Sandra Oh Says She Has Not Thought About Returning to Grey's Anatomy

Sandra Oh had some things to say when asked if she's considered a return to Grey's Anatomy, and reflected on the impact of Cristina Yang all these years later.

By Lauren Piester May 11, 2021 8:33 PMTags
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Despite our best attempts to psychically manifest otherwise, Cristina Yang is staying in Switzerland. 

In a new interview with The LA Times' Asian Enough podcast, Sandra Oh says she put Grey's Anatomy behind her. When asked if she had given thought to returning to the show like so many other Grey's alums this past season, she answered with a quick, "Oh my gosh, no." 

"I love it, though," she continued. "And this is also why I really appreciate the show is that I still get asked this." 

Oh reflected on how rare it is to see the "impact" of a character in the way she has been able to, but that doesn't mean she wants to return to playing that character. 

"In some ways, you do your work as a bubble and you let it go. I left that show, my god, seven years ago almost. So in my mind, it's gone," she said. "But for a lot of people, it's still very much alive. And while I understand and I love it, I have moved on." 

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Oh would, however, love for the fans of Cristina to follow her to her other projects. 

"Please come with me to Killing Eve and onto The Chair and onto the other projects, because this is also how we have moved on as well, with all the joy," she said. "Come see, then, the characters that I'm playing that are much more deeply integrated in our Asian American experience." 

Oh said earlier in the podcast that in the first few years of Grey's, race was simply not discussed because it wasn't "the style of the show." Now, it's a major topic of discussion as the doctors navigate the racial inequalities surrounding the pandemic and police brutality. But back when Oh was still on the show, she couldn't even get a "really good joke" about "playing the POC card" into an episode. 

"It wasn't the time," she said. "It just wasn't the time, and it wasn't the part of the show, so it wasn't anything that I actually focused on." 

Now, Oh is determined to make sure all of her characters reflect the Asian American experience. 

ABC/Ron Tom

However, she's so grateful for a decade as one of TV's most beloved characters, and has only grown to love her more—especially over the past year. 

"I gotta tell ya, I still appreciate her and that character," she said. "It was just such a privilege to play that for a decade. It really, really was. And as time goes by where I've been further and further away from her, I've been able to appreciate her more and more, exactly because it's like, oh my god, pandemic. Let's just watch five thousand million episodes of Grey's to make us feel better! You get a cry, a good cry, in minute 45 and then it's happy. It's good." 

She imagines that Dr. Yang would be "wickedly" at the front line of the pandemic, "trying to solve the big problems...the systematic problems." 

Now, while Oh is saying she has not thought about returning, we still have hope for one final appearance. 

In the wake of so many returning cast members (Patrick Dempsey, T.R. Knight, Chyler Leigh, Eric Dane, Sarah Drew) and temporary fears over the future of the show, we've had a lot of time to think about what we want from the end of Grey's Anatomy

While so much of the series has focused on Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo) romantic life, the death of her second love Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) has convinced us that Meredith doesn't need to find a man before the show says goodbye. The ultimate ending for her, if you ask us, is a reunion with her "person," Cristina Yang. 

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We don't necessarily have to see Cristina to know that she and Meredith are together again, but it would be a thrilling way to end the show if we did see her. And Oh was asked, "Have you given thought to whether you would come back?" not "Would you be willing to come back for one last scene?"

Cristina, who is very much alive, didn't need to show up on Meredith's coma beach, but maybe when Grey Sloan is finally on its way to shutting its doors for good, Meredith's person could be there for one last dance it out session. Hey, a fan can dream. 

Grey's Anatomy will air a special two-hour rerun of season two's "bomb in a guy" episodes this week beginning at 8 p.m. on Thursday, and then the season 17 finale airs Thursday, May 20 at 9 p.m. on ABC.