If you’re one of those people not on board with Sara Ramirez‘s Che Diaz, don’t worry — it doesn’t bother the actor behind And Just Like That‘s most polarizing new character. Despite sharing their Mexican and Irish-American background and identifying as queer and nonbinary, Ramirez told The New York Times that they see little of themself in the cocky comedian.
“I don’t recognize myself in Che,” Ramirez said, explaining that while they’re aware of the criticism of Che online, they choose not to engage to protect their own mental health. “I’m really proud of the representation that we’ve created. We have built a character who is a human being, who is imperfect, who’s complex, who is not here to be liked, who’s not here for anybody’s approval. They’re here to be themselves.”
Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max Sara Ramirez on ‘And Just Like That’
Since Che’s debut in the HBO Max series, the character has been criticized for everything from their brash attitude to their developing romance with Cynthia Nixon‘s Miranda Hobbes. They’ve also become a punching bag of sorts for what many think is the show’s very obvious (and in some viewers’ minds, flawed) attempt to include more diversity.
“I welcome the passion that folks are bringing to the table around this representation. But in real life, there are a lot of different human beings who show up to the table, speaking truth to power in myriad ways,” Ramirez told the Times. “And they all land differently with different people. And Che Diaz has their own audience that they speak to who really get a kick out of what they’re doing.”
Although the actor may not see Sara Ramirez in Che, they do care about what the character represents. When EW chatted with Ramirez last year, they spoke candidly about the care that went into creating Che, down to the collaborative process of pitching and Zoom meetings and the fact that they specifically asked for support from GLAAD to make sure that none of the representations they were displaying were harmful to the trans and queer communities.
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max Sara Ramirez and Cynthia Nixon in ‘And Just Like That’
“Che is a character who speaks their unapologetic truth because they have done the work to get clear about who they really are,” Ramirez told EW. “And they are also somebody who embraces the fluidity of life… I’m really grateful the community came together in this way to try to come up with something funny that makes you think, that makes you feel, but also stays true to the character and who they are. Che gets to live their own full life. They’re not here to be tokenized.”
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