Sandra Oh Reveals Why She Pushed Back Against Grey’s Anatomy Writers and Shonda Rhimes

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Sandra Oh has revealed she pushed back against the writers and creator of Grey's Anatomy. 

Oh, who now leads the cast of Killing Eve, played Cristina Yang on the first 10 seasons of Grey's Anatomy. 

The actress spoke with Kerry Washington as part of Variety's Actors on Actors series, and opened up about the times she went toe-to-toe with the creative forces behind the ABC hit. 

Sandra Oh KE V

"What I was able to get from Grey's is to have the responsibility and the relationship with the writer to be able to direct where she's going," she said.

"If something kind of came up which was like, 'That is completely wrong', I would go toe to toe with Shonda and a lot of the writers, which has been challenging. But I think ultimately, for the entire product and our relationship, if you're fighting for the show, if you're fighting for your character, people can tell that."

If you watch Grey's Anatomy online, you know Cristina was marrying Preston on Grey's Anatomy Season 3

"Most of the shows that I have done have not been Asian-specific purposefully," she said. "When we did Grey's, for at least the first 10 seasons we would not talk about race.

A Waiting Game - Killing Eve Season 3 Episode 8

"We would not go into race, and that was purposeful. And, whatever, it was the right thing to do when it was.

"In season 3, Burke and Cristina were getting married and there were the two mothers, the Asian mother and the Black mother, and I'm like, 'Come on, there is a lot of story that we can do here!' But they didn’t want to touch it, for whatever reason.

"Now my interest is much more in bringing that story in."

Oh continued: "There would be scenes that I would just go, I don't know, ten rounds on, and I know I was difficult. And I really respect all the writers there who rode it out with me.

Ticket Booth - Killing Eve Season 3 Episode 8

"When it felt like such an impasse, [Shonda and I] would both be digging in our heels hugely. But just the friction itself, a lot of times a third thing would come out, and it would not be in my sight of consciousness at all."

"It would take that pushing against someone equally as strong. I started to learn how to trust that."

What do you think about Oh's comments on the matter? 

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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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