresented.
AE: How did you feel about Brooke Smith’s dismissal from the show?
SR: I think the timing of it was really unfortunate. I really felt for Brooke. She’s an amazing actress. It makes me sad that it adds a stigma to that relationship.
Callie and Erica
AE: People upset with Brooke leaving seem excited about the Arizona relationship. Do you feel that Callie has more chemistry with Arizona?
SR: No, it’s just different. It’s new. It didn’t come out of a friendship. They are two totally different people, Brooke and Arizona.
Callie’s relationship with Arizona feels less intense. It feels light. It feels honest. Communicative. A relationship that has misunderstandings, but through communication can reach the next level. There’s a lightness to it that I really like.
AE: Will that relationship stay around?
SR: I don’t know. Jessica just wrapped. I was sad to say goodbye. I kept telling her I’m going to put positive vibes out there hoping she’ll come back. We have a lot of fun together.
[Editor's note: Jessica Capshaw is reportedly finalizing negotiations to become a series regular next season.]
Callie and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw)
AE: Who would you love to see Callie with, out of anyone in the universe?
SR: K.D. Lang
AE: Who’s your favorite cast member?
SR: I have to admit, I laugh my ass off with T.R. Knight.
AE: How has your family responded to your success?
SR: Very supportive
AE: How’d they react to your character coming out?
SR: They think it’s interesting. Interesting good.
AE: Did you have any backlash from any friends or family?
SR: Nope. They’re proud of me and the story line.
AE: What’s the best fan letter you’ve received?
SR: There was a letter that I got from a lesbian fan saying that because of a story line being portrayed on television, she could embrace her own life with her own Latin family.
AE: You did a PSA in Spanish talking about tolerance. Are there unique challenges in terms of reaching out to that community?
SR: A lot of Latin families are extremely based in religion, which isn’t a negative thing, but sometimes Latin communities are very invested and connected in their religion and faith and sometimes that creates major conflict between those families and their GLBT children. A lot of Latin families by tradition have a real machismo present. A real dominant male energy. That’s one reason why homosexuality is a very scary subject to broach or accept.