PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROWAN DALY
CREATIVE DIRECTOR & STYLING BY ROBIAT BALOGUN
MAKEUP BY ARCHANGELA CHELSEA FOR CELESTINE AGENCY
HAIR BY LUCY GEDJEYAN FOR CLOUTIER REMIX
STORY BY MIN A. LEE
Netflix has been pushing out some phenomenal original content these recent few years, and one show we found ourselves binging takes on coming-of-age in a South Central Los Angeles high school. On My Block just started its third season following the ups and downs of friendship between its four main characters Ruby, Monse, Jamal and Cesar. Facing adolescence and connecting to viewers who themselves are in the midst of high school and those of us who reminisce back to all the good and bad moments, we were highly interested in the breakout role of Monse Finnie for young actress Sierra Capri.
Taking a leap of faith into the industry while studying biology at university, Capri’s courage to chase her passion is encouraging. Her ability to step into a new career and in a strong role has shown she has the talent and ability to do more as an actress as she grows. Her portrayal of Monse right now has gained vast amounts of respect and love from critics and fans, so it’s wonderful to be able to sit with her and learn more about her transition and her time spent on the set of the highly successful On My Block.
You went from studying biology in Georgia to starring as Monse Finnie in Netflix’s popular series On My Block, a breakout role for you, and right away too. Going into your audition, how nervous were you with stepping away from a college and science major to take a chance at acting?
I was extremely nervous. It was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make in life thus far. It was a risk, but luckily I had my family’s support. I still think about it because I love science. I’m still passionate about science, as well as acting.
Did you find it challenging jumping into acting suddenly?
It was challenging because I went from 0 to 100 overnight. I am not only referring to the show’s success but even the production terminology. I had to get a crash course in everything from tools, resources and set etiquette.
On My Block has been renewed for a third season, and hopefully, especially for the die-hard fans, will release soon. Can you share any hints into how the storyline will continue for Monse at all?
Everyone is growing up, so relationships will continue to evolve between Monse and others. I cannot reveal too much, but just know the family is growing with the twists and turns while managing the rigors of adolescence.
Is it difficult to put yourself back into the mindset of a high school student, or do you find it happens naturally once the cameras start rolling?
It honestly depends on the day. I think because we were all new to the show but had to get to know each other quickly, it felt like I was back in high school naturally. Luckily, we all have great chemistry. It wasn’t too long ago that I walked through the hallway or sat in the cafeteria.
When you stepped onto the set for On My Block as a new actress, was there anyone who helped guide and mentor you?
Believe it or not, my mother. She has never been in this business, but she has so many life experiences that she was able to pull from to assist me with navigating all facets of entertainment. Being kind to everyone, saying thank you and always advocating for myself. My mother is amazing.
We love the story of Monse unfolding as she begins taking those first steps toward independent womanhood. What do you hope young girls and young women take away from the show when they watch it?
It brings me great joy that people connect with Monse and a real and meaningful way. She keeps it real throughout her journey. I hope young girls and young women know that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. That is what growing up is all about. No one walking this earth is perfect, and it’s all about the journey.
As our Fashion Cover this issue, how do you use style to reflect your personality?
I definitely use fashion as a way to express my individuality. I love how my style changes from day to day. Most days, I’m typically in jeans and a top, but when I step out for a moment with friends, I’m pretty laid back versus when I step out for a red carpet. My style is always evolving, and I love it!
Where do you draw your fashion inspiration from? Who are your fashion icons?
I have so many fashion icons, but Grace Jones is one of course. The way she unapologetically was herself at every stage of her career is inspiring. She brought fashion to the masses, I mean, how could you NOT love Grace Jones!
To end, there’s a substantial amount of fans of the show, and your fan base continues to grow. What’s the most empowering fan moment you’ve experienced so far?
We were filming an episode from season three, and there were so many people that came to watch since we were outside. Girls and boys brought signs and stayed there until night to get a chance to converse with us. It was so overwhelming. I cried when no one was looking. It was beautiful. They just wanted the opportunity to connect with us and share how much our show means to them. It meant the world to me.