I had so much fun talking with Miss Cierra Ramirez from ABC Family’s “The Fosters” recently.
Below is the transcript of the conference call/interview that I, and other media outlets, had with her:
Q: How will the relationship with Mariana’s mother continue to evolve this season?
C. Ramirez: I would definitely say that Mariana’s secrets will definitely come up and haunt her. She still has to go through what happened in all the betrayal and the lies and the secrets and it’s all going to come back and she’s going to have to deal with it. So, it’s not the last that you will see of her.
Q: Are there any other projects that you’re working on during the upcoming break?
C. Ramirez: At the moment, I am not. I am in Houston, Texas right now visiting with friends and family, so I’m busy with that. But I still am auditioning so if anything comes my way that would definitely change.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about the reactions you’ve been getting from people about the themes of the show? What kind of things have you been hearing, positive or negative?
C. Ramirez: The biggest reward I usually love as an actress is getting feedback and seeing different audience members relate to the character or the plot or anything like that and, thankfully, everyone has been so positive. People have found this very relatable and universal, so it’s really fun to hear lots of people’s stories and seeing how they can just interact with the show, so it’s been a blessing.
Q: Do you think a show like this can make people change their minds on the topic of same sex marriage?
C. Ramirez: I definitely do think that it could, it’s about time a show like this has been on the air. There’s never been anything like it and it’s about time. It has perfect timing with everything that’s going on in the world and with Prop 8 and stuff like that. I think it can help people become a little bit more open to the idea of it, to same sex marriage and the idea that families being raised in certain households like that do turn out all right.
Q: What was your reaction to this story and the characters that were in it?
C. Ramirez: I’m a sucker for mom and daughter stories. I love being able to relate to that and being in other people’s shoes. But I just was so drawn to the writing. I thought it was so real. Like I said before, it’s time that a show like this has been aired. I just fell in love with the script, every single one of the characters.
I think they’re all amazing and people can really identify with their cleverness and their wittiness and I just think it’s great.
Q: Were you able to pick your character?
C. Ramirez: No, I wasn’t able to choose. My auditioning process was actually very strange. I literally auditioned for the show the day I found out that the series I was on, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, was not getting picked up for another season.
I put myself on tape. They were testing for the role of Mariana and I didn’t think I’d make it in time, but I later found out that I did get the role. So, it was really fast, but it was such a blessing to just hop on from one project to another.
Dis411: Could you talk a little bit about your character in your words for people that may have not yet watched The Fosters?
C. Ramirez: Mariana is a 15-year-old girl. She’s very optimistic and with that comes a lot of curiosity, especially coming from a fostering background. She’s very curious in finding out about her background, where she comes from. So, she gets in contact with her birth mom and goes behind her parents’ back so she gets herself into a lot of the trouble and a lot of betrayal, a lot of secrets.
Dis411: What qualites do you love about her?
C. Ramirez: I love her wittiness. That’s one thing. I’m not very witty, so I can kind of live vicariously through her. She has very good comebacks. Whereas I would just kind of take it and put a smile on my face. But she’s very witty and very fashionable and even though she does get herself into a lot of trouble, she does have a very good heart. So, I really love that about her.
Q: How is being on The Secret Life of the American Teenager different from The Fosters?
C. Ramirez: It’s very different in the sense that when I got on Secret Life it was already in its fifth season, so I was the newcomer with all of these people who had been bonding for four years and they were family, not only cast mates. So, it was a change, but everyone was so welcoming and so warm that I wouldn’t have really known any difference.
But, it was actually really fun to go through the whole pilot experience with the cast of The Fosters. So, we’ve gone from the get-go and it’s really been fun. It’s been a blast.
Q: Is there ever a time with Mariana when you just kind of want to shake her and steer her in a different direction than she goes?
C. Ramirez: Of course. But I do know, she’s 15, she’s growing, she’s going to make these mistakes and that’s what it’s all about. I know that she is a little bit more adventurous than other 15-year-olds may be, but she does have a very good heart. So, I know that no matter what she goes through it’ll all turn out well in the end. I am genuinely a fan of the show, so I love reading the different scripts, getting them, I just love it. I love getting to know what’s new with Mariana, what trouble she’s in.
