Sara Ramírez is a Mexican-American actor, singer, songwriter, and activist who with her character of Dr. Callie Torres on ABC’s medical drama television series ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ gained a lot of positive and critical acclaim and is now looking back on her groundbreaking role and shared her experience on sets.
Sara Ramírez's character, Dr. Callie Torres, was a bisexual woman for 11 seasons and appeared in 239 episodes of the long-running medical drama, according to Out Magazine, making her the longest-running LGBTQ character in television history. She made her final appearance in the 12th season's season finale.
Sara Ramírez remarked in a recent interview with the journal that Dr. Callie Torres' involvement had an impact not just on the LGBTQ community as a whole, but also on her self-understanding. They said, "Before Callie Torres, I'd never seen myself represented on television. There was so much I didn't know that I didn't know. So, I've caught up with myself in a lot of ways."
It was reported that Sara Ramírez volunteered the addition of the character's bisexuality, which marked one of the earliest series regular queer roles on prime-time television. Following the departure from the series, Ramirez came out as bisexual and later non-binary uses the pronouns They/Them. They later portrayed the bisexual, non-binary role of Kat Sandoval in Madam Secretary.
The musical episode following a deadly car accident in which Callie Torres (Sara Ramírez) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) wound up at Grey Sloan Hospital is one of the most memorable episodes on 'Grey's Anatomy featuring Sara Ramírez. Callie experiences an out-of-body experience in which she sees herself singing while near death. Following that, the entire surgical team performs a large musical act. Even though many fans have differing viewpoints on the episode, it remains the most famous.
According to Shondaland, the creator and writer said, “I remember thinking to myself at a certain point, I have this sort of murderers’ row of Broadway people. Like, Chandra [Wilson] had been on Broadway and singing; obviously, Sara Ramirez had won a Tony on Broadway, which is how I first met them. And then I knew that Kevin could sing. There were so many people in the show with beautiful voices. It felt like it was leaning in that direction in a good way.”
Shonda Rhimes shared that after she pitched the idea with the cast and network, she had a difficult time convincing the network, but eventually the idea was given a green light to shoot. She quoted, “By that point, I wasn’t getting notes on anything. Nobody was saying no to me about anything. So it was really bizarre to me that there was all this resistance to doing a musical episode.”
Talking about the musical episode, Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey who played Dr. Meredith Grey and Dr. Derek Shepherd on the show shared on Ellen’s new podcast, ‘Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo’, that the cast was horrified with the episode because not everyone could sing. Ellen said, “I mean sorry to disrespect who wrote it – but I mean that musical, we were horrified, right? I did sing a little, and I was like, ‘Listen, guys, I’m telling you right now like I can’t sing.’”
At the time, Pompeo told the crew “‘Listen, I don’t want to chicken out here. Like, we’re doing this musical.’ I want to be all in. I want to commit, I want to try, but I’m a terrible singer, but yes, if you guys can help me sound better. I’m not going to be good, but I also am not going to chicken out, so I’ll just dive right in.’”
In agreement with Ellen, Patrick Dempsey admitted during the podcast, “chickened out completely.” He said, “I was like ‘No way in hell am I going to be singing.’ It didn’t make sense to me then. And now when you see it, and you’re like ‘Oh my God.’ At least they tried it.”
Now Sara Ramírez is set to appear in the reboot of Sex and the City, “And Just Like That”, as Che Diaz- non-binary, queer stand-up comedian and podcast host. The role will mark the first non-binary character in the SATC canon and HBO Max announced that they would be joining the revival.
Sara Ramírez told Out Magazine that they hope to continue taking roles that will broaden the presence of LGBTQ characters on-screen and that the roles they take will ensure that audiences of all ages can see themselves represented on-screen. They said, "If we can spark fresh, new conversations in spaces that normally would not be engaging in those conversations, I think that visibility can change how we view ourselves and the world”. Talking about Che Diaz, the character description reads, "Che is a big presence with a big heart whose outrageous sense of humor and progressive, human overview of gender roles has made them and their podcast very popular”
Michael Patrick King, executive producer of the ‘Sex and the City” said, "Everyone at 'And Just Like That…' is beyond thrilled that a dynamically talented actor such as Sara Ramírez has joined the 'Sex and the City' family. Sara is a one-of-a-kind talent, equally at home with comedy and drama – and we feel excited and inspired to create this new character for the show."
Alum that is shrill E.R. Fight master has joined the cast of ABC's Grey's Anatomy as Dr. Kai Bartley, the show's first no binary doctor. "They are dedicated to their profession and incredibly talented at what they do," according to the official ABC description of the character. "Kai and Amelia bond over their shared love of medicine and the brain”. Confident as hell and capable of making even the most detailed and mundane science appear thrilling and intriguing, Kai and Amelia bond over their shared love of medicine and the brain”. While Fight master will play the series' first non-binary medical expert, they will join a cast that includes Jake Borelli, who plays Dr. Levi Schmitt, and Sara Ramirez, who played Dr. Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy.
Shonda Rhimes created and executive produces Grey's Anatomy, ABC's longest-running, and highest-rated scripted series. Krista Vernoff is the show's executive producer and showrunner. Executive producers are Betsy Beers and Mark Gordon. Debbie Allen is the executive producer and producing director. ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios, produces Grey’s Anatomy.
Sara Ramirez received the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Ally for Equality Award in 2015 for his substantial LGBT rights advocacy. Sara Ramirez has received numerous awards, including a Tony Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Satellite Award.
"I'm genuinely thankful to have spent the previous 10 years with my family at Grey's Anatomy and ABC," Sara Ramirez said in a statement after they departed the show. "But for now, I'm taking some welcome time off." "Dr. Callie Torres came into our life dancing it out in her undies almost a decade ago, and I could not be happier or more proud of her journey," Shonda Rhimes wrote of Ramrez's work on the program. “ Sara Ramirez's performance moved me as a writer”, she lastly added.