HBO Fans Hate This Character—And The Actor Is Fine With That

Actor Sara Ramirez says their "And Just Like That..." character is "not here to be liked."

Ever since the December premiere of the Sex and the City spinoff And Just Like That…, viewers can't stop talking about one particular new character: Che Diaz, played by Sara Ramirez. Che is a podcast host and standup comedian, who works with Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and enters into a relationship with a married Miranda (Cynthia Nixon). The character has been criticized online for their ability to show up out of nowhere, their not-very-funny "comedy concerts," and for being the catalyst for Miranda to end her marriage to Steve (David Eigenberg).

While both Che and Ramirez are welcome representation when it comes to a nonbinary people on TV, Che has rubbed fans the wrong way, and Ramirez isn't ignorant of that. In a new interview with The New York Times ahead of the show's season finale, the actor opened up about playing a hated character and how they feel about Che.

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Ramirez doesn't see themselves in Che.

Sara Ramirez as Che Diaz on "And Just Like That"
HBO Max / YouTube

Of their character, Ramirez told The New York Times, "I don't recognize myself in Che." The actor and their character have in common that they both identify as nonbinary and bisexual, that they're both Mexican and Irish-American, and that they have similar style, as Ramirez explained to Vogue, but the commonalities end there.

They know about the hate Che is getting online.

Sara Ramirez at the premiere of "And Just Like That" in December 2021
lev radin / Shutterstock

Ramirez added that they know about the criticism of Che — as a character, not because of their gender identity — on the internet. "I'm very aware of the hate that exists online," they told The New York Times, "but I have to protect my own mental health and my own artistry. And that's way more important to me because I'm a real human being."

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They're proud of their character, despite the criticism.

Sara Ramirez as Che Diaz on "And Just Like That"
HBO Max / YouTube

Ramirez said that they are "really proud of the representation that we've created" and added that Che isn't meant to be everyone's cup of tea. "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 said.

They continued, "I'm also not in control of the writing. 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."

It's important to Ramirez that Che is complex.

Sara Ramirez and Cynthia Nixon filming "And Just Like That" in November 2021
James Devaney/GC Images via Getty Images

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in a December interview, Ramirez explained that what makes the character of Che and the representation they provide powerful is the fact that the character gets to be fully formed, complicated, and not always liked.

"It's important to remember that the nonbinary community is not a monolith, just like the bisexual community is not a monolith and the queer community is not a monolith," Ramirez said. "This is one fictional character who gets to be multidimensional, complicated, and dynamic. It was important to me that we really explore that, that we make sure that Che is not here to represent every LGBTQ+ community member and not here for everyone's approval."

Ramirez imagined how Che might respond to the hate.

Sara Ramirez at the EYEspeak Summit in 2018
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

In the New York Times interview, Ramirez was asked what Che might say about the criticism. "Michael Patrick King [the showrunner of And Just Like That…] and the writers' room would probably answer that best since they wrote the character of Che Diaz," Ramirez said. "I imagine Che would have something very witty and silly and funny as a rebuttal; something that ultimately reminds everyone that they are human; something with a sprinkling of self-deprecation, because I think they know they're a narcissist. And maybe just a little reminder that no one's perfect."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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