Interview with Sara Ramirez

 
 

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.

The 2008 GLAAD PSA

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