Following the high praise of Season One of Netflix’s most-binged show of 2018, On My Block actress Sierra Capri is excited about Season Two, which released on March 29th. On My Block tackles modern social issues, including poverty, gang violence, and life in an inner-city, in addition to the struggles of being a teen. Capri takes on the role of Monse Finnie, a strong, independent Afro-Latina who is always willing to speak her mind. Capri chats with us about the development of her character, Monse Finnie, and the importance of addressing real-world issues on the show in our Spring 2019 issue.
What drew you in to begin acting and audition for On My Block?
I was actually going into my last year of college. I was a biology major. I thought I wanted to go into forensics and become a pathologist. That was the plan. However, acting was something I always wanted to do. Something I always had a passion for. Both of my parents were in the arts: my mother was a dancer and my father was a musician, so it wasn’t too shocking when I said I wanted to go into the performing arts. But they made me promise to get a degree first. So I was still making and looking at auditions and projects that were going on that I felt I could be right for. So I saw the casting online and I submitted. So that’s basically how it happened.
You play Monse Finnie on Netflix’s hit show, On My Block. How would you describe Monse and did you find any similarities between her personality and yours?
We are very both independent and we don’t mind standing alone when we have to. Neither one of us sticks to the status quo, which I admire. We’re definitely both strong, independent women. She is outspoken and very aware of herself and knows what she wants. And even though there might be repercussions, she will say whatever’s on her mind at any given time. Me, however, I tend to take a lot of things into consideration and I overthink everything.
At the core, On My Block features a group of friends finding their way through high school. Could you make any parallels with what your character Monse is going through and what you went through in high school?
Well, in high school, I can relate to her in the sense that I didn’t know where to fit in at first. Primarily because of my background, I was always in the middle. Basically, I was either too light skin to be with African Americans or I was too dark skinned to be with Caucasians. So I kind of just had to find my own way, and I feel with Monse, she’s finding herself and basically doing the same. She’s trying to figure out her background and where she came from. And in the midst of that, she’s trying to make new friends. It’s not easy for her, but it’s something that she’s got to work at. So I definitely think that any female in high school, not even one of mixed heritage, any female knows the struggle to find someone or find a group of girls that you feel won’t judge you for vanity or things like that.
Season One of On My Block was met with incredible responses and reviews, with it being Netflix’s most-binged show of 2018. What do you think the show so special and different from other coming of age shows?
Probably the fact that it’s so relatable and so real to a lot of the things that are going on in today’s world. But hopefully, this will open other doors and spark discussion.
On My Block is considered a comedy, but the show also dives deep into the problems high schoolers face daily. What was it like to relive high school when shooting the show and tapping into all those emotions?
It was honestly a whirlwind because teenagers go through a lot of things that I don’t think our parents understand half of the time. So having to go relive that, especially in Monse’s case, in which everything was taken to another level in her situation, it was fun. It was challenging. And I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we definitely nailed the teenage part of it.
Season One of On My Block ended with a huge cliffhanger. Without giving any spoilers, what should viewers expect to see in Season Two?
In Season Two, a lot of questions will be answered and there’s going to be a glow up, as I like to call it, compared to Season One. I feel like in Season Two everyone has a rhythm now and in Season One we were still establishing the characters and introducing them, so now we get to dive more into their individual storylines, which I love. I’m so excited, I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
What’s one issue On My Block has yet to tackle that you are interested in or passionate about?
Definitely police brutality.
Out of the core four of On My Block, who do you personally relate to the most?
Oh, that is hard! Probably between Monse and Jamal.
What is your opinion on diversity in Hollywood and the entertainment industry? What do you think is the next step for the entertainment industry in terms of diversity and accountability?
I think we’re headed in the right direction and it sounds like we have a lot of work to do, but it’s not a one-man job. I think if we all worked together and we continue to support shows that are displaying diversity, then we’ll be fine. But we still have a lot of work to do.
As we wrap up the interview, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? Any last thoughts you’d like to leave us with?
Just thank you so much to every media outlet, every fan, everyone that has supported the show thus far. We appreciate you. We would not even have a Season Two if it weren’t for everyone supporting us. So we’re all extremely blessed, and I cannot wait for everyone to see what’s to come.
STORY JANICE KIM
PHOTOS DRAKE HACKNEY
HAIR & MAKEUP KENDAL LOPEZ