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Interview with Cierra Ramirez of "The
ABC Family 1/22/14
ABC Familyís Q&A with Cierra Ramirez
Moderator: What do you think has made The Fosters such a
quick fan favorite series?
Cierra: The fact that it deals with topics and issues that
are so real and relevant right now in the world -- but they
arenít often on television for the viewers to see. I think
it has done really well, being able to connect to the
audiences. Thatís the best part about the series -- having
people approach you saying that they really relate to a
certain character or storyline. Thatís what the whole idea
of the show is, itís so universal. I think thatís really
awesome to see.
Moderator: Who are some of the great guest stars weíll be
seeing this season?
Cierra: Well, you did see Rosie OíDonnell, thatís going to be
really awesome. Iím really
excited for that. I wasnít really a part of that whole
filming process, so Iím excited for that as well. Garrett
Clayton will be guest starring as one of Marianaís possible
love interests, so thatís going to be interesting as well.
Moderator: Will this half of the season finally give Mariana
the chance to be happy with her new possibly love interest?
Cierra: Well, you did see Mariana deal with some very dark
issues on the first half of the season, so it has definitely
lightened up. But I wouldnít say that itís all just gone. A
lot of her stuff will come back to haunt her, so you can
definitely look forward to some dark stuff coming up.
Moderator: Would you say Mariana is struggling without Lexi
Cierra: It is a story that will continue, and youíve kind of
seen how the relationship and dynamic has changed with Lexi
now dating her brother. Youíre going to see how that kind of
comes into play. And with her leaving, yes, I definitely
think that she will miss Lexi in her life.
Moderator: What has been Marianaís most important & pivotal
Cierra: I think it would have to be episode 9, where Stef is
in the hospital. You see all of the issues that sheís dealt
with bottle up and come out. The reason her mother is in the
hospital is because of her, so sheís left with this guilt.
She got shot because she was in contact with the biological
mom and with that she wonders if Lena and Stef want to keep
her or if they still love her. I think that she really
needed to hear from Lena and Stef that she really is part of
this family. It was just something she dealt with, growing
up and being curious it did get her into some trouble, and I
think that at the end of the day she really needed to know
that she was loved. I think thatís one of my favorite
That was my most favorite. It was the toughest. Iím a sucker
for anything, you know, Iím very dramatic. I love crying,
and I just think that episode was just so beautiful.
Moderator: Is there anything that you would like to have
changed about the character in the past?
Cierra: Up until now, sheís no longer keeping in contact with
her mother. I think that was one thing I was a little iffy
about, was how close she was getting with her mom, and you
see the results of that.
Moderator: Is there anything special youíve had to do in
order to prepare yourself for the role of Mariana?
Cierra: I didnít really know much about foster care, so my
learning process was gradual with the pilot. The cast and
crew also helped out. Luckily weíve been able to meet with
foster care companies, and we were able to meet a lot of
kids who come from the foster care system. Theyíve been able
to give feedback, tell us how they relate to something, or
if they donít relate to something. Itís been really great to
see how they relate to The Fosters, and I think that has
really helped me shape my character as well.
Moderator: How much ofCierra:: are you allowed to bring to
Cierra: One thing Iím really big about is that I love nail
polish! I just love getting my nails done and Iím really
into really funky colors and patterns. Theyíve really helped
me bring that into Mariana. I think thatís helped shape her
style Ė sheís very daring and colorful. I love being able to
bring theCierra:: nails into Mariana.
Moderator: How does Mariana feel about the near loss of a
potential sister after Callie ran away?
Cierra: I think thatís really hard, especially coming from a
fostering background. Up until the Fosterís Mariana hasnít
really known a family, and up until Callie she was the only
girl sibling in the household. At first she was a little
territorial and she didnít really take a liking to Callie.
But youíve seen their relationship bond. Theyíve gotten so
close, and for her to leave like that was hard on the whole
family, especially Brandon. I think it is really hard. Sheís
never had a sisterly figure in her life, and for Callie to
disappear like that was very hard.
