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Che Diaz actor Sara Ramirez opens up about suicidal thoughts: ‘It was a rough year’

Josh Milton June 1, 2022
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Sara Ramirez has reflected on how jarring the pandemic was for them. (Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)

Sara Ramírez, who played stand-up comic Che Diaz in And Just Like That…, has opened up about their experience of suicidal thoughts.

Ramírez, 46, said the early days of the coronavirus pandemic proved especially difficult for them. Seeing an America so seething with violence was a world they struggled to place themselves in.

“I remember calling the National Suicide Hotline for the very first time,” they told Variety. “I called some folks, but their phones were off, and I thought, ‘Well, there’s this hotline’.

“This person really talked me off a ledge and got me back into my body. I could acknowledge my feelings without becoming them, and it was really helpful. I was particularly vulnerable at that time, and I sought out support.

“I got that support, but it was a really rough year where, for the most part, I had to release all attachments to permanence in every direction.”

Ramírez said that what happened in May 2020 was brought on by the “violence in our country, and grappling with the anti-Blackness that permeates our society so deeply”. This caused a lot of “personal trauma” to re-surface.

“It just painted a picture of the world that I wasn’t sure I wanted to be part of,” they said.

Cynthia Nixon (R) and Sara Ramírez, who plays balky non-binary comic Che Diaz. (Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max)

The Grey’s Anatomy star also reflected on the, let’s just say, mixed reaction their And Just Like That… character faced. The fast-talking non-binary comedian ends up developing a potential relationship with Cynthia Nixon’s Miranda Hobbs, a plot point which, like Diaz themselves, polarised viewers.

“Other people’s opinions of a character — that’s not something I can allow into my process,” they said of the “messy and human” Diaz.

“I choose what I receive, right? That’s the beauty of being grown — I don’t have to receive everything! And this is [Michael Patrick King]’s baby. He created this role. He wrote it. Those are his and his writing team’s jokes.”

But Diaz’s critics may have to get used to Diaz saying, “it’s Che Diaz!” every other scene. King confirmed to Variety that Ramírez will be returning for And Just Like That…‘s second season.

“Again, I have learned my lesson around attachment to permanence, so I’m open to what’s meant to be,” Ramírez said.

“I’ve worked hard to get to where I am, and I was also born with a lot of privileges. But I feel like I’m in a place in my life where I don’t have to take jobs that I don’t want to do. I think I’ve earned that right. So we’ll see where this story goes.

“We’ll take it one season at a time, how about that?”

Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk).

​Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.



More: And Just Like THat, Sara Ramirez

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