Sandra Oh On Why She Became 'Very Very Sick' From 'Grey's Anatomy' Fame

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Photo credit: Ron Tom - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ron Tom - Getty Images

Sandra Oh was one of the original stars in hit ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy, in which she played Dr. Cristina Yang for 10 seasons.

The series, which premiered in 2005 and depicted the personal and professional lives of medical students and doctors, saw her act alongside the likes of Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl.

But with fame came hardship, according to Oh.

The 50 year-old, who was in her 30s when the series first premiered, told Variety of her time filming the show: 'Life changed very much.

Photo credit: Michael Buckner - Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Buckner - Getty Images

'It's tricky to imagine, because this is almost 20 years ago. So the context is very different. But the stress is the same, or the confusion is the same … when people are in extremely amazing, privileged, heavy responsibility positions like this.

'Your personal health is, I think I realised, came first.'

The 12-time Emmy nominee opened up about the impact instant fame had on her health, saying: 'Honestly, I got sick. I think my whole body was very, very sick.

Oh, who departed the series in 2014, recalled: 'Even though you keep on working, but it's just like, "Oh, I can't sleep. Oh, my back hurts, I don't know what's wrong with my skin."'

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images

She did, however, highlight that her past experience helped to educate her on the importance of prioritising her health.

'I learned that I had to take care of my health first,' she said. 'But that's not only your body. That is your soul. That is definitely your mind. So even those things like doubt, question. 'Cause you can't, ultimately, depend on anyone else.'

She added: 'You have to somehow find it within yourself. You ask people's opinions, yes of course, but ultimately, we are alone with ourselves.'

In August 2021, the Killing Eve star described her success after Grey's Anatomy as 'traumatic'.

Photo credit: Jon Kopaloff - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jon Kopaloff - Getty Images

Speaking on Sunday Today with Willie Geist in August 2021, she said: 'To be perfectly honest, it was traumatic. The reason why I'm saying that is the circumstances you need to do your work is with a lot of privacy.

'So when one loses one's anonymity, you have to build skills to still try and be real. I went from not being able to go out, like hiding in restaurants, to then being able to manage attention, manage expectation, while not losing the sense of self.'

Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images

She revealed that a good therapist helped her cope with the pressures of fame.

Prior to that, amid quashing possibilities of a return to the show, in May 2021 Oh told the Los Angeles Times: 'I left that show, my God, seven years ago almost. So in my mind, it's gone. But for a lot of people, it's still very much alive.

'And while I understand and I love it, I have moved on.'

As well as starring alongside British actor Jodie Comer in four seasons of British spy thriller Killing Eve, Oh's recent roles include playing a professor determined to combat the lack of diversity at a well-known university in comedy-drama The Chair.

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting