Q & A With Sara Ramirez

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For years, Sara Ramirez was the actress whom Broadway insiders consistently pegged for breakout success. She found that success, winning a Tony Award for her role as the Lady in the Lake in Spamalot.

Q & A With Sara Ramirez
Then she found it again, joining the cast of Grey's Anatomy (which begins its much-anticipated Season 3 Thursday) as orthopedic surgeon Dr. Callie Torres, love interest of hapless intern George.

After guest starring as Callie last Spring, Sara was promoted to full-time cast member this summer.

Recently, Ramirez spoke to New York Magazine's Jada Yuan about finally living large on TV. Here's the interview:


New York Magazine: They’ve signed you up for the full year, so clearly things are going to work out with George.
Sara Ramirez: I wouldn’t be so sure. I know they’re keeping me around, but I don’t know if it’s for George.

New York Magazine: Were you a fan of the show before you signed on?
Sara Ramirez: Oh, yes! As a Latin person, I was really proud to see the ethnic people on the show. I thought, Wow, there are no color limits. Nobody’s making comments about how there are African-Americans on the show and an Asian on the show. However, I did think, Where’s the Latin person?

New York Magazine: A lot of fans hated your character because they wanted George to wind up with Meredith Grey, the show’s lead.
Sara Ramirez: You do run across a lot of people who are extremely invested in that story line. Obviously, I’ve heard some negative stuff.

New York Magazine: You joined the show in the middle of the second season. Did you feel like an outsider?
Sara Ramirez: The weird thing about working in television is that you only see the people that you’re in scenes with. It’s not like you’re all running around the set together. So if you’re going to hang out together, you kind of have to make an effort. And I think people have families, people have lives.

New York Magazine: Were you beginning to think you’d be doing theater forever?
Sara Ramirez: I’d been in New York for about 12 years, working my butt off. I just went where the work was, and because of my voice, that was Broadway. But I’d grown disillusioned with the theater scene. I’m 5'9", and people didn’t know where to put me, a tall Latin woman. They were like, “Well, you can sing really good and you can act okay, but you’re not black and you’re not white. We just don’t know who to cast you as.”

New York Magazine: Was there pressure in going from stage to TV to change your appearance?
Sara Ramirez: Not at all. I actually gained a lot of weight when I started to do Grey’s Anatomy. Doing eight theater shows a week, girl, is such a workout. But with TV, you’re, like, sitting in your trailer waiting to go to the set. And there’s catering and craft service every place you look.

New York Magazine: Between you and America Ferrera on Ugly Betty, there’s a mini-boom for curvier, “real” Latin women.
Sara Ramirez: Absolutely. I’ve spoken to America several times at events about how funny it is that we’re on TV, and how cool it is to represent a group of women who aren’t stick-thin. I know my boyfriend loves to have something to hold onto. There’s a lot of men out there who do.

New York Magazine: Now that you’ve dealt with both, which fans are more rabid, Monty Python fans or Grey’s Anatomy fans?
Sara Ramirez: Monty Python. They show up in costume.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I think Calli and George are cute together... but they definately have some relationship issues, with the whole "i love you" thing, and whatnot, but they are a great couple. Sara Ramirez plays Calli wonderfully, and i dont think she needs to change at all.


I would like to hear why she should lose weight? She does represent the real women out there in the world. Women shouldnt have to be portrayed as stick thin on television. Women are driven to look like the women on television when in reality those women can afford personal trainers, dietitians, and personal chefs. I am proud to see a character like Callie on television.


I must admit that at first i was a little skeptical of George having a love interest so soon after having his heart broken by Meredith, but seeing how Callie has helped George move on, i think this story line is headed in the right direction..


I'm glad that George is with Callie, and not Meridith. She used him, and played with his emotions. There are more women who look like Sara in real life than Ellen P, she's too skinny too, but's another story. Nonetheless, I'll be tuning in tomorrow evening.


I think it's great that they have a curvy woman on the show! She is just further proof that this show promotes not just toothpick-skinny girls as sexual objects but fuller-figured women, too!
At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about Callie, but now she's grown on me. I really like the fact that she adores George...that makes her so cool in my book! I really enjoy her character now~


I personally don't like Callie's character. I think she is rude, but she is making it better.....I like how she helped out Meredith with the dog. It made her look like the bigger person, and I think THAT is how she should be all the time!


I have mixed feelings about Callie. I like the fact that George has someone who is as into to him as he was into Meredith, I think his character needed that, but I don't know if I see their relationship lasting. They haven't been together that long on the show but she seems very needy and has an all or nothing kind of approach and I think she needs to relax if she wants to make it work with George.


I love the George and Callie relationship. I love her, she is firey and spunky. Wow is all I can say. She is so sexy and smart. I love a woman with brains and conidence it is the sexiest combination. Callie is great I am very glad Sara was added to the cast.


Seriously?? Why should she lose weight??? So she can look like every other average actress out there?? I think shes sexy as she is! And as for Callie? I think its ironic that Bambi has ended up with such a fiery hot chick


I have tried to like Callie but their is just something about her. She's just weird to me and the season 3 promo didn't help my opinion either.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.


Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)