In the much-discussed “comedy concert” in “And Just Like That…”, the HBO sequel “Sex and the City,” the much-discussed character Che Diaz recounts the story of the members’ debut. family member.
“I stood up in the living room and said, ‘Family, I love you, and just want you to know that I’m weird, not bisexual and bisexual,'” she said. Che told the audience with a serious face, before showing a wide smile. “And they said: ‘Great, can you move? You are blocking the game. ‘”
A bit similar to how Sara Ramirez, the actor who plays Che (and who, like Che, is not binary and uses the singular pronoun surname/surname), came to their family as bisexual. – except for a “Harry Potter” movie on television instead of sports.
The screenwriters for “And Just Like That…” had nothing to do with Ramirez’s life, the actor said in a recent interview. Aside from the character’s hairstyle (slicked-back haircut) and ethnic background (Mexican and Irish-American), “I don’t recognize myself in Che,” Ramirez said.
A fast-talking, smug comic that features Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) on a podcast about gender and sexuality, Che is often the host of the show’s original girl group (minus one) to learn about the new cultural practices of New York City’s younger progressives: pronouns, active sex, and shooting weed, to name a few. Most importantly, Che urges Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) to discover her sexuality.
The show, which will release its season finale on Thursday, was be censured for myself heavy handling of identity issues and sometimes clumsiness in its attempt to diversify away from overwhelmingly straight, white-original series. (Maya Phillips, a reviewer for The New York Times, calling the efforts “commendable but shallow.“)
Che has been a common target of such complaints. One critic, writes on Them, an LGBTQ culture and news website, said the character is read as a “caricature” which means “gain Wins Diversity.” The Daily Beast went further, calling Che “unhinged” and “the worst character on TV.” On social media, viewers groaned about the “wake up moment!” Of Che! , part supports podcasts, and the dialogue is sometimes interrupted. (“Tell me if you want to relax again soon, OK?” Che tells Miranda in a key scene.)
Others have guard this character, arguing about the importance of a non-human being on the show and questioning why so many people care about Che, in particular. “People really have a problem with gender-nonconforming individuals,” performer Lea DeLaria told The New York Post, adding: “I don’t think it’s the program’s fault. I think it’s the audience’s fault.”
Speaking via video chat from New York, Ramirez, 46, said they were used to playing roles that provoked criticism and controversy. For example, the sexuality of Dr. Callie Torres, the hardworking orthopedic surgeon Ramirez played in Shonda Rhimes’ medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” from 2006-16, is dissect enthusiastically by fans of the show.
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Ramirez – who was born in Mazatlán, Mexico and sent to live in the United States at the age of 7 after his parents divorced – graduated from Juilliard School in 1997 and quickly landed a role in the stage (Broadway musical “Broadway”. The Capeman”), film (rom-com “You’ve Got Mail”) and television (soap opera “As the World Turns”). Ramirez joined “Grey’s” not long after winning a Tony Award, in 2005, for playing the Lady of the Lake during the Broadway production of “Spam.”
It wasn’t until after Ramirez left “Grey’s” that they came out as bisexual, and four years later, they weren’t. In an interview, the actor discussed the appeal of the original movie “Sex and the City”, the audience’s reaction to Che Diaz, and the pressure of appearing on television before doing so. that in real life. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
You were in your 20s when “Sex and the City” premiered in 1998. What was your impression of the movie?
I just graduated from Juilliard School. I worked professionally as an actor and loved New York. So it was a perfect show. I appreciate the focus on friendship, the power of friendship, and the power of personal purpose and sexual empowerment for women.
Your first famous TV role, Callie Torres on “Grey’s Anatomy,” exhibits a similar sense of purpose and power. Are you related to that character?
I’m really excited to take on a role that is so strong, powerful, but also incredibly sensitive and vulnerable. I relate to that due to my own upbringing and some trauma that I have overcome. I have developed a very hard shell, and at the same time I am extremely sensitive.
How did Callie come to discover her gender on the show? Do your own experiences play a role?
I knew I was bisexual from an early age, from my teens, and it was an incremental process of discovery. So it’s one thing to live with the truth about yourself; it’s a different thing when working in television and gradually becoming more known. So, on the one hand, I feel pressured to go public. On the other hand, I wonder if I could make an impact by creatively infusing the character I’m playing with a broader sexuality.
Were you nervous about presenting that plot to Shonda Rhimes, the creator?
I think it’s a mixture of comfort with Shonda and anxiety, mixed with excitement about the unknown. If she said no, it would be disappointing – but to some extent, it was a relief. If she says yes, it’s excitement and horror that we might misinterpret.
What do you mean by doing it wrong?
Just failing the community – portraying someone in a way that could harm the community would somehow be considered inaccurate. I think that comes with the intrinsic of two-sided antagonism. I was conditioned to believe there was only one way to be weird at the time.
Remember getting feedback from viewers about the path that Callie eventually took?
Social media didn’t evolve when we first started exploring that journey of Callie [in fall 2007], and the only ones available are chat rooms, online forums, or comments on websites. I’ve tested it a couple of times, and it’s a mix of different opinions, which is great in a sense, because you want people to have an opinion. I think it’s a good thing for people to talk about. But I learned that any of them should not be considered because opinions are huge, and as an artist I have to defend my process.
You did not appear publicly until after you left the show. How do you feel about playing a bisexual character on TV but still struggling with whether or not to come out about your gender?
It’s extremely stressful. I was going through a lot of anxiety – and I happened to be married to a transgender man. Living the life of a bisexual in real life but knowing deep down that there will be all kinds of judgments around one’s own sexuality is hard to live with when it comes to describing someone in transition. become powerful around women. It was a really exciting time.
There is less overlap between you and Che Diaz. Did you heed your character’s criticism, or did you try to distance yourself from it?
I’m very aware of the hate that exists online, but I have to protect my own mental health and art. And that’s way more important to me because I’m a real human being. I’m really proud of the representation we’ve made. We built a character who is a human, who is imperfect, who is complicated, who is not here to be liked, who is not here to be approved by anyone. They are here to be themselves.
I also have no control over the writing. I applaud the passion people are bringing to the table around this representative. But in real life, there are many different people appearing on the table, telling the truth to take power in countless ways. And they all land differently with different people. And Che Diaz has their own audience for them to talk to who’s really getting a kick out of what they’re doing.
How do you think Che will react to this criticism?
Michael Patrick King [the showrunner of “And Just Like That …”] and the writers’ room would probably answer that best since they wrote the character Che Diaz. I imagine Che will have something very witty, silly and funny as a rebuttal; something that ultimately reminds people that they are human; something with low self-esteem, because I think they know they’re a narcissist. And maybe just a little reminder that no one is perfect.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/02/arts/television/che-diaz-and-just-like-that.html Sara Ramirez is not Che Diaz