Moderator: What do you think Mariana would be like as a
Cierra: Sheís never had a boyfriend, so sheís going to have a
little hit-or-miss. Sheís not going to really know how to be
a girlfriend, but I think at the end of the day she will be
very romantic and thoughtful. Sheís very creative, so I
think she would be very romantic.
Moderator: What is it like working with Garrett Clayton?
Cierra: Itís awesome! Our friendship actually started from
our mutual obsession with Kristen Wiig. Weíre just
constantly doing some of her impersonations and impressions.
I love working with him. Heís such a great actor and he
brings so much to his character Chase. Iím really excited to
see how it all turns out and have a blast with him on set.
Moderator: Can you give away any hints behind Marianaís deep
and dark secrets?
Cierra: She doesnít really have as many this half of the
season, but like I said, her mistakes will definitely come
back to haunt her.
Moderator: Do you see Mariana as the nice girl she is
portrayed to be, or something more?
Cierra: I see Mariana as a 15-year-old girl who is growing
and with that sheís going to make a few mistakes here and
there. At the end of the day she loves her family and it
means the world to her. But she is growing and she comes
from a different background. Sheís very curious, but sheís
sassy, sheís witty, sheís loving and caring at the same
time. I love her. I think sheís a great character and I love
being able to portray her.
Moderator: How are these perceived expectations of teen
normalcy (having a boyfriend) going to affect her actions
this half of the season?
Cierra: It actually unravels in one of the upcoming episodes.
There is a lot of pressure, and especially if thereís
competition. I donít want to say too much but there might be
a little competition in the running towards a love interest.
But, yes, there will be pressure, and youíll see that all
Moderator: What other actresses do you look up to?
Cierra: Angelina Jolie! She is fabulous, on and off screen. I
just think sheís an awesome person. I love Kate del
Castillo, Iíve got to represent for my Latinas. Rachel
McAdams is such a beautiful person. They are all some of my
Moderator: What is it like working on The Fosterís set?
Cierra: Oh, it is amazing! Itís constant laughter. They
really are a great reason to wake up early in the morning.
Whenever Iím rolling out of bed and my bed is just so comfy,
I just look forward to seeing them. They make the day go by
so much faster. Itís honestly not work. Itís so much fun.
The relationships on and off screen are just so light, itís
just so full of love. I love it. Itís a dream.
Moderator: What issues in the upcoming episodes would you
like to see Mariana take on?
Cierra: If I had to go back to the idea of pressures,
pressuring in the teen dating life, I think maybe dealing
with the idea of sex or virginity. They have touched it
briefly on the show. But I think itís different with a girl.
I think Mariana would be interesting in that scenario. You
might be able to see something like that on this upcoming
season. It will be interesting.
Moderator: Is there any type of social issue or a problem
that you would not like to see Mariana take on?
Cierra: No, actually. The one thing I really admire about the
writers is that they can really touch base with a lot of
different topics really fast, but it all blends so well and
all of the storylines just match. I love the idea of
touching so many different universal topics that people can
relate to. I think thatís really awesome. I donít think I
would be against anything.
Moderator: How is working on The Fosters similar or different
than working on The Secret Life of the American Teenager?
Cierra: When I was on The Secret Life of the American
Teenager I had signed on the last season of a total of five,
so Iwas the new kid on the block. That was different because
on The Fosters we started as strangers on this pilot and
took it on from there. It was kind of a whole different
ballgame with The Secret Life, coming in as the new student.
Everyone on The Secret Life was so welcoming and so warm, it
was a family already. It was so much fun acting on The
Secret Life -- the drama, I couldnít get over it, it was
awesome. It was the same in the sense that on both sets the
cast and crew were just such family, so that was really fun.
It was such a huge blessing to hop on one awesome project to
another. Itís been a great ride!
