Pop Culture

Sandra Oh Calls Becoming Famous a “Traumatic” Experience

The actress started to see a therapist during Grey’s Anatomy in order to “stay grounded.”

The moment Sandra Oh started to become a household name thanks to her role on Grey’s Anatomy, the actress knew she would have to prioritize her mental health if she wanted to stay in the business for the long haul.

The Killing Eve star discussed her difficult rise to fame on Sunday Today with Willie Geist after starring as Dr. Cristina Yang on the first 10 seasons of the hit medical drama and how she learned to cope with the loss of her anonymity. “To be perfectly honest, it was traumatic,” she said. “The reason why I’m saying that is the circumstances you need to do your work is with a lot of privacy.” She added, ​​“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.” Regarding mental health, she went on to say, “I’m not joking. It’s very, very important. You just have to work at finding your way to stay grounded. And a lot of times that’s by saying no.”

In an interview with Vanity Fair earlier this month, Oh also discussed the pressure she’s felt breaking so many barriers in Hollywood. Not only is she the first Asian woman to win two Golden Globes, she’s also the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated for an Emmy for lead actress in a drama series. “I have had a lot of time and experience to wrestle with it and to figure out how I am with a certain sense of responsibility,” she said. Part of that responsibility is reaching out to younger actors in the community, she explained, “I’ve just been at this game longer, and I want to always be there for the younger generation who might have more pressure at this moment. It’s great to be able to be a support for them. So in some ways, the responsibility is not spread out for a handful of us.”

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