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[This story contains spoilers from this season of HBO Max’s And Just Like That.]
Sara Ramirez is doing their best to ignore the chatter about Che Diaz, the brash comedian the actor plays on And Just Like That.
To say that Che has been a polarizing figure on HBO Max’s Sex and the City sequel series is putting it mildly. The confident podcaster, who works with Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and encouraged Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) to explore her own sexuality, has spurred myriad tweets and think pieces, including The Daily Beast referring to Che as “the indisputable worst character on television” and Vulture noting that Che has “been written as this jumble of traits to serve a bunch of plot purposes.”
Che has become a frequent topic of conversation for And Just Like That‘s team when discussing the show, so it’s no surprise that Ramirez, who came out as nonbinary last year, was given a chance to address the negative response during an interview with The New York Times that published Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s season finale.
Ramirez shared that Che’s story of coming out to their family as nonbinary and bisexual — which involved Che being nonchalantly told to stop blocking the TV — is similar to the Grey’s Anatomy alum’s own coming-out moment. But other than that, And Just Like That writers haven’t chosen to borrow much from Ramirez’s real-life personality in shaping the character. “I don’t recognize myself in Che,” Ramirez admitted.
As for the ongoing social media debate about the character, the actor has tried to keep it at a distance. “I’m very aware of the hate that exists online, but I have to protect my own mental health and my own artistry,” they said. “And that’s way more important to me because I’m a real human being. 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.”
Ramirez went on to point out that there’s only so much about Che that an actor can control. “I’m also not in control of the writing,” Ramirez continued. “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. 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.”
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of And Just Like That’s Dec. 9 premiere, Ramirez called Che “unapologetically themselves,” adding at the time, “They worked really hard to get to where they are, and they’re being presented as a multifaceted, three-dimensional character. They’re not here to represent an entire community. They are here to represent one fictional character.”
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