Cierra Ramirez Makes Big Screen Debut in Challenging Role for 'Girl in Progress'

Teen Actress Talks With The Christian Post About Getting Into Character

Cierra Ramirez, the 17-year-old actress who plays Ansiedad in the upcoming film "Girl In Progress," will make her big screen debut during Mother's Day weekend, giving her slice-of-life interpretation of growing up while overcoming struggles stemming from a single-parent household.

Ramirez's character, 13-year-old Ansiedad, attempts to grow up too fast after dealing with her neglectful mother Grace, who is struggling to pay the bills in their home. Grace, played by Eva Mendes, is a struggling single mother who is dealing with troubled bad relationships along with her financial issues while trying to raise her daughter, who is beginning to rebel.

"Girl in Progress" marks the first big screen appearance for Ramirez, who has appeared on Disney Channel and ABC Family television shows. The budding actress told The Christian Post that the film role was one of her most challenging yet.

"This was my first feature film, and I was really nervous going into it. I thought I knew what I was doing going into it, but I had no idea," Ramirez admitted. "(Director) Patricia Riggen and I went through a rehearsal for a couple of weeks and broke down Ansiedad as a character. It was really cool to see the final product of Ansiedad come to life, but I had really struggled with it at the beginning."

However, Ramirez said she enjoyed becoming the complex character in the movie.

"It's rare to come across a role that offers so many different characters in one and I loved that about Ansiedad," the young actress told CP. "The transition she went through all the way from good girl to bad girl was really fun to bring to life!"

The film's director, Patricia Riggen, previously shared with CP about how lucky she was to work with the rising star.

"It was a very complex character we knew it was going to be very hard to cast because of her young age. She's playing a role within the role within the role," Riggen explained. "It goes from innocent and naive, good girl to a geek, to rebel and bad girl. She goes through all of these stages and we were very lucky to find her."

Ramirez said after seeing the final cut of the movie, she was proud of the "Girl in Progress" cast. She told CP that audiences will be able to watch the film and walk away with a positive experience.

"I love being able to watch the film and seeing all the hard work everyone put in to the movie on screen. I'm really proud of the final cut," Ramirez said. "Because it's a universal message, and really anyone can relate to the characters, I think that this film can strike up conversation and bring people together and create a bonding experience."

"Girl in Progress" debuts in theaters on May 11.