Q: Is her relationship with Jesus going to continue to improve or are there going to be more roadblocks for them?
C. Ramirez: I think so, because she has kind of accepted the fact that he is dating her best friend and she’s going to have to deal with it, whether she likes it or not. She can’t let go of the few people that she loves. So, I definitely think that their relationship will get better.
Q: How do you define family?
C. Ramirez: This show, in particular, definitely goes along with the ABC Family slogan, “A New Kind of Family”. And that’s definitely what I think it is. But family for me is someone, or it could be anyone; you don’t have to be related to them, just like in the show, but it’s someone or a group of people that will accept you no matter what, through thick and thin and will always be there for you and love you unconditionally.
Q: What are conservative groups who don’t watch the show missing?
C. Ramirez: I definitely think it’s just the openness. They need to have more of an open mind to something that’s such a big deal right now. It’s the biggest thing in the world right now. It’s a big issue and it needs to be more open. That’s what I love about this project. I’m hoping that it can get through to lots of different families and it can become a better issue.
Q: How does it make you and your cast members feel that The Fosters has been nominated for a Teen Choice Award in the category of Best TV Breakout Show?
C. Ramirez: We actually all found out together. The producers told us and we were all on set. We were freaking out, I mean, literally. It still hasn’t even really hit me. But I’m, along with the audience, I’m there voting. I’m voting every day. I’m very excited and I can’t wait to see what the outcome is. I’m just really excited no matter what. And the fact that it was nominated four episodes into it is such a blessing.
Q: Does anyone on the cast plan on going to the Teen Choice Awards?
C. Ramirez: I think everyone is. We’re all excited. Definitely.
Dis411: Could you talk a little bit about what it’s like working with Maia Mitchell, Jake T. Austin and the rest of the cast?
C. Ramirez: They are just so amazing. They’re actually my reason to wake up every morning. It’s such a blessing to come to work with such amazing and talented people. I can’t stress that enough. It makes work fun. It’s not work. It’s constant laughter whenever we’re filming, on and off screen, so it’s just an amazing group of people and I’m so blessed to know them and work with them every day.
Dis411: Which episode is your favorite?
C. Ramirez: I would definitely have to be a little biased and say the Quinceanera. Mainly because who wouldn’t love being dressed up for a whole week like that. I never actually had a Quinceanera, so I got to experience one through Mariana and it’s televised, so I mean it’s the best of both worlds. So, it was a really fun episode and the dance scene was probably my favorite. We had to rehearse for that, so that was really fun.
Q: Who has influenced you as an actress and who you would love to work with someday?
C. Ramirez: That’s a good question. I would definitely have to say Angelina Jolie, which is something I know everyone says. But I just love her so much as an actress and as a human being. I just love everything she does. I respect all of her work. There’s not one project that she’s ever done that I’ve never been a fan of.
I think she’s just so passionate and I would love to follow in her footsteps one day.
Q: Are there any really funny behind-the-scenes moments on set?
C. Ramirez: There has definitely been some funny moments. I think it would have to do a lot with phones on set, because we’re all so very tech savvy. We’re always on our phones, every single one of the cast members. So, it’s really funny when a certain cast member’s phone will go off in the middle of a scene while we’re filming because that happens a lot.
It’s really bad, but it happens a lot to me. I’m very well known for hiding my phone in really weird places. I can hide it in a refrigerator during a scene or under that bed. It’s pretty bad, but at the end of the day we can all laugh at it.
Q: Has your new dog gotten into any trouble when you’ve brought her to set?
C. Ramirez: I’m actually playing with her right now, it’s so funny. I’ve actually tried to smuggle her onto the lot, but they’re pretty strict about that. So, she has gotten into some trouble. Well, that cute little thing, how could she get in trouble?
Q: What kind of film roles are you looking for now or what do you hope comes across your table in the next two years?
