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Sandra Oh Reflects on "Traumatic" Experience of Adjusting to Grey's Anatomy Fame

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Sandra Oh learned a lot playing Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy, but it was her experience working with a different type of medical professional that gave her the tools to thrive and survive stardom.

In an upcoming Aug. 29 interview on NBC News' Sunday Today With Willie Geist, the Killing Eve actress admitted it was "traumatic" to become famous after joining the cast of the medical drama. "And the reason why I'm saying that is the circumstances you need to do your work is with a lot of privacy," she explained. "So when one loses one's anonymity, you have to build skills to still try and be real."

Sandra added that before she sought professional help, she was not able to "go out" and when she did, she was "hiding in restaurants."

Eventually, she found a "good therapist," who helped her to "manage attention, manage expectation, while not losing the sense of self."

Sandra Oh Through the Years

A big lesson the therapist taught her was the power of protecting your own energy. She explained, "You just have to work at finding your way to stay grounded. And a lot of times that's by saying no."

And Sandra is comfortable enough saying no to the opportunity to return to Grey's Anatomy. She recently told E! News' Daily Pop that she has no desire to slip on Cristina Yang's scrubs. "It's really a time in my past," she shared, adding that she still thinks, "It's a great privilege to have been on a show like that."

Grey's Anatomy, Sandra Oh
ABC/Ron Tom

Numerous former members of the medical drama returned to the series for a dramatic season filled with deaths and dream sequences. Even Patrick Dempsey reprised his role as Derek, so that Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey would wake up from a coronavirus-induced hallucination.

Season 17 also saw Giacomo Gianniotti, Jesse Williams and Greg Germann exit the series. However, with Grey's Anatomy, there's always the chance that someone will return in one form or another, including Sandra Oh.

(E! News and NBC News are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)