Here comes (good) trouble…starting with Texan-born actress Cierra Ramirez who is best known for her role as Mariana Foster Adams on Freeform’s modern family drama The Fosters. Ramirez continued her good trouble streak with a five-year time jump to Mariana Foster Adams on The Fosters’ spin-off, Good Trouble. With four seasons under her belt and season five pending, Ramirez’ favourite thing about the show is that it “strikes up conversations that are necessary.”
The actress recently caught up with Schön! to discuss the messiness of our twenties, her experience as Mariana, and all things Good Trouble.
Hello! I am a fellow Texan! What was it like leaving Texas to move to LA and what do you miss most about Texas, if anything?
I love a fellow Texan! Making the big move from Texas to LA was very surreal & life-changing. It’s amazing to be in a city filled with so many inspiring individuals all chasing their dreams, but I always miss my family and nothing compares to the food in Texas! Shipley’s Donuts is always on my mind!
Has there been anything that has particularly inspired you this year so far?
The world can be a scary place. I’ve found it so comforting and inspiring that women of all ages and backgrounds have come together in solidarity to fight for our reproductive rights. There is such power in numbers and lots of room for change, but together we can be the change we want to see.
To all of us that have watched you since your Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Fosters days to now, we know the outstanding and diverse roles you’ve played over the years. If you had to choose, who has been your favourite character to channel up until now and why?
It’s most definitely been a wild ride. I honestly think Mariana, from The Fosters and Good Trouble, has and will always hold such a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up alongside her and often found that life imitates art. I have 100% found myself in similar situations as her, or have used her as a lesson in my own life. Maybe it’s because she’s everything I had hoped to see on my screen as a young Latina. She’s smart, powerful and she is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. I’ve loved playing with her and watching her bloom into the person she is today!
Let’s talk about Good Trouble. This drama, comedy Freeform series is a spin-off of The Fosters and touches on many real and hard-hitting topics (such as Mariana tackling the male-dominated tech industry, etc). Being part of it, how would you describe it in your own words?
One of my favourite things about being a part of The Fosters and now Good Trouble is that it strikes up conversations that are necessary. It’s such an honour to play a multi-faceted character that challenges the world around her and makes a difference. It’s even more moving to see how many lives Mariana has touched. The best thing is meeting fans of the show that have told me she’s inspired them to take on the tech world or that they see themselves in her.
It is called Good Trouble – which is slightly an oxymoron. Do you think there is such a thing as good trouble?
Oh, absolutely. The name of our show is actually a quote from the late and great John Lewis – who believed it was necessary to make some noise. If you have a voice, use it. If there’s something wrong with the world, do your best to change it and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and what is right. I think we could all stir up a little good trouble in the world!
Your character in the show is Mariana Adams Foster. How would you describe her in your own words?
She has the biggest heart; it’s something that often gets her into trouble. She is strong, sassy, confident and not afraid to be told no. She is also vulnerable in the best ways. She always keeps me on my toes, and I’m forever thankful for that. I never know what trouble she will get into next!
Did you have to do anything differently to prepare for your role as Mariana?
I think the beauty of doing Good Trouble was that for the first time since I had started The Fosters at 17, I was around the same age as Mariana. The issues she was dealing with hit a little closer to home. I think over the seasons, I’ve learned a lot from her and have been able to apply and take from my own experiences as well.
How are you similar or different from her in real life?
Well, we both cry for everything haha. We both share confidence, sass and passion. I think Mariana is a little bit more impulsive than I am. She leads with her heart and then thinks later. I definitely need a game plan, and I have to sit on it for a few days!
Are there any particular messages you hope people find and take from watching the show?
I hope that people can see a group of 20-somethings trying to make it in the world and see themselves in them. Your twenties are messy – no one has it figured out. It’s also such a beautiful time to find yourself and those around you that makes it all the more worth it. Chosen family is just as important as your own, and you can do anything you put your mind to….you just got to get into some good trouble!
We understand you are also a singer. Can you tell us how you balance singing and acting?
I’ve been focusing more on acting as of late and dipping my feet into getting behind the camera a bit more as well! Singing is my first love and the reason I got into acting! It’s hard to balance because I think just like anything you do, it deserves your full attention. You’ll be the first to know when I work on a new singing project!
More generally, is there someone (actor, director, etc.) in the industry that you really want to work with? If so, who and why?
Who don’t I want to work with?! So many inspiring artists in this industry. Anya Taylor Joy and Jenna Ortega are my favourite actors right now. They are so talented! I’ve always dreamed of working with Guillermo Del Toro – I grew up watching his movies and would love to be a part of his world!
What type of role would you like to pursue next?
I’m a sucker for a rom-com – so it’s definitely a dream of mine to lead one!
Good Trouble is out now.
photography. Lenne Chai @ B&A
fashion. Luca Kingston @ The Wall Group
talent. Cierra Ramirez
hair. Gui @ Exclusive Artists Management
make up. Tammy Yi @ Exclusive Artists Management using Surratt Beauty
producer. Katherine Comparetto
production. KC Productions
polaris slingshot. Top Off Rides
photography assistant. Violet Dely
producer assistant. Jillian Canter
production assistant. Adrian Morris
words. Sandy Aziz