Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sandra Oh On Spin-Offs, Isaiah Washington And Games

Season Four of Grey's Anatomy is just being released in the UK and Last Broadcast has published an interview with Sandra. We don't know how recent the interview is, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Does the Sideways star want her own spin-off show? Is Sandra as messy and competitive as Dr Cristina? And what exactly does she think of her former Grey’s co-star Isaiah Washington? Read on for all the answers...

The creator of Grey’s Anatomy – Shonda Rhimes – has been working on the spin-off show, Private Practice, this year... Did you worry that the quality of both shows might start to deteriorate because she’s got less time to spend on each?

I don't know if I can really comment on the quality of the other show, but I know I can all comment on the quality of our show and what we've put into it. We're all happy that we have a sister show, which is its own entity, and we’re putting all our support behind it.

But have you seen less of Shonda on set this season?

Well, sometimes it can be tough to get 30 seconds with Shonda anyway, so when she is split within two shows, it can be difficult. But at least the other show runs from LA, too.

Would you like to appear in your own spin-off to Grey’s Anatomy?

No way. Kate Walsh [who plays the lead role in Private Practice] has got a lot of energy, you know. She really wanted it. I think you really have to want it – and personally, I don’t.

Isaiah Washington left the show in a blaze of publicity in 2007. How do you feel about losing him as a workmate and how the writers have negotiated his exit?

Regarding the writers, I feel they were in a very, very challenging position. Ultimately the departure of Isaiah had nothing to do with the writers but at the end of Season Three they had to make the story work in two ways. They didn't know what was going to happen. They were either going to start the next season with the character of Burke or they were going to start the season without the character of Burke. Ultimately the decision came down from above and he was not going to be joining us, so they had to scramble and go with the decision of him not being there.

Was that a tough decision for you?

I think it's very difficult to wrap up a storyline when you have a missing character. Their voice has to come through other characters, which is tough. I mean, you see Cristina learn about this information that he's really gone – and not just left and had a breakdown – from Shepherd and then finally from Diahann Carroll, who plays his mother. So I think it was a bit of a challenge to have the actual character missing, but I think that everyone dealt with it well.

Were you sad to see him go?

How do I say this? For me, it’s been very difficult because I found our storyline very rich. I found it a complicated relationship and I'm sad to see that relationship storyline to have gone. It’s sad.

Will Cristina fall in love again?

I don't know. Don't we always fall in love again?

Cristina and Meredith are very different people, but over the years they’ve built a solid friendship. What do you think of that?

I'm actually very happy about it. I think one of the strong elements of our show is relationships and the friendships between the women. And I'm really happy about the friendship between Meredith and Cristina because they're both like lost souls who have been able to prop each other up in their own little ways. I’m also interested to see really good friendships between women because I think it’s a positive thing, but it happens all the time. They’ve got a great dynamic together.

Your strong presence on the show has inspired a lot of TV shows to put more Asian-Americans as lead characters on the small screen. What do you think about that?

Yeah! I think it’s fantastic. Keep it going. Just keep it going. Eventually it would be nice if they could put two Asian people standing together in a show. That would be good – the more the merrier. We're not anywhere near where I think we should be, but as long as it keeps on coming and as long as more Asians start getting leads in shows and move into main storytelling positions, then I’m happy. It’s a positive thing and I’m very happy to be associated with it.

TR Knight commented that out of all the cast, it’s you who are most similar to the character you portray on Grey’s Anatomy – especially when it comes to competitiveness. Do you agree?

He said what? That I'm most like my character? That's really interesting. I don't think that I'm most like my character.

You’re not similar at all? Cristina is remarkably messy on the show… How clean is your bedroom in real life?

Oh, that's also something I brought from my personal life. You should see my car. It's terrible. I'm a very messy person.

So you are a little similar to Cristina?

You know what? I'll address this in a couple of ways. When it comes to playing games, maybe I am as competitive as Cristina – but I really don't think that I'm the most similar person to my character. I think the core of Cristina is the fact that she's really stunted emotionally. She doesn't know what to do with her desire and her drive. I actually relate to her ambition and her focus, definitely. And regarding competitiveness, I absolutely admit to being a terrible game player. A terrible, terrible game player.

Do you hate to lose?

You don't want to play a game with me. You don't, because I'm retardedly competitive. Although I don’t believe that TR said I was most similar to my character in other ways, if he’s talking about something as specific as playing a game, then he is very true. Very true. My sister and my brother, they don't bother playing with me anymore. It’s that bad. I'm fun to play with because I'm a terrible trash talker, which livens up the mood. But I'm a bad winner – and I’m a worse loser.

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