Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sandra Oh Talks Thorne And Her Summer In London

The Thorne-series is just about to premiere in the UK, and here is a great new interview with Sandra Oh done in London this summer, where she talks about her role in the series as English copper Sarah Chen, her co-stars and working in London:

The cast of Thorne
Iit’s interesting that during your hiatus this was the vehicle you chose...

“I usually don’t do things during my hiatus [from Grey’s Anatomy], but I wasn’t so devastatingly exhausted and I felt much more energised so I thought this was the right piece for me. One of the most practical things about it was that I could actually fit it in, but mostly it had to do with it being completely new and challenging, and actually slightly frightening in having a very, very different character to play. The challenge of doing something in London and the fact that the cast included David, Eddie and Aidan thrilled me.”

What was it like working on a British production for the first time?

“I had just finished shooting the sixth season finale of Grey’s and flew right over afterwards, so it was terrifying, actually. The first day of work was the hardest first day I’ve ever had in my career; I had mental breakdown after mental breakdown. My dialect coach, Jill McCulloch, saved my life, she really did - I got there on a Monday afternoon and then on Tuesday I had a three-hour session with her when I realised that I was in way over my head! I’ve never experienced that [feeling] before where you’re just barrelling towards failure and humiliation.

"The next day I had to be picked up at six and was in every single scene shooting that day. I was crying all the time, but I was very fortunate that Kevin McKidd [Oh’s Grey’s Anatomy co-star] was in London as well so I called him every day, bawling my eyes out. (laughs)

“But then the experience of shooting with the crew - which was half English and half French - and the amazing cast, made up for so much. I ended up feeling more comfortable about half-way through, and I never stopped talking in the [British] accent.”

The role seems a bit of a departure for you…

“I would say the first things I was ever known for in Canada were quite similar to this; an unhinged woman who abuses drugs. It actually took me back to those experiences. But based on the fact that I’ve been working on the same character for six seasons, yes it was very different. And, I tell you, this isn’t funny. Scaredy Cat is not funny. Grey’s has a balance of drama and comedy, so you can have some levity, not only to give your character an extra dimension, but also for your own sanity. But this character in Scaredy Cat, Sarah Chen - who I was just so pleased to play - she is definitely the most unhinged character in this show.

“She’s a cop with a serious coke addiction and appears calm and unflappable but she’s actually falling apart. So you turn up on set and your persona of someone who’s capable and might actually be good at her job all has to go away - that actually felt great.”
What were your highlight scenes?

“Working with Tom Brooke, whoa! That dude is just spectacular. I think Tom and I had a really great energy and chemistry. There are a couple of integral scenes that we had to hit correctly, otherwise, for me, it felt that nothing would make sense: [Sarah and Palmer’s] connecting scene when they’re really two peas in a pod and where Sarah learns that the person she connects to the most deeply is actually the killer. I think that frightens her and she needs to cover it with her addiction, but sometimes you can’t choose who you connect with.”

How is it working with Brits?

“David was a tremendous support to me, I would look at him with terror in my eyes and he would say, “You’ll be fine”. David’s done it; he’s done plenty of American accents. Aidan obviously has the accent in The Wire and I’m sure Eddie’s done American too. It was just so thrilling acting with them, anywhere near them. The calibre of talent on this piece was so high that in one respect I was working hard, but on the other hand, all I’m doing is looking at David’s face. Then the acting part comes much more easily.

“I was completely in love with the cast and crew, and London. The experience was thrilling and the challenge was so great, it was exhausting.“

Will you take your summers on the beach in future?

“Let me tell you straight up, I have got to come back to London. I met a lot of fantastic people and made such great friends, when I was leaving I was telling everyone, shamelessly: “You’ve got to get me a job here. I don’t care what it is; I will come here for a few plays and be here for a year or two.””

 Source: Sky

Also, don't forget to check out the interview with her co-star David Morrissey which you can find here


Carlithiel said...

Thanks! That interview totally made my day. Sandra probably doing plays in London? Awesome, a chance to see her in person :D

Emma said...

Great interview! Thanks for posting. Now I only hope we´ll get to see Scaredy Cat also on the Dutch tv.

Becky said...

Come back to London! I'd pay so much to see her live in a play! Love her! :D

Anonymous said...

Terrific interview. I love Sandra Oh. Hope I get to see Scaredy Cat and I truly hope she gets projects in London to work on soon. Really got a kick out of what she said about Kevin McKidd. They're fantastic together as Cristina and Owen in Grey's. Doesn't surprise me that they're friends.

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