Interview: Sierra Capri talks about her role in new Netflix series On My Block

On My Block, photo credit: John O Flexor/Netflix via Netflix Media Center
On My Block, photo credit: John O Flexor/Netflix via Netflix Media Center /

Sierra Capri gives Hidden Remote an exclusive look into the new Netflix original series, On My Block. She provides details about her character, Monse, and how she got her start in acting.

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On My Block was already included on our list of new shows worth checking out in March. Now, fans have even more reasons to watch. Sierra Capri chats with us about the new series and her incredibly unique start to the world of acting.

Considered a coming-of-age comedy drama, On My Block focuses on a group of very bright teens as they enter an inner-city high school in LA. The close-knit group is comprised of three males and one female. Sierra Capri previews her character and gives us the details regarding the serious topics the series will face. The young actress also shares how she got her first major acting role while also providing very wise advice.

Hidden Remote: Can you describe your new show, On My Block, for those who may not know what it’s about?

Sierra Capri: On My Block is about a group of four diverse kids growing up in South Central LA who are dealing with the trials and tribulations that essentially come with being a teenager. I think that a lot of people will be able to relate to the show among all ages. It will be fun to watch.

Hidden Remote: And how about your character “Monse,” what can you tell us about her?

Sierra Capri: I like to describe Monse as very tough at first glance. Over time with the help of her friends, especially Cesar, she is able to break out of her shell and open up in ways she didn’t know she could. So yeah, there’s going to be a lot of relationships evolving throughout the series.

Hidden Remote: On My Block is considered a comedy but it looks like it will dive into some pretty serious situations, many of which are faced by high school kids today. What was it like to tap into all of those kinds of emotions?

Sierra Capri: It was interesting because the show consisted of more things than I experienced in high school. However, the community we had and those streets where everyone was close and everyone was like a family on the block–I had that growing up. So I was able to tap into my character and use that to decide what moves I wanted to make regarding how I wanted [Monse] to be. Definitely in high school there were days that of course experienced and I heard about, even if it wasn’t me, people I knew experienced those things like gang violence for example. It was interesting to tap into that vibe for once.

On My Block, photo credit: John O Flexor/Netflix via Netflix Media Center
On My Block, photo credit: John O Flexor/Netflix via Netflix Media Center /

Hidden Remote: The series focuses a lot on the power of friendship, what do you hope viewers take away with them after watching?

Sierra Capri: I hope viewers take away the fact that you should always be yourself. You will attract the right crowd because you are who you surround yourself with at the end of the day. Above anything, stay true to who you are and the right people will be in your life regardless, of what you’re going through.

Hidden Remote: Can you talk about some of the other characters, maybe the other three that are in the core group along with Monse?

Sierra Capri: There is four main characters. I play Monse Finnie and she is a 14-year-old tomboy who lives with her father and she has three male best friends. Brett Gray plays Jamal, who is the funny, carefree, jokester of the group. You have Jason Genao, who plays Ruby, the ladies man, suave guy. He’s going through puberty and meets somebody who kicks it off *laughs*. The last is Diego Tinoco, who plays Cesar. He’s the one who Monse eventually gravitates towards and allows him to see different sides of her that she hasn’t shown to anyone. I think people will really enjoy seeing what happens with their relationship.

Hidden Remote: So your character is the only girl in the group, does she keep the boys in line?

Sierra Capri: In a way. She is the backbone of the group as far as how tough she feels she has to be for them. She is always going to be there no matter what to support them and to help them through things. But she’s a bit of a hothead herself so a lot of the time it’s the other members of the group calming her down because she’s just so passionate and she has so much drive. She is very headstrong, she is never one to stick to the status quo. A lot of the time it’s her friends getting her out of situations.

On My Block, photo credit: John O Flexor/Netflix via Netflix Media Center
On My Block, photo credit: John O Flexor/Netflix via Netflix Media Center /

Hidden Remote: Netflix has had a lot of luck with shows centering on young kids and teens–Stranger Things, Everything Sucks–what sets On My Block apart from the rest?

Sierra Capri: The fact that there’s nothing like this right now on streaming services or media services. Having such a diverse cast is a major thing. It’s the drama/comedy but it’s also a show for all ages, anyone can watch this show and I think that’s a rare thing right now. It doesn’t matter what age you are, people are going to love it and relate to it in some aspect so that’s what I think sets it apart from other shows.

