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Sandra Oh was thrilled when she saw a Korean name in the script for The Chair.
The actress portrays Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim in the new Netflix series, with the show following Kim as she becomes the first woman of colour to become chair of the English department at a fictional New England university.
Reflecting on taking on the project, Oh shared in a recent Netflix press interview that she knew the character was perfect for her when she saw an authentically Korean name included in the pilot.
"When I saw the name in the pilot, it was one of the first things that just lit up something inside, actually seeing a Korean woman's name on the page," she said. "And that that would be my character's name and all the characters around it would have to say my name correctly, and that was just a beautiful, sparkly gem that made me go, huh. It meant a lot to me."
And while Oh has taken on a number of memorable characters over the course of her career, including Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy and Eve Polastri on Killing Eve, there was something extra special about Kim.
"I feel like Ji-Yoon is the closest character to myself that I've ever played," the 50-year-old smiled, before going on to praise showrunner and writer Amanda Peet's creativity. "There's something in the way Amanda wrote her. It was like Amanda was writing my own voice."
The Chair is now streaming on Netflix.