Saturday, January 30, 2010

Interview With Sandra And Kevin

Here is something rare, peeps. We've got a brand new Sandra Oh interview for you. Sandra and co-star Kevin McKidd were recently interviewed on the set of Grey's Anatomy by the Irish RTE Guide about the latest season of Grey's and this is what they said:

It's the neonatal ward at the Seattle Grace Hospital set at Prospect Studios, just east of Hollywood. And Sandra Oh is cold. "Yeah, sorry, this is Stage 5. It's always freezing," says the Grey's Anatomy star, who's dressed in a long, chocolate-coloured ribbed jumper, with a long grey scarf wrapped around her neck for further insulation.

Sitting beside Oh is her Grey's co-star, Scottish actor Kevin McKidd, who plays Owen Hunt, the love interest of her character, Cristina Yang. He's a little less wrapped up, but still looks snug in a grey, zipped sweater. "I miss the change of the weather," he insists. "This right now is great, and it's such a relief because right now in England, it's the dead of winter, and I miss that."

And while the indoor temperature of the studio may be a little bit on the nippy side (well, for sundrenched LA), it's nothing in comparison with the cold winds of change blowing around the corridors on Grey's Anatomy. The staff there are facing the realities of the economic downturn as Seattle Grace merges with Mercy West hospital, plus there's the coming-to-terms with the loss of George O'Malley.
"Well, of course, the very beginning, the first couple of episodes, is really about the death of George and how each of us is going through grief in that way," explains Sandra Oh. "And it affects each of us differently, especially the five, you know - the five interns . . . It's really more examined in the beginning, and then we move on with other crises, like, you know, the hospital mergers."

The latter also means that there will be new characters coming to the fore on the show, which Sandra Oh admits will mean less screen time for some of the show's key characters. "We have some wonderful new guest stars who are coming and drifting in and out. And that has a lot to do with the hospital merger. Because there is a chunk of time where we actually don't have two of our main actors.

"You know, this is the time where actually both Katherine [Heigl] and Ellen [Pompeo] aren't here. And also, TR Knight is no longer here. So there's a core group of people who are no longer here, and there's some new people coming in and coming out, and we'll see what happens with their characters. So that's quite different with our show. I think they're trying to figure out a different structure."

One storyline that won't be changing too soon is the ongoing relationship between Cristina and Owen, which began last season when Kevin McKidd arrived as trauma surgeon Owen Hunt, while also coping with the turbulent after effects of having served in Iraq, where he witnessed unspeakable horrors.

Sandra Oh smiles at the thought of Owen and Cristina having a constructive relationship this season. "Don't we hope? I think there's going to be ups and downs. But I'm really pleased with the fact that, you know, at the beginning of it, it seemed that they're settling into a much more solid relationship."

McKidd's similarly satisfied: "I think what's interesting about these guys now they're actually having to deal with reality. I mean, in a relationship that isn't in a fraught place.

"And in a way that brings a whole new set of challenges because they really have to go, okay, you know, we're no longer in fight or flight mode and now we've actually gotta really go right and look at each other and I think the great thing that they've always had is a real level of kind of brutal honesty, emotional openness with each other. And now they're back in the workplace more and there's a whole new set of pressures that comes in and affects their relationship."

"Uh-huh," Oh adds. "Well said, Kevin."

McKidd, of course, is just one of the many British actors who have recently made it on to prime time TV shows in the United States. There's Joseph Fiennes, Dominick Monaghan and Jack Davenport on FlashForward; Damian Lewis in Band of Brothers and Life; and the biggest success of them all, Hugh Laurie, an international superstar on House.

When asked how bringing his wife and young family to LA, and the cultural and social impact that must have, the 36-year-old Scot admits, "Nothing is seamless, I've noticed, in life." But getting a regular gig in Grey's Anatomy certainly helps. "I think it's easier when you know that you've kind of landed somewhere. As an actor, I think it's a hard business anyway because you never know - usually you never know what's happening. And you never really know what's happening on this show either, but you do more so [than on others]. You get that sense that you can kind of land somewhere and kind of unpack your suitcase for a while."

There's no denying that Grey's has hit a chord with millions of viewers around the world and - after House - is probably the most popular medical drama on the planet. That success can be put down to the show's emotional rollercoaster ride and the on-going, and often complex, relationships amongst the main characters.

While considerering the reasons for Grey's Anatomy's success is "complicated", Sandra Oh concedes that fortune played a major role. "I think it is, like, luck, luck, luck, luck, luck. You've been on some great shows with good cast, good writers, all that combination." And sometimes it works; sometime it doesn't.

"I think, like, now, like in the sixth season and people have come and people have gone at this point - you know what I mean? I really think, more and more, that it was like lightning in a bottle. Because we've all done stuff. I think, like, we've all done stuff, and good stuff, and it doesn't continue on. What is it? I don't know."

While being as baffled as anyone else by the quandries and curveballs that life throws at us, Oh is certain of one thing: being well looked after when or if she ever takes ill in the future.

"Well, I will say one of the many great things about being on this show is that I have full confidence that I'm going to have great healthcare wherever I go for the next - I don't know. I think for the rest of my life because I bet you 15-year-olds who are then going to take care of me [are saying]: 'I remember watching you. I'm going to take good care of you.'"

Now, there's a healthcare plan with a difference!
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