C. Ramirez: The roles I’m definitely looking for taking on are, generally the roles have been in; I’ve gone into different roles with the same mindset. I’ve loved taking on roles that have a very universal message that lots of people can identify and relate to – and at the end of the day can get people talking.
I’m actually a very dark person so I really want to get into some really dark roles, maybe some thrillers. I’ve never done one of those, so I think I’d really want to get into that, but definitely something that would get lots of people talking.
Q: What do you think of a show that comes along like Devious Maids that portrays Latina’s in that light?
C. Ramirez: I usually try to get into roles that are very universal. I try to stay away from those stereotypes, mainly because I just feel like every role that comes my way is a gardener’s daughter or something like that. But, it’s just the way you make it.
With Girl In Progress you saw, my mother was a struggling teen mother, who was struggling with two different jobs. She was a maid and she was working in a restaurant as a waitress. So, I mean it really just depends. I’m for them. I just try to stay away from them. I don’t really care for stereotypes.
Q: Is there a certain film that is your favorite?
C. Ramirez: I would definitely have to say Girl Interrupted. I can watch that so many times. I can watch it four times a day and still want more. I love Angelina Jolie, obviously. I love different roles, just getting into it, something that’s the complete opposite of who I am. I love a challenge, so I would definitely love something like that.
Q: How do Mariana’s parents [Stef and Lena] take to finding out what she has been up to?
C. Ramirez: Well, the idea of meeting her biological mother had come up in previous episodes. They had been asking her if she wanted to and she told her parents that she wasn’t ready. But she was still in contact with her mother, even though she said she wasn’t.
That’s definitely going to come up, the idea that we did tell you that we were ready for you to meet her, but you told us and you still went behind our backs. There’s a trail and it’s all going to unravel. So I guess we’ll just have to see.
Q: How was it on set when you guys were shooting the last episode of the season?
C. Ramirez: The last episode of the season probably had to be one of my most favorite filming processes. It was very giddy. The whole set, everyone just kind of felt like it was the last week of school in a way. It kind of was. It was very fun and you’ll just have to see, it’s a very extravagant, very big episode. So, that alone, it was just so fun to film and everyone was just having a blast. I miss them already, though.
Q: Did the cast do anything together on the last day of filming?
C. Ramirez: We weren’t all filming together on the last day. There were certain people that had wrapped on a certain day of the week, so we weren’t all there together. But I fortunately had the last scene of the last episode, so I was there for everyone, the entire cast, the entire day until wrap.
The producers and creators of the show all had a champagne toast at the end. I wasn’t there for the wrap party, but this was my wrap party, so I got to say goodbye and thank you so much to everyone. It was bittersweet. I cried. I’m a crybaby.
Q: Do you ever get a chance to make it to any of the Disney parks since you are under the big Disney umbrella?
C. Ramirez: Oh, my gosh, yes. I actually just went the other day for a premiere, but I didn’t get to ride any of the rides, except the Cars ride. I’ve only been to Disneyland and California Adventures, but it was such a blast. I’m working on getting my year pass so that’s been really fun.
Q: What is your favorite Disney character?
C. Ramirez: I definitely have to go with Ariel. I loved The Little Mermaid growing up.
Q: What is your favorite Disney Park worldwide?
C. Ramirez: I’ve only been to one, so I would definitely have to say probably California Adventures, because I’m growing up and those are kind of the more adventurous rides.
Q: What is your favorite Disney ride?
C. Ramirez: The Hollywood Tower of Terror.
Q: How about your favorite Disney food or restaurant?
C. Ramirez: Favorite Disney food or restaurant; This is not a very Disney restaurant at all, but I love the fact that every time I go to Starbucks they have those little Disney cups. For my birthday I went, I think it’s called Club 33. The little secret room, so that was really fun. Not that many people I know have gone, so that was a blast.
Q: What is your favorite Disney movie?
C. Ramirez: The Little Mermaid.
My questions in blue!
Be sure to watch “The Fosters” on Monday, August 5th on ABC Family!