For Cuban-Nicaraguan actress Emma Caymares, fate seems to continue to deliver her roles that not only allow her to explore her characters, but also use them to deal with some things in her personal life.
“I feel like the universe brings me projects that help me heal,” Caymares told Remezcla during a recent interview. “I feel like in my journey thus far, I’ve been given these opportunities to delve into my own trauma and to resolve some of my own pain.”
Caymares lost her mother in 2008. When she landed her first role on Broadway in the production of Finding Neverland, which includes a storyline about a mother who has died, she used the role to help her get through some issues. Now, in her first TV sitcom, Call Your Mother, Caymares is using the comedy show to express herself in meaningful ways.
“Being on a show called Call Your Mother and not being able to call my own mother has definitely brought up some stuff for me,” she said. “It’s given me the opportunity to really speak about it.”
On the show, Caymares has a starring role as Celia, a confident social media influencer and girlfriend of one of the main adult children in the series, Freddie (Joey Bragg). In the upcoming episode of the debut season, Celia tells Freddie that she doesn’t think his mother Jean (Kyra Sedgwick) likes her very much.
Along with the role providing her some emotional strength, it’s also given Caymares the chance to expand on her character. When she first read the script for the series, she didn’t see herself in Celia at all. “I just saw her as a two-dimensional, vapid type of girl,” she said. “I was like, ‘I’m nothing like that. I’ll just play her as a character.’”
But after speaking with the writers and fleshing out the character more, she realized they were more alike than she originally thought. “Celia is a very strong woman,” Caymares said. “Of course, she has vulnerabilities because she’s a human being, but at her core, she knows who she is, she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to get it.”
Caymares, too, knew what she wanted from a character like Celia. She had to be authentic. So, she went to the writers and requested for them to write some Spanish dialogue for her on the show. “I was like, ‘I need [Celia] to speak in Spanish,’” Caymares said. “I thought, ‘If she’s Latina, we need to make her Latina.’”
The writers agreed, so, now, Caymares said she has a “Ricky Ricardo” moment in the next episode where she gets upset at her boyfriend. “That’s what happens when you’re pissed–you speak in Spanish,” she said. “I would’ve loved to have seen that when I was a kid. I would’ve been like, ‘Oh, my God! That’s like me!’”
Caymares said she hopes to continue to get opportunities to represent her culture in the industry. She wants to find roles that inspire viewers and “evoke emotion.” She considers acting a “window into a different world” that can be self-reflective.
“It’s about knowing who you are first, so that you can make decisions in your life to be in alignment with your higher self,” she said. “Acting is about finding the truth.”
Call Your Mother Episode 6 airs on ABC Wednesday (Feb. 24) at 9:30 p.m. EST.