Sandra Oh Explains Why She Is OK Being in the “Mother Stage” of Her Career

Sandra Oh has tackled playing some of the strongest women we've seen onscreen, and here's how her roles are continuing to change as she grows more in her career.

By Elana Rubin Aug 02, 2021 7:47 PMTags
Watch: Sandra Oh Calls Fan Reaction to "Killing Eve" a 'Miracle'

Sandra Oh stole hearts as Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy and Eve Polastri on Killing Eve, and now, she's taking on another role: motherhood on Netflix's The Chair.

"I am moving into the mother stage of my career, and I know classically, a lot of actresses my age are upset and say, 'Oh, I have to play the mother or the wife,' but there is tremendous richness in all of these experiences and relationships," the 12-time Emmy-nominated star told The Cut for its July/August cover story.

In The Chair, Sandra portrays English department head Ji-Yoon, who is navigating college's bureaucracy as well as parenting her adopted daughter.

Sandra also stated how the coronavirus pandemic shifted how she approaches roles and projects: "I definitely opened and deepened and questioned my points of view and belief systems," she said.

In addition to still working during the pandemic, Sandra became an advocate for the Asian community as hate crimes rose in 2021, according to NBC News.

"I remember waking up in bed and feeling, 'There's got to be a rally,'" she said about the time period after the Atlanta spa shootings this past March.

Sandra Oh Through the Years

She reflected on that dark time: "I just didn't want to be alone. So it's like, 'There's got to be a group of Asian people somewhere, hanging out on a corner … I want to be with them.' And then, I also realized that my thinking was too small. So at first, I reached out to a couple of the fellow Asian crew members, and I was like, 'Why am I only inviting a few people?'"


Sandra extended her invitation to a larger group, despite knowing it would be "tricky because of COVID."

"To invite the crew, I felt very conscious of that, but I did it," she stated. "It's like, 'Hey, you guys, I'm going to be here. There's something going on here. If you want to come, a group of us are going.'"

She expressed that it "meant so much" that she had the support of "so many crew members."

Sandra concluded, "I felt like there's a lot of fear, and the only thing I felt at that moment to offer was to be strong. Reach out in the face of fear; practice reaching out to others."

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