Moderator: Did you already know that you had this role before
The Secret Life ended?
Cierra: No, actually. My auditioning process was very
different. The creator of The Secret Life had called to tell
me that The Secret Life was no longer being picked up for
another season, so I got on the phone with my agent and I
told him, ďIím out here. I really want to get a new
project,Ē and he told me about The Fosters, but they were
already testing for the role of Mariana. As a spur of the
moment I wanted to put myself on tape. The day after we sent
it in, I found out that I had booked the role, so it was a
really different process. It was a huge blessing. It was
Moderator: Is there a possibility of something happening
between Mariana, Zac and Chase?
Cierra: Oh, I donít want to give too much away, but maybe
youíre on to something! You know sheís never had a
boyfriend, so a lot of that topic will surface and there
could possibly be a love triangle.
Moderator: What do you think about Jesus finding a new love
outside of Lexi?
Cierra: I donít think that Marianaís going to be okay with
that. The idea of him dating Lexi -- it took so long for her
to be okay with. Now that sheís fine with it and sheís away,
I donít know how thatís all going to pan out for Jesus.
Moderator: What does Mariana feel about Brandon and Callieís
Cierra: Her relationship with Callie has grown and progressed
so much over the first half of the season into this sisterly
relationship. Sheís known Brandon for so much of her life,
thatís her brother, and for them to be dating, I donít think
she approves.Cierra:: is definitely Team Brallie, but
Marianaís definitely not. Iíve got to say I love those
moments. Brandonís truth comes to play -- youíll see how the
whole Foster family really approves or disapproves of it.
Moderator: What is it like working with Hayden Byerly?
Cierra: Hayden is literally a 40-year-old man trapped in a
13-year-old body. He is the most mature person, heís
probably the most mature out of everyone in the cast, I
swear. Heís so awesome, so giving, and I love being able to
work with him. I love those moments too, because I just love
his character Jude. Being able to interact with him as
Mariana is just so awesome. I love it. I think youíll
definitely see a lot more of them and their friendship in
Moderator: What information or advice do you receive from
your friends and family regarding the show and subject
Cierra: My family is just so supportive of everything Iíve
taken on, and they are the first people to tell me about the
episode! Theyíre always watching it live and I love hearing
their feedback. They love everything that The Fosters has
talked about or dealt with, and the same for my friends.
Itís just been so amazing, the whole process and the whole
ride of the show. Itís a huge blessing that people like it
so much. Itís really fun to hear that from my family and
friends as well.
Moderator: If you could take on the role of any other
character on The Fosters who would it be?
Cierra: Probably Jude, just because he has a special place in
my heart - if I was a boy [laughs]! I think he has so much
underneath that has come into play, and heís such a strong
character, heís so brave. For a 13-year-old boy heís just so
brave with everything heís had to deal with, itís just so
cool. I definitely would want to be Jude.
Moderator: If you werenít an actress what do you think youíd
Cierra: I would probably want to be an investigator. Itís
always just been a dream of mine. I love mysteries and stuff
Moderator: What are some of your other talents other than
Cierra: I originally got into acting through singing. I grew
up in Texas, so I would do lots of local county fairs, so I
grew up competing. I did a competition here in L.A. and they
had acting as another category, and since I was out here I
thought I might as well just try it. I didnít know that Iíd
end up falling in love with it, I got my agent through that
competition, and Iíve been with him ever since. I love
singing and I love acting!
Moderator: Have there been any noteworthy stories or great
perceptions from fans that youíve received?
Cierra: You know thatís one of the main things I love being
able to experience -- the fans coming up and saying that
they relate to a certain subject. I met a few lesbian
couples raising families and blended families, and Iíve been
able to speak with them about the show. Theyíre so excited
about the fact that thereís something on the air that they
can relate to. I think thatís just so awesome that the show
is honestly making history. Itís ground breaking and itís
real, and being able to speak with fans is just an awesome
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