By Sarahe | September 16, 2009 |
Here’s an interview with Sara Ramirez about Season 5!
What can you tell us about your character in season five of Grey’s Anatomy?
SARA RAMIREZ: Callie continues her journey of self-exploration in season five. I guess she’s still on a quest to find love – whether it’s with men or women, but she hopes to find it one day. I don’t know if it will happen at the end of this season, but I hope it happens before the end of the show, whenever that is.
What’s been your personal highlight to the new season?
SARA RAMIREZ: I think some of the medical cases have been really fascinating and interesting this year. Eric Dane’s character performs a face transplant, which is an extraordinary feat. It’s amazing to think these procedures are going on in the world. It’s fascinating. Only four face transplants have been done in the country, but he successfully pulls it off.
Has your character been involved in any interesting medical procedures?
SARA RAMIREZ: I built a guy a titanium leg, which was really cool. It was a lot to take on as it was a pretty massive procedure, but then the guy died. It’s a really dramatic storyline for Callie because at that point her relationship had also died.
How does it feel to be on a show in its fifth year?
SARA RAMIREZ: It’s so crazy, but it’s great. It’s wild. I’m having such a wonderful time on the show and I think it continues to get better every year.
Callie’s love life has been very interesting this season…
SARA RAMIREZ: Yes, it has. There have been lots of developing relationships in season five. You see Sandra Oh and Kevin McKidd’s character get together. You see Chyler Leigh and Eric Dane’s characters grow closer together – and you also get to see what happens with Izzie and Alex. Izzie has a lot going on in her life with her illness, which is going to be an amazing storyline on the show.
Were you disappointed to see Brooke Smith’s character, Erica Hahn, leave Grey’s Anatomy?
SARA RAMIREZ: Yes, but I like the fact that their relationship wasn’t a cookie-cutter journey. The ending was very abrupt for everyone involved, particularly Brooke, but I like the fact that it wasn’t a simple journey that they went on together. It’s sad that she left, but things happen and she’ll keep working because she’s a great actress.
How would you describe Callie in season five?
SARA RAMIREZ: I like that Callie is entering this middle ground where she’s not straight, but she’s not necessarily gay. She’s sort of open. She’s open to considering a relationship with anyone and it doesn’t matter what their gender is. She will be attracted to someone because of their personality and the spirit of the person as opposed to their gender – and I think that’s very interesting.
What do the fans think of Callie?
SARA RAMIREZ: There’s mixed feelings. I’ve received positive feedback and I’ve also received a letter from a fan who hates it. Someone even said they’re going to stop watching the show because of Callie. Everybody has an opinion – and her sexuality is unfortunately still a controversial subject for some people. It doesn’t matter, though. Controversy is sometimes good on a show.
Did you have to do any research to prepare for the role of Callie?
SARA RAMIREZ: Actually, we had a big meeting with GLAAD [Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] when we were working on the Erica Hahn storyline. That particular story was based on the experiences of two women, so we researched the hell out of it in order to make it true. Now we’re entering a whole new phase and I think we always try to keep the relationships that we’re representing in mind because it is a sensitive subject for some people.
What do you make of the rumors and backstage gossip about Grey’s Anatomy in the tabloids?
SARA RAMIREZ: Let’s not beat around the bush. Stuff like that keeps people watching. Publicity is a huge thing in this industry and people thrive on it, so it’s just part of the show’s machinery.
Do you ever read gossip in the press and think, ‘If only they knew the real story?’
SARA RAMIREZ: Yes, I do. If they knew the real story, they’d probably be bored and they wouldn’t be watching. At the end of the day, I just want to do good work. I don’t want to worry about how people feel about me because nobody is ever going to like you all of the time.
Do you enjoy performing surgeries on the show?
SARA RAMIREZ: I enjoy being in the ER. I really get off on it. I love it because it’s creepy and great. And I love blood and guts. However, I had a bad time with work this year because a friend of mine was diagnosed with liver cancer and he died within six weeks. During that time, I was shooting in LA but I was flying over to New York to see him as much as I could. I would be working in the ICU on the show and then I’d fly to New York and visit him in a real ICU – and it felt like I was walking right back onto the set.
That must have been a tough experience…
SARA RAMIREZ: It was extremely difficult to be here after he passed away. I discovered how up-to-date we are with the machines on the show because they were exactly like the machines in the New York ICU. It took a long time to get over it, but I’m feeling much better now.
Do you think you’d make a good patient?
SARA RAMIREZ: I’ve become a total hypochondriac. The show doesn’t help because it makes my mind over-run with possible illnesses. I go to the doctor all the time if I think something is wrong, but I think that’s a positive thing. I’m blessed that I have medical insurance that allows me to do that. I go and get checked up all the time.
Do you have a grueling schedule on the set?
SARA RAMIREZ: Well, it takes ten days to shoot an episode, but I’m only on set two to three days a week. Sometimes I’ll be there more, but I feel very lucky that I have time off. I know some of the other actors have to put a lot more hours into the show, so I’m lucky.
How far in advance do you hear about upcoming storylines?
SARA RAMIREZ: I don’t get to hear about anything unless it’s a major storyline involving my character. Otherwise, I get to hear about it on the day of the read-through. That’s when we really know what’s gone into the script – and most of the time, we’ll be as shocked as the viewers.