Ciara Riley Wilson Discusses Her Love for On My Block and Playing Demi in Freeridge

On My Block fans, rejoice, because the new Freeridge spin-off is officially here, and it's just as instantly iconic and memorable as the series that came before it.

Freeridge takes place in the same titular town as On My Block, but follows a brand new cast of characters as they navigate a dangerous curse, exposing a side of Freeridge we've never seen before. It's anchored in the familiar setting while telling its own fresh and exciting story—but of course, it's the relatable characters and their undeniable chemistry that gets us immediately starting the next episode the second the credits start rolling.

Among those characters is Demi, played by Ciara Riley Wilson. In addition to being a core member of the gang, Demi is also very spiritual and empathic, diving into the world of astrology, crystals and tarot—and giving her a little extra insight when it comes to navigating a curse. Ahead of today's big premiere, we had the chance to speak with her and learn all about why the new series is so meaningful to her.

Sweety High: When did you discover your passion for acting? Was there any specific a-ha moment that made you realize it was the path for you?

Ciara Riley Wilson: There wasn't a single moment or project that inspired me to start acting. It all felt more predetermined than that. I was always a very creative and outgoing child who just saw no other option than to pursue the arts and entertainment. Since I've been doing it from a young age, it's cool to be able to fall in love with it all over again and in different ways as I grow older and hit milestones in my life.

Ciara Riley Wilson against school windows in low sweater and skirt

(Photo credit: Storm Santos)


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SH: Were you a fan of On My Block before you auditioned for Freeridge?

CRW: I was a huge fan of On My Block! It's such an incredible show that really made waves in the teen space like no show has done before in terms of representation and mastering the art of dramedy. When I got the audition for the spin-off, I knew it was going to be a really special project. I couldn't be more honored to be in a show set in the same universe.


SH: Can you tell us a little bit about Freeridge and how it ties into On My Block?

CRW: Freeridge is a coming-of-age comedy following sibling rivals Gloria and Ines and their two friends Cam and Demi. They go through the ups and downs of growing up, as well as managing dark misfortune that comes into their lives as they accidentally unleash a curse. It's set in the same town as On My Block, and there are a lot of fun easter eggs and familiar faces for fans of the original series. However, viewers get to see many new characters and a side of the town of Freeridge like they've never seen it before.


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SH: How would you describe your character, Demi?

CRW: I play Demi, who is a spiritual empath obsessed with all things crystals, tarot cards and astrology. She is passionate and emotionally intelligent, and goes through a large character arc throughout the series in terms of holding herself accountable for things she's said in the past.

Freeridge. Ciara Riley Wilson as Demi in episode 102 of Freeridge. Cr. Kevin Estrada/Netflix © 2022

(Freeridge via Netflix)


SH: How similar are you to Demi in real life? What would you say are your biggest similarities and differences?

CRW: I am very similar to Demi! We both love fashion and heavily express ourselves through the clothes we wear. I got really into crystals and astrology in my personal life, as well, through my character research for Demi. I sometimes think of Demi as a younger version of myself. Though she is very emotionally intelligent, I think her emotions sometimes move faster than her brain. We differ in how Demi has a lot of learning to do in not looking outward, to people and to items, to find answers. As I've grown older, I've learned to look inward to assess why I'm feeling the things I do.

Ciara Riley Wilson sitting against wall in retro brown ensemble

(Photo credit: Storm Santos)


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SH: What was your most memorable moment from the set?

CRW: The many, many nights and weekends spent with my incredible cast. I cannot express enough how much these people are some of the best friends I've ever had. Like we couldn't get enough of each other on 16-hour work days, we would go straight from set to one of our places to keep hanging out. We simply call ourselves "memory machines" because we've made so many together.


SH: Is there any part of this series you're most excited for audiences to dive into when it comes out?

CRW: I think viewers are going to fall in love with the genuine chemistry of the cast. Each of the core four has special moments with each other throughout the series. The love story between Cam and Demi is also a really exciting and meaningful plotline (especially with a focus on the queer community and tough conversations between friends about accountability). I think Freeridge does a really good job of showing real teenage relationships and the complexities within bisexuality.

Ciara Riley Wilson sitting against wall in retro brown ensemble

(Photo credit: Storm Santos)


Love seeing new takes on beloved shows? Click HERE to read our interview with Tyler Posey on Teen Wolf: The Movie.