Anyone who’s seen Netflix’s groundbreaking new show On My Block, can attest to the fact that as a character, Monsé Finnie is HBIC. She is the matriarch of the crew and won’t let anything split them apart, even sometimes to her own detriment. She’s stubborn, hot-headed, passionate, and independent — and that’s exactly what actress Sierra Capri has loved about her character from the very start.
“She isn’t a normal girl in normal circumstances,” Capri explained to CASSIUS. “I was very intrigued by the way she behaved in her surroundings … she’s a very headstrong tomboy, a young girl who in some ways was forced to grow up and learn things on her own without her parents really being around.”
Another complexity to Monsé’s character is that she is Afro-Latina, an identity that has been grossly neglected in mainstream media in both the United States and Latin America. The 18-year-old actress felt a greater responsibility to get the character right as she knew she’d be taking on a character that could be a voice for women who had never seen themselves elsewhere.
“Being able to play an Afro-Latina and meld together two very influential cultures, I had to tap into a lot of different emotions,” she said. “I definitely think the show breaks a lot of stereotypes that people may have held before about [Black and Latinx] cultures. There’s nothing like it right now on any media platform.”
She admits with a chuckle that she’s more like her character than not — both headstrong, never sticking to the status quo, never caring about fitting in, and independent. But on a very visceral level, Capri explains that Monsé is on a journey of self-discovery that we get to play witness to throughout the season.
“Monsé is an example of how your surroundings can influence you if you let them, but also how much they can’t,” Capri explains. “She was raised by men without a woman figure to tell her about feelings and how to deal with certain situations so throughout the show we see her evolve in that. She’s taking it upon herself to find herself and figure out why she’s a hot-head, always ready to come to everyone’s defense. This is the journey she goes on to self-discovery.”
While we’re still waiting to hear on whether or not Netflix will greenlight a second season for the show, Capri already has a list of things she’d love to see Monsé explore in the second season. Ultimately, she feels like Monsé needs to get her own life together before attempting to help anyone else.
Monsé is an example of how your surroundings can influence you if you let them, but also how much they can’t.
“I definitely would like her to forge a relationship with the woman she thinks could be her mom but she’s not sure, just because I think it will open up doors and she’ll be able to really get her priorities in order,” she said. “Sometimes she can be all over the place because she’s so busy focusing on everyone else around her.”
As for fans who are shipping her relationship with Cesar, her best friend turned bae, Capri said she needs to let go of control a little bit.
“With her relationship with Cesar, more than anything, she needs to help him make the best decisions for him,” she emphasized. “Not for her, not for his brother, but whatever’s best for him. Regardless of where their relationship goes, they’ll always have a strong bond.”
Ultimately, her wish for Monsé is one that is incredibly relatable to young women her age: it ain’t that deep, fam.
“Not everything is serious,” she said. “She takes herself so seriously, she can be so dramatic and over the top. I’d tell her to chill for a minute, everything will be okay, it’s not the end of the world if something doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, that’s what you have your family and friends for, to help you through it.”
Without a doubt, Monsé (as well as Capri) has a bright future ahead of her — now it’s just a matter of getting a second season to see her and the crew truly shine.