Q&A Interview with Grey’s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
September 12, 2011 by Dennis Amith
With the upcoming DVD release of “Grey’s Anatomy – The Complete Seventh Season”, the season was a big season as all eyes were on actress Sara Ramirez.
Ramirez had appeared on various television shows such as “NYPD Blue”, “Third Watch” and “Spin City”, but in season seven, the season called for one of the most emotional performances by the actress but also a season to showcase her musical side.
In the past seasons, we have had seen her character Dr. Callie Torres grow from a woman who had questioned her relationships with men but now, we have seen her fall in love and wonder what lies in the future between her and her girlfriend Dr. Arizona Robbins (played by Jessica Capshaw). With a near-tragic episode featuring her character Callie Torres, we also had the opportunity to see her music talent in full bloom with the musical episode of “Grey’s Anatomy”. And it all takes place in season seven!
With the eighth season of “Grey’s Anatomy” to air on ABC on Sept. 22nd, “Grey’s Anatomy – The Complete Seventh Season”DVD box set is planned for release on Sept. 13th.
The following is a media Q&A featuring Sara Ramirez reflecting on season seven of “Grey’s Anatomy”.
What’s happening with the relationship between Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins [played by Jessica Capshaw] in Season Seven of Grey’s Anatomy?
SARA: Callie and Arizona find themselves in a very complex situation in Season Seven, and there are many different ways to look at it. There’s the Arizona team that think, ‘Arizona had every right to break up with Callie because Callie was being horrible.’ And then you’ve got the Callie team who think, ‘Why did Arizona break up with Callie? If she hadn’t broken up with her, Callie wouldn’t have slept with Mark Sloan [played by Eric Dane] and she wouldn’t have got pregnant by him.’ There are so many different perspectives, but that’s what makes the storyline dramatic and interesting. There are various sides to the story, and the stakes are high for everyone.
How much fun are you having with Callie this Season?
SARA: Callie is very exciting to play because she’s in this very complex situation. Today, families are made up of people that aren’t necessarily blood related or even in a romantic relationship, and it’s interesting to play that on the show. It’s very current. It’s very modern. It’s also interesting to play the sexual fluidity that’s happening with Callie right now. It’s great. It’s dramatic. It’s complicated. I love it.
What do you think will happen to Callie and Arizona?
SARA: I don’t know what’s going to happen to them because the writers keep me guessing, but I know they are going to have a very interesting journey. Callie is having a child after wanting one for so long, but the viewers are split as to where they want the story to go. There’s a lesbian community that roots for ‘Calzona’, but then there are people that just don’t understand why anybody would stick around when you’re ex-partner went off and got pregnant with somebody else. It’s such a rich storyline and there are so many places we can go with it. Assuming the baby is born and everything is fine with the child, I think it’s really interesting to think about what could happen to these people, so I’m really excited to play the story out. This storyline is making a lot of people talk, and that’s a good thing. We’re creating civic dialogue on the show, which I think is always helpful.
How has the show affected your life away from work?
SARA: I’ll let you into a secret: I’ve become a total hypochondriac since working on Grey’s Anatomy. My mind continually gets over-run with possible illnesses. I go to the doctor all the time if I think something is wrong, but that’s a positive thing. I’m blessed that I have medical insurance that allows me to do that.
Have you had any bizarre hospital experience since you started work on Grey’s Anatomy?
SARA: Let me tell you a funny story about the time I had to have some tests done and [Grey’s Anatomy creator] Shonda Rhimes came along with me to the hospital. I thought I had a problem with my small intestine and the doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with me when Shonda realized there was an intern learning the ropes during my consultation. I was completely clueless because I was in a lot of pain, but Shonda was standing over them saying, “Is this guy training? No way. He’s not training on our watch. He’s out of here.” She got him kicked out and they had to bring in a different doctor!
Did it feel weird to be lying in hospital after working all day on the hospital set of Grey’s Anatomy?
SARA: I guess it was a little strange, although it wasn’t as strange as the time I had to fly over to the east coast every weekend to go to hospital. I went through a tough time in my life a couple of years ago when a friend of mine was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died within six weeks, and during that time I was shooting in Los Angeles but 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. I’d take off my gloves at work in Los Angeles, but then put them on again for real in New York.
That must have been a tough experience to go through…
SARA: It was extremely difficult to be on the set of Grey’s Anatomy after my friend passed away. I was constantly reminded of the situation. However, I discovered how up-to-date we were 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. I can talk about it much easier now. It’s good to remember him in this way.
Grey’s Anatomy the Complete Seventh Season is available on DVD on Sept. 13th.
Photo credit: ABC/BOB D’AMICO
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