Thursday, January 22, 2009

From Canada With Warm Regards

Sandra Oh at ACTRA Award of Excellence reception held in her honour on January 21, 2009 at the Canadian Residence of Consul General of Canada, David Fransen in Los Angeles, California.

It's 83 degrees Fahrenheit in Los Angeles and after more than a decade living in the U.S., Sandra Oh has forgotten how to do the conversion to Celsius.

"It's really cold there right now, isn't it?" Oh queried over the phone during a break in production for the ABC hit series, Grey's Anatomy. "I used to live in Toronto, I went to (National Theatre School) in Montreal and I grew up in Ottawa. The six months of cold, I got to tell you, I don't really miss it," she added.

Oh was honoured today with the ACTRA Award of Excellence for her work in film and television by the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Radio and Television Artists, the Canadian union she's been a member of the past 15 years.

It's another reminder of the special place the Great White North holds in her heart and soul.

"Oh my gosh, of course I miss Canada. My whole family is there, so many of my friends are there," she said.

"I still strongly identify myself as a Canadian, even though I live here in the States and I've lived here for 12 years now," she added.

In fact, she still finds time to come back to Canada to work, doing a stint in Toronto in November on the independent film, Defendor, opposite Woody Harrelson in which she plays a psychiatrist trying to help a man who believes himself to be a superhero of sorts.

The ACTRA award joins a growing list: two Gemini awards for film roles in Double Happiness and Last Night as well as a Golden Globe and a U.S. Screen Actors' Guild Award in 2006 for her work on Grey's Anatomy, not to mention four consecutive Emmy nominations for her portrayal of Dr. Cristina Yang.

The success of the TV series has been a mixed blessing, she acknowledged.

"When I started the show and the show became a hit, my life changed and I still struggle with that," Oh said.

So the ACTRA award helps to "shake me out of the bubble I'm in," she said.

"I'm so pleased and somewhat shocked that I would get an award because that means I've been working a while. If you get an award like this – which is so amazing – it means that you actually have work that people can look at and that people have enjoyed. So it's a tremendous honour," Oh added.

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