Fairy tales do come true. Just ask Grey's Anatomy star, Sara Ramirez.
While her character, Dr. Callie Torres, is dealing with the aftermath of a tragic plane crash for the nineth season premiere tonight on ABC, the 37-year-old actress is also picking up a more light-hearted role as the animated voice of Queen Miranda in the music-filled television movie, Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess. The project, featuring a royal blended family, will be turned into a television series titled, Sofia the First, in early 2013.
We chatted exclusively with the Mexican and Irish-American actress about her new Disney role, what fans can expect from the new season of Grey's Anatomy, and more!
Congrats on the new Disney television movie and series, Sofia The First! The storyline is very original. What drew you to this project?
“The series features music and singing, which are huge passions of mine. What I also love about this show is that it showcases the benefits and challenges of forming part of a blended family. The show is done in a very tasteful, classic, Disney-like kind of way. It aims at children between the ages of six and seven, which I love because the first few years of life are so important. Parents are going to think it's entertaining too.”
Your character marries into royalty and has a daughter named Sofia. Tell us more about your character Queen Miranda.
"Queen Miranda is independent and was a single mother for a long time before she married the king. Her daughter Sofia gains a new stepfather, two new siblings, and along with that has to learn the responsibilities of being a princess. There are so many great lessons for kids in this show, but the one I love the most is of Sofia learning how to become a princess. Even though she has a new lifestyle with really nice things in her kingdom, she learns that life is about more than that. She learns kindness, courage, and compassion is what really makes you a royal human being."
Did you have a favorite fairy tale or animated princess growing up?
"Yes! My favorite fairy tale growing up was Cinderella. Yeah, she was blonde and blue-eyed, but she worked a really dirty job at home. She had a rough life and wasn’t treated like a princess at all, so that made her relatable."
How did you prepare to play an animated voice?
"I got married in July, so I can definitely bring the joy of a newlywed to this role! (Laughs) Doing voiceovers are so much fun for me. I love being in the studio and it doesn’t feel like work to me. We get to come in, skip the make-up and wardrobe, and just be free, silly, and fun. I’m honestly having a blast!"
Speaking of marriage, how is life as a newlywed?
"I’m really happy! You know nothing has changed much in our lives. There’s just this awareness that there’s a paper out there that says we are married and committed to each other no matter what. I just think it makes it more official, but our day-to-day lives are still the same. It just feels really good!"
What can fans expect from the new season of Grey's Anatomy?
"This season you can expect a lot of twists and turns. You can expect to see the hospital staff get split up and there will be some shocking exits. There will also be new medical interns introduced, which is nice when the show gets new faces, I think. I’m excited about it!"
What do you think has been the secret to its long-running success?
"I think it’s the willingness of producers, writers, and actors to take risks. When you feel like you have been in the game this long and you have played every card in your deck, you need a new deck. You have to take chances. I think that’s the only way to move forward."
What do you love most about being Latina?
"My skin! I look at my grandma and I thank her everyday because she passed down some great skin. I grew up with so much music in my life and appreciation for the arts. That made me who I am today."
Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess premieres on Disney Channel November 18 at 7pm and Disney Junior on November 22 at 9am. What do you think about her new starring role?