Monica Raymund is one of those actresses who isn’t ultra-famous, but odds are you’ve probably seen her in something. (Seriously, how many actresses can say they’ve had recurring or main character roles in five different hit TV shows over the course of the last 10 years?!)
Also, Monica Raymund is Jewish!
As we await the next season of Monica’s latest show “Hightown” to drop on October 17, let’s learn a little bit more about her, shall we?
Here are 18 things to know about actress Monica Raymund:
1. Monica was born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother of Dominican descent.
2. She was an adorable baby:
Look at those CHEEKS!
3. Monica had her bat mitzvah at Temple Beth-El in St. Petersburg, Florida.
4. She attended the renowned Julliard School in New York City to study acting.
5. Immediately after graduating she was cast as Ria Torres in the Fox show “Lie to Me.”
You can listen to her talk about the role here:
6. Monica loved playing Gabriella Dawson in “Chicago Fire” and its multiple spin-offs.
“I loved being able to play a first responder,” Monica told the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t have anyone in my family that’s a first responder and I didn’t really know the different trials and tribulations that they face everyday. So that was the greatest part about playing Gabby, that I got to get to know the paramedics, I got to know the firefighters in Chicago, and hopefully to the best of my ability, represent them honorably.”
7. In 2014, Monica won the Imagen Award for Best TV Actress for playing Gabby.
8. Additionally, Monica’s character made such an impact in “Chicago Fire” that it was kind of a big deal when she left.
However, according to Monica, the reason she left wasn’t anything dramatic.
“I’m not sure the exact moment when it happened, but I knew that my six-year contract was coming to an end and I felt like I was hungry to explore a different role, a different story,” she said. “I wanted to explore a different world. I had been in Chicago for five years and just personally where I was in my life, I was ready to create my home and kind of plant some roots in Los Angeles.”
9. She has a beautiful singing voice! Just listen:
Speaking of liking girls…
10. Monica is queer!
She came out in 2014, and since then has been dating cinematographer Tari Segal. Here’s Tari’s cute 2020 Valentine’s Day IG post to Monica:
We love love!!
11. Monica describes herself as a “connoisseur of news.”
“I read every news outlet,” she told Elle Magazine, “…even the ones I really disagree with, because it’s important for me to collect as much information [as I can] before I form an opinion.”
12. She’s a big fan of voting!
We truly love to see it.
13. Monica isn’t particularly religious.
However, in 2016, she told the Jewish Press of Tampa that she was “actively exploring” finding a temple.
14. In 2020 she honored the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with this Instagram post:
A Jewish queen recognizes a Jewish queen.
15. Monica is also a director for TV!
Most recently she’s directed an upcoming episode of “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”
But she has also, quite literally, sat in the director’s chair on the shows “FBI,” “Law & Order SVU” and “Hightown.”
16. Monica wants to become a film director, too.
“I do really want to make a transition into being a filmmaker and being the director of movies,” she told 1883 Magazine. “I am a storyteller through and through.”
17. In 2020 she participated in marches with Black Lives Matter.
“The first protest I participated in was still when the riot police were showing up, so it was a little tense toward the end where I was walking,” she told an interviewer. “Then by the time I joined the second protest, it was extremely peaceful and I didn’t see any riot police engage with the protestors. Seeing that firsthand was extremely illuminating and put into context what we’re seeing on the news versus what’s actually happening on the street: The narratives are changing based on who’s speaking [and] the agenda for whoever’s speaking. It was important to see it with my own eyes.”
17. When auditioning for the role of Jackie Quiñones in the show “Hightown,” Monica showed some serious chutzpah.
A feature on her from ELLE Magazine recounts that moment:
“As ‘Hightown’ creator Rebecca Cutter remembers, Monica Raymund left her audition for the series lead saying, ‘You can cast whoever you want, but just so you know, I’m Jackie Quiñones.‘”
18. Unsurprisingly she got the role!
Listen to her discuss the importance of being able to play a queer Latina character: