Fame didn’t come naturally to Sandra Oh.
The actor earned two Golden Globes for her performances on Grey’s Anatomy and Killing Eve, and now you can see her on Netflix’s collegiate comedy The Chair. Even though she’s starred in many iconic projects since Grey‘s, Oh is arguably most known (and beloved) for portraying the brilliant-but-messy Dr. Cristina Yang on ABC’s hit medical drama. And in a new interview with Willie Gerist for Sunday Today, she opened up about the mental health obstacles that came with the part.
“To be perfectly honest, it was traumatic,” Oh said about the fame that resulted from her appearances in both Grey’s Anatomy in 2005 and the Oscar-winning movie Sideways a year prior. “The circumstances you need to do your work, is with a lot of privacy. And so when one loses one’s anonymity, you have to build skills to still try and be real.”
Oh says she went from not being able to go out and hiding in restaurants to becoming more adjusted to the fame and attention. When asked how she does it, Oh said, “Well, I have a good therapist.”
Sandra Oh received five consecutive Emmy nominations for her work on Grey’s Anatomy, and she won a Golden Globe for her performance at the ceremony in 2006.
In the interview, Oh also discussed Hollywood’s diversity evolution. “I can trace, I feel, how Hollywood has progressed. When I was on the show [Grey’s Anatomy] for 10 years, the show never addressed people’s ethnicity,” she said. But on Killing Eve, which she executive-produces, Oh says she’s able to “bring aspects of Eve’s cultural heritage” to the role. On The Chair, Oh plays Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, who has a Korean name. “Now I get to play a character who has a Korean name,” Oh told Sunday Today. “And all the characters are going to call her that correctly.”