Hidden Remote: What was your overall experience like working on the series?

Sierra Capri: It was great, I had an amazing time. It was my first experience ever on a set and things were thrown at me very quickly. I had to the learn the technical side of things fast, things move expeditiously. I was very excited and I couldn’t have asked for a better cast and crew to work with, everyone was phenomenal. Everyone brought something unique to the table.

Hidden Remote: Have you always wanted to act since a young age?

Sierra Capri: I have always wanted to act. I promised my mother that I would pursue a college degree first and then go back and see what happens but it’s safe to say I’m glad I couldn’t keep that promise *laughs*. It’s been a whirlwind but I’ve been blessed and very excited to see what happens next.

Hidden Remote: So how did you get your start in acting?

Sierra Capri: I was actually an extra in the movie, Hidden Figures. One of the cast members was giving a seminar which would become the place that I met someone who would help me film my self-tape that I submitted for On My Block. So I definitely owe a lot to that woman, her name is Deja Dee and until this day she is a mentor of mine. I’m really grateful for her.

Hidden Remote: What was it like having your first acting role in Hidden Figures?

Sierra Capri: That as a very unique experience as well. Everyone was so sweet, Taraji P. Henson, she was one of the sweetest people I have ever met on a set that I wasn’t really part of *laughs*. But it was great, I enjoyed meeting so many people and everything that came with being there for hours. It’s what you love, if you love what you do then it doesn’t feel like work. It was definitely fun.

On My Block, photo credit: John O Flexor/Netflix via Netflix Media Center
On My Block, photo credit: John O Flexor/Netflix via Netflix Media Center /

Hidden Remote: So what attracted you to audition for On My Block or more specifically, the role of Monse?

Sierra Capri: I felt like I fit the part because I know I look very young and I grew up with three brothers. When I read the breakdown and what the series would consist of, I knew that I would be able to use a lot of my personal experiences to help me convey what I needed to for the part. I used my three brothers as a way to actually relate to three best friends. I tried to pick something in each one of them that I could relate to in some form with my brothers. I knew that if I could use my personal experiences, it would go well and it could be successful.

Hidden Remote: That’s awesome. Do you have any specific actors or actresses that inspire your own acting?

Sierra Capri: Yes,I love Rachel McAdams, Charlize Theron, so many people, gosh. I love Audrey Hepurn, I love Sidney Poitier, Eartha Kitt, the list could go on but those are a few of my favorites.

Hidden Remote: Now if you had a dream list of who you would want to work with one day, who would it be?

Sierra Capri: Oh. Who I would want to work with….

Hidden Remote: I know, I put you on the spot there!

Sierra Capri: I know *laughs* there’s so many. Probably Angelina Jolie. I like her a lot.

Hidden Remote: What would you tell girls or young women who want to follow a similar path or even just follow their dreams in general?

Sierra Capri: To simply just do it, don’t let anyone try to deteriorate you from following your own path because your path might not necessarily be the path they took, but that doesn’t mean that yours won’t lead to the same destination. So just follow your heart and stay true to who you are.

On My Block, photo credit: John O Flexor/Netflix via Netflix Media Center
On My Block, photo credit: John O Flexor/Netflix via Netflix Media Center /

Hidden Remote: The trailer shows that one of the character might get swept up into gang violence and with gun violence being such a relevant issue in today’s world, is that something the series dives into?

Sierra Capri: Absolutely. Like I said, all ages and all races will be able to relate to this show in some aspect. We definitely touch upon a lot of serious topics that are still being talked about and have yet to be resolved. It’s definitely worth watching for learning purposes as well as laughing purposes.

Hidden Remote: What else would you like viewers to know before watching the series?

Sierra Capri: That the chemistry they see on screen is the exact same way in real life. We all are that close and we all have that much fun with each other. We are so excited to be working together and to have this opportunity. And that Lauren Iungerich, the creator of the series, she chose the four of us to bring her story to life. We’re all just very happy with this opportunity.

Next: These are the 6 new shows worth checking out in March 2018

Check out Sierra Capri when On My Block hits Netflix on Friday, March 16!