Anthony Ramos: “Let’s end the stigma that therapy is for crazy people”

Anthony Ramos plays Eladio in the HBO series 'In Treatment.'
HBO

By Lizeth Cadena, MWN

Anthony Ramos, who plays one of the patients in the Emmy-winning drama, ‘In Treatment’, talks to Metro about the fourth season of the series.

What attracted you to the project and what did you feel when you first read the script?

I felt that this script had a lot of depth. Also, my character has a lot of layers, he has issues with insomnia and abandonment. He lives in a house with a family that doesn’t really appreciate him… He’s saying to himself, ‘I won the lottery and I can’t mess it up.’ And this very life has led him to be a very cultured guy and that’s something I love.

How did you prepare for this role?

The preparation was actually what I was experiencing. Sometimes Eladio refers to important writers, so I did my research to find out who they were. I also did a lot of research about people who suffer from insomnia and that made me wonder if I have insomnia.

What was it like working with Uzo Aduba (Dr. Brooke)? It seemed like your characters had a very close bond, yet it was all done by a computer.

We are both from the New York theater community. We have mutual friends, so we already knew each other. So, I felt comfortable and grateful to be able to perform with her. Uzo has such an open heart… It’s always a blessing when the star of the show asks you how you’re doing. She carried the load and had a lot of responsibilities, and she handled everything with grace and with a lot of professionalism. She is so extraordinary, so amazing.

Also, I should mention that we had the virtual sessions for the recording, but we actually saw each other quite a bit on set. And when we were there, I felt that good energy in real-time. I remember saying that her ‘strength is incredible’ many times between takes.

Eladio is a character that feels Latino. How would you describe him?

My character is written for a Colombian. However, it gives that feeling because there are many similarities between the different Latin cultures. With Eladio, I play a character who feels similar to the people I grew up with in New York, and that was great. I had a friend who would help me with the lines and say, ‘Bro, it’s like the character was written for you.’ It wasn’t, but the role fit me like a glove.

Sometimes, some screenwriters say that because he is Latino, the character is not going to be as intelligent, or as cultured. But with Eladio, it’s completely different. I love that this show shines a light on the Latino community and shows it for what it is. Just because we’re from the Latino neighborhood doesn’t mean we can’t express ourselves.

What do you think about the show’s focus on psychological therapy?

There is a stigma about therapy. When you go there, people make you feel like there’s something wrong with you. But isn’t there something wrong with all of us? I feel grateful that this stigma is being removed and this series definitely sets a good example regarding therapy being for everyone.  

There are so many awesome and deep themes explored in the series, including racism, white privilege, ignorance, grief, sexuality, and sexism. 

Why do you think bringing those issues to the forefront is important, especially now?

I think it’s important because these are issues that we don’t want to talk about, especially in our homes. And I love that this series does it because everything you see is real. We are representing reality. That’s exactly why I feel it’s so important for people to sit down in front of a person, for example, a therapist, open up and be completely vulnerable. Then we could find the solution to so many problems.

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