Cierra Ramirez Talks a Darker Arc for Mariana on The Fosters

We’re only two episodes into the new season of The Fosters, but the show’s already tackled some heavy subject matter. Mariana’s experienced an entire season’s worth of drama, and Cierra Ramirez chatted with me about how that’s going to affect her character going forward. She also talked about the storyline with Nick, how it was handled by the writers, and the timeliness of this type of story given the number of violent events that have taken place in the U.S.

The Fosters has always done a great job of taking on topics that are timely and handling them in a delicate and meaningful way. “The one thing I’ve always admired about the writers is they deal with current events, even if it isn’t especially how we planned it,” she shared. “Unfortunately, this is something that we’ve had to deal with in the past couple of weeks. It’s sad. It’s heart breaking. It’s something that needs to be on TV.”

Ramirez recalled that this isn’t the first time that art and life were on the same page. “When the gay marriage law passed, that was the night we aired the moms getting married. They writers are very on top of things. To be able to bring voice and to shine a light on certain topics that should be talked about is a huge blessing, as heartbreaking as it [must be] to write.”

Even though Mariana isn’t responsible for Nick’s actions, she does feel some guilt and it’s going to affect her for the rest of the season. “Nick saw something that he wasn’t supposed to see. As innocent as [kissing Mat] was for Mariana, it was a goodbye kiss. She chose Nick,” said Ramirez. “It was very extreme for him to go to those measures, and something that they should have discussed before [he took that] route. She’s definitely going to be affected by it, and it’s going to set the mood for how she is for the rest of the season.”

Mariana doesn’t condone Nick’s actions, but she reaches out to him and tries to make him realize that he needs serious help. “It was never hinted that [Nick] was going to go this far, or that he was actually this broken. When he was introduced, you kind of heard that he had some problems with his dad, and he comes clean about it when he confronts Marianna. He is very damaged, very broken. After this episode, hopefully he can get the help that he needs because that’s no way anyone should handle a situation. As broken as they can be, there’s help for a reason. You can get it. It’s definitely something that he needs.”

In the midst of everything happening with Nick, Mariana also finds out Callie and Brandon’s big secret. “You know The Fosters by now, and how secrets can’t stay a secret for very long,” Ramirez explained. “This news isn’t really her business to tell. She knows it was a mistake. She is understanding because she’s been there in the sense that she’s made a lot of mistakes. Here she is, right now, dealing with a mistake that she made with Mat.I think she’ll definitely be an ally [for Brandon and Callie].

Ramirez also told us a bit of what’s coming up for Mariana — good and bad. “She’s going to be affected [by the events of the first two episodes] for the rest of the season. It’s going to put her in a very dark place, but Mariana always finds a way to keep herself busy. One thing I love about her is that she always dabbles in different extracurricular activities. You’ve seen her get really into coding. This year she’s going to join the robotics club, which I think is really cool. And [she already helped] Callie break into the Fost and Found website. Coding is definitely a big thing for her this season.”

Photo Courtesy of Freeform

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