Sandra Oh Opened Up About Her "Traumatic" Adjustment to Grey's Anatomy Fame
"When one loses one's anonymity, you have to build skills to still try and be real."
Sandra Oh is reflecting on the mental health toll that her Grey's Anatomy fame had on her.
In an interview on Sunday Today with Willie Geist, she discussed the experience of adjusting to the loss of "anonymity" that came with her now-iconic role.
"To be perfectly honest, it was traumatic," she said of starring on such a popular series. "And 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."
Oh had a 10-year run as Cristina Yang, garnering her five Emmy nominations as well as a Golden Globe win.
She told Geist that it helped her to have "a good therapist," noting, "I'm not joking … It's very, very important."
"You just have to work at finding your way to stay grounded," she added. "And a lot of times, that's by saying no."
The actress recently addressed the possibility of reprising her role on the series, telling L.A. Times' Asian Enough podcast that although she has no plans to return, "I love it, though, and this is also why I really appreciate the show … that I still get asked this."
"It's very rare, I would say, to be able to see in such a way the impact of a character," she said. "In some ways, you do your work as a bubble and you let it go. 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."