Sandra Oh knew she was supposed to play Cristina Yang despite auditioning for another role


Grey’s Anatomy fans can collectively agree on one thing: Sandra Oh was supposed to play Cristina Yang. The now-Kill Eve star caught everyone’s attention the instant she appeared in the pilot Shondaland. But in the end, Oh didn’t originally audition for the iconic role. Instead, she went looking for Miranda Bailey, who then went to Chandra Wilson. So this is how Oh knew Cristina was the perfect one Grey’s Anatomy part for his career.

Sandra Oh Originally Auditioned For Miranda Bailey On “Grey’s Anatomy”

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In 2006, Oh revealed that she auditioned for Bailey before being cast as Cristina on Grey’s Anatomy.

“I first auditioned for Bailey,” she said during the show’s PaleyFest LA panel. “And this god, I didn’t get that part. Can you imagine not having [Chandra Wilson]? Forget it. ”

Oh then shared that she wanted to practice asking what she wanted during her Grey’s Anatomy hearing. So, when she turned to Cristina, the actor told creator Shonda Rhimes, executive producer Betsey Beers and director Peter Horton that she wanted to play the person of Meredith Gray (Ellen Pompeo).

Then, as they say, the rest was history. Oh continued to portray Cristina on Grey’s Anatomy for 10 seasons.

Sandra Oh explains why she wanted to play Cristina Yang on Miranda Bailey in “Grey’s Anatomy”

Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang in “Grey’s Anatomy” | Ron Tom / Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter’s Chatter Award podcast in July 2020, Oh explored why she wanted to play Cristina rather than Bailey, who was – at the time – described as “the little blonde.” And while the actor had nothing against the character, Oh didn’t want to play an authority figure.

“I originally played the role of Dr Bailey. I actually auditioned, ”the Grey’s Anatomy said alum. “At that point, I wanted to change my career in the direction of… I don’t want to play a person of authority.”

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She continued, “I felt at that point, because I had played an assistant, that I was still in my late twenties – early thirties – people thought I was much older. . So, in a thoughtful and strategic way, I was like, “I don’t want to play a person of authority”. I want to play junior. Because at that point the only other part that was open was for Cristina.

Oh also admitted that she wanted to play Meredith’s counterpart.

“It was the most interesting part for me because she was foil,” Oh said. ” [Cristina] was the other side of the lock and Meredith Gray’s key. I said to myself: “I want to play this role”. She was also very tough and I liked her assertiveness and I liked her spiciness.

Will Sandra Oh ever return to Grey’s Anatomy as Cristina Yang?

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Oh’s reasoning for wanting to play Cristina matches the reason audiences fell in love with the Grey’s Anatomy character. So it’s no surprise that fans were heartbroken when the actor left the Shondaland series after 10 years. But even so, Oh is unlikely to return to the series anytime soon.

“Creatively you’ve moved on,” Oh told Extra TV when asked if she would return for an appearance on Grey’s. “Although I know, and I deeply appreciate … how much [fans] I love Cristina and how the show keeps Cristina alive, for me, Kill Eve is my home now. This is where I am. I’m Eve and this is where I plan to stay as long as the show gets me. And this is really where I want to be.

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