Sara Ramirez as Che Diaz in And Just Like That...
It was nigh on impossible to avoid Che Diaz discourse while the first season of And Just Like That… was airing. Yet Sara Ramírez claims that while they were “aware” their character “made waves,” they largely managed to avoid the Che backlash.
For Variety’s Pride Month cover story (incredibly titled, “Yep, I’m Che,” as a nod to Ellen DeGeneres’ coming out Time cover), Ramírez shared their approach to playing a divisive role: “Other people’s opinions of a character—that’s not something I can allow into my process.”
“I choose what I receive, right?” they went on “That’s the beauty of being grown—I don’t have to receive everything! And this is [showrunner] Michael [Patrick King]’s baby. He created this role. He wrote it. Those are his and his writing team’s jokes.”
Speaking of King, he described Che’s arc in the second season “one of my burning passions,” telling the outlet, “I want to show more of Che rather than less of Che. Like, really.”
Luckily, Ramírez loves the character, even if many fans decidedly do not. But they’re well aware that Che can be unlikable: “What I love about Che is that Che is complicated and messy and human. Che is a great reminder that even when we don’t like someone in our community, they still deserve love, safety and joy, like everyone else.”
The actor went on, “But the movement for liberation includes everyone, even people we don’t like. This movement, this fight, this party of pride, isn’t just for the people who make us feel cozy and cute—it’s for everyone.”
That said, Ramírez was adamant that playing a marginalized character isn’t a “radical” act. Providing a refreshing perspective on the ongoing conversation around representation in media, they told Variety, “Visibility isn’t justice. Because visibility without action and consideration for real people that exist means nothing.”