Linda Massarella is back with a new article on Sandra Oh:
LOS ANGELES -- Grey's Anatomy's Sandra Oh has gone quietly about her business of becoming one of the best television actresses around.
By doing so, and with nary a complaint of how depressing the Asian stereotyping in Hollywood can be for actors, the formidable Korean-Canadian is becoming the first real hope that an Asian can bust through Hollywood's beige prime-time ceiling.
Yes, people with Asian faces will occasionally be cast as a secondary or even one of the main characters (think Philip Ahn as Master Kan in the old series, Kung Fu), but no Asian has ever held a true prime-time lead role. Period. And this still goes for the new Hawaii-Five-0 that has two white guys starring over two Asians.
Oh was first cast on the hit show, Grey's Anatomy, when it began seven seasons ago, and was just one part of a strong ensemble behind Ellen Pompeo's lead character, Meredith Grey.
While Oh remains second billing (behind Pompeo's Grey character whom the show was built around), it's merely semantics. Critics, fans and producers know full well the 39-year-old acting powerhouse from Nepean, Ont., has increasingly stolen the show with each season.
It's Oh's character, Dr. Cristina Yang, that has emerged particularly this season as the most intriguing. She no longer merely plays the "best friend" to Meredith. Indeed, this season, her nuanced character -- traumatized after a shooting at the set's hospital -- is the main focus as everyone clusters around her, trying to change her mind about quitting medicine.
Not surprisingly, Oh was just nominated for two People's Choice Awards: One for best TV actress (the only one from Grey's to be nominated), the other as best TV doctor.
If you go on the site to vote -- the winners for the Jan. 5, 2011, awards are based on fan votes -- there are tons of links to comments on Oh, and glowing press reviews.
"She's always the scene stealer" or "she's the most watchable" even "she deserves her own show."
Asian American actor and novelist Raymond K. Wong acknowledges Oh's ground-breaking role.
"The sad fact is, we Asian actors are limited to playing Asian roles, and there aren't that many..." he writes in the Hollywood Actor Prep. "Chances are, when you see Asians on screen, they are ... bit players."
He says Oh's character is a huge "rarity" because it wasn't specifically written to be Asian -- and Oh got the chance to make an impression through her own talents.
Oh, herself, rarely complains publicly about the stereotype. "You're lumped into a category with people who are just not white," she once said.
But the audience is speaking -- and voting (and blogging and tweeting). And Hollywood is too savvy not to listen.
Dude, if the boring (but pretty) Kate Walsh can be given her own Grey's spinoff show, Private Practice, why not our girl?
To vote for Sandra for Favorite TV Drama Actress and Favorite TV Doctor in the People's Choice Awards, click here