Who doesn't love Sandra Oh? The Canadian actress became a household name thanks to her role as the doctor Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy. Oh is the first Asian actress to win multiple Golden Globes and is recognized to be one of the first Asian-descendants to have roles that have nothing to do with her origins. The actress seem to be born to make history.
Oh might be at the top of her game, but the success didn't come easy to her. The actress has to deal with lots of rejection and agents saying that she wouldn't make it. She not only proved them wrong but became an inspiration and reference for several actors.
While most people need many years to discover what they want to do in life, Sandra had the chance to find it out very early and she grabbed every opportunity.
When she was only four years old, her parents took her to ballet lessons and she never left the stage. When she was 10, Oh performed on her first play and she started making money as an actress when she was 15. Before moving to the US, Oh has appeared in several plays, commercials and TV shows in Canada, where she was already a star.
When Sandra Oh started her career on the 90s when there were few Asian people on television and films. Oh faced some struggles with her agents.
During an interview to Marie Claire this year she said her agent in Los Angeles gave her a piece of painful advice. She told Oh to go back to Canada and try to become famous there because she already had another Asian actress as a client and she wasn't invited to an audition for months.
Although Sandra Oh felt hurt, she didn't give up and this self-belief seems to have paid off.
Sandra once revealed that many TV executives were surprised when she was cast as Cristina on Grey's Anatomy just because they imagined it would be a white character.
"I don't get jobs in films by auditioning," she told The Independent. "I'm not blonde. You can't place me in movies the way you can with certain actors. It's very difficult for my agents. They say to me, 'I have a hard time getting you in,' and all I want is a shot."
Sandra Oh was one of the first Asian actresses to get important roles that were not specifically written for Asians. Slowly things seem to be changing.
Sandra parents expected her to follow a more traditional path and become a lawyer or a doctor. They were not very supportive at first, because they didn't see acting as something important, but they changed their mind when they recognized Sandra's talent.
Last year Oh took her parents to the Emmy ceremony and they looked very proud. When Sandra received the Golden Globe for her work on Killing Eve, she dedicated part of the speech her family and also spoke to them in Korean. It was a heartwarming moment.
Sandra Oh deserves all the prizes, but having the support of a family makes things easier.
Cristina was one of the most beloved characters in Grey's Anatomy and many actors would put a lot of effort to make it last as long as possible. But Oh is not like everybody.
At the end of the 9th season, in 2013, she realized she was done with it and decided to leave the show. "It just felt like I did all I wanted to do," she told Vulture, "I didn't feel like, Ugh, that's all I can do, I've done everything. It was more than that. It was actually, dare I say it, a sense of satisfaction."
The decision led Sandra to new projects and proved to be an essential step in her career.
Many artists love the spotlight afforded by being famous. However, Sarah Oh seems to be very down to earth and doesn't define herself through her fame. She tries to keep her private life away from the headlines. Being aware of the difference between a celebrity and an actor had a positive impact on her career.
"I have no idea when I stopped being an actor. I do not consider myself a celebrity", she said during an interview on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight in 2012. "I know many actors who don't consider themselves celebrities and I want to publicly make that statement and that differentiation."
Sarah Oh tries to keep her name away from the spotlight; however, due to her position, this is not always possible. So, what does the actress do when websites and magazines are talking about her personal life? She ignores it.
Probably her most intimate moment that was in the headlines was when she divorced the director, Alexander Payne.
"I don't listen to this stuff. I don't see it," she told Marie Claire in 2007. "I tell my people I don't want to know about it because while rationally you might know it's ridiculous, it can hurt your feelings. It can knock me off from being my authentic self."
It doesn't matter if you work on Hollywood movies or in a regular job. We all need an escape from our daily routine and a way to remain sane. It can be sports, music, dancing, or anything that helps decompress the mind. For Sandra Oh, it is meditation.
The actress has practiced Vipassana meditation for years now. "It takes a long time to free oneself from chatter: Goals, social media, image, persona," she told Vulture magazine. "And if you're able to move through in that way, you can actually start trying to create from a different place."
Sarah Oh's career is at a high point and the actress appears very confident on screen. However, like most of us, she feels insecure when she has to face new challenges, like when she was invited to host the Golden Globes this year.
"Honestly, I said yes even though it was so terrifying to me, really terrifying," she revealed The Hollywood Reporter. "I just could not let this opportunity pass me by, the life experience of being this scared of something."
As we have seen, Oh was flawless during the Golden Globes.
Being respected by the people you work with is a sign you deserve success. Sandra Oh has worked since she was 17 years old and, over the course of three decades, she built a reputation for being very dedicated to her profession.
Thanks to her talent and down to earth personality, Oh made many friends during work and they often praise her. This year many former coworkers congratulated her after she won the Golden Globes. Names like Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, and even Shonda Rhimes, Grey's Anatomy creator, celebrated this moment.