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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
K.D. Lang

AE: Who’s your favorite cast member?
I have to admit, I laugh my ass off with T.R. Knight.

AE: How has your family responded to your success?
Very supportive

AE: How’d they react to your character coming out?
They think it’s interesting. Interesting good.

AE: Did you have any backlash from any friends or family?
Nope. They’re proud of me and the story line.

AE: What’s the best fan letter you’ve received?
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?
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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