The whole world is talking about And Just Like That right now, with the first three episodes (available on BINGE) getting us up to speed with our favourite New York women as they navigate life and love in their fifties.
As we know, the inimitable Samantha (played by Kim Cattrall) did not return for the reboot, but the show introduced a few new characters, with one in particular quickly being dubbed as the new Samantha. Enter, Che Diaz, played by Sara Ramirez — a non-binary, queer stand-up comedian who hosts a podcast on which Carrie Bradshaw.
Ramirez is already established in the industry, namely from their longstanding run in Grey’s Anatomy, but if you’re interested to learn a little more about them, read on for everything we know.
Sara Ramirez early life and career
Ramirez was born in 1975 in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, before moving to the United States with their mother when they were 8-years old, following their parents divorce. After taking an interest in music, Ramirez’s mother sent them to the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, where they began singing and starring in stage productions.
After playing several roles in high school plays, including Miss Hannigan in Annie, Ramirez was recommended to the Juilliard School, where they later graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts (Dramatics).
While still at Juilliard, Ramirez was discovered by a casting director and was offered a role in the Broadway musical The Capeman, in 1998. They later went on to have a minor role in the iconic rom-com You’ve Got Mail, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Throughout the late nineties and early 2000’s, Ramirez would star in several stage performances which catapulted their career further.
In 2006, Ramirez began their career on Grey’s Anatomy, playing the role of Dr Callie Torres, and continued to star in the show until 2016. They released a statement which read, “I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy and ABC, but for now I’m taking some welcome time off.”
Coming out as non-binary
In 2011, Ramirez got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Ryan DeBolt in Paris. They wed in 2012 at an intimate beachside ceremony in New York.
In October 2016, Ramirez revealed that they identify as queer and bisexual during the Impact Summit. The actor later revealed to People that the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando is what inspired them to come out.
“Coming out publicly was something that I was afraid of because I was concerned that it would affect my career in a negative way,” Sara said. “I was afraid of the discrimination I might face, not just outside Hollywood, but inside.”
“As the years went by, and as the political climate intensified, and as I continued to read and hear about the countless forms of violence perpetrated against us, including the Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub, an organic, incremental urgency to use my platform to empower those who are part of these communities that I’m a part of came over me in a way that I’ve never felt before.”
In August 2020, Ramirez said they recently determined they were non-binary, and would be adopting she/they pronouns (changing to they/them in 2021).
On July 6th, 2021, Ramirez revealed that they were no longer with Ryan DeBolt in an Instagram post.
Starring in And Just Like That
While fans were quick to assume that Samantha’s exact character would be replaced, the show’s producers were adamant that she wouldn’t. Instead, Michael Patrick King and Sarah Jessica Parker chose to introduce a character who would give the show a new dimension entirely — and it’s a role which Ramirez is ecstatic to portray.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Ramirez gave further insight into her character on the reboot.
“Che is there to push forward different kinds of storylines, and they’re also there to inspire certain characters to question their own internalized oppression. I think they also inspire people around the fact that life is not over after 40.
Ramirez, who is a longtime fan of the original Sex And The City, says that starring alongside the show’s original stars has been a surreal experience.
“The surreal aspect of meeting Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis was really wild. Even on our last days filming, I remember mentioning how it sort of hasn’t sunk in yet,” they told the New York Post.