All good things must come to an end, and after 10 years of watching Sandra Oh play Cristina Yang so brilliantly week after week, Sandra Oh has finally decided to leave Grey's Anatomy at the end of this season.
She gave an exclusive interview to THR, which you can check out here and here is the excerpt:
Sandra Oh on the decision to leave
"Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go," an emotional Oh tells THR. "It's such an interesting thing to play a character for so long and to actually get the sense that she wants to be let go as well. [Cristina] wants to be let go, and I am ready to let her go. We have to start the process, story-wise, for the Grey's writers to think of why she's going to go."
Oh says she first began thinking about wrapping her Grey's run in May 2012 when what she called the "original six" inked new two-year deals to take them through the 10th season of the series. "I've gone through a lot of therapy over this," she says through tears. "I started thinking about it because I had to prepare myself. I gave myself two years to emotionally let go. At the end of last season, Shonda took me aside and said, 'What are your thoughts?' I said, 'I'm ready.'"
Oh informed her co-stars about her upcoming exit during Tuesday's table read for the show's 200th episode and said the decision "doesn't feel real" yet. "I seriously think I need that much support over processing it over this next year for me to be able to leave fully and leave in a way that I feel like Cristina deserves," she says, noting that Rhimes has supported her every step of the way. "For the first time, at least for my character, you actually have an endpoint, which in series television you never or very rarely have.
Shonda Rhimes on Sandra's exit
"One of the best days of my life as a writer happened the day Sandra Oh walked in my door to audition and forever changed the course of Grey's Anatomy with her brilliant, nuanced portrayal of Cristina Yang," series creator/showrunner Rhimes says. "Over the past 10 seasons, I have been made better by Sandra's trust, faith and friendship, and I can't quantify how grateful I am for her collaboration on a character we both love so deeply. This year is going to be bittersweet for us -- we're both going to savor every moment of Cristina Yang, and then we're going to give her the exit she deserves. And when Sandra walks out of my door, Grey's Anatomy will once again be forever changed."
Season 10 to be a celebration of Cristina's "final run"
"I want this to be a celebration," Oh says of Cristina's final run. "I want us to get to that point where we see this character ride off into the sunset. Letting go of such a huge part of my life … I want to cry right now. Grey's has been the most important role of my life. Playing Cristina and growing her and growing myself in her, I want to usher her into the next section of her life in the best way possible. It's got to be Cristina Yang's happily ever after."
Sandra on acting partner Kevin McKidd
Oh cited McKidd -- whom she called the "greatest acting partner you could ever ask for" -- for creating a place where she didn't feel as if she were acting but instead what Stanislavski called a "state of being." "You're not acting, you are in a state of being and you actually are the character," she says. "To actually get to the point in my career where you can experience that was the highlight of my career. Learning the rare opportunity of what it is to work on one project for 10 years -- that's like being married in television years for like a thousand years."
McKidd on Oh's upcoming exit
Kevin McKidd: "I feel so blessed and grateful to have been given the chance to work with her. When I joined the show in season five, she was so welcoming and nurturing to me as a new actor on the show -- something I will never forget and be always thankful for. Getting to act with her every day has made me a better actor, and getting to know her has made me a better person. She is an extremely warm and loving person and I will miss her. I wish her every good wish in the world and will miss her at work a huge amount, but I feel happy to know that she is moving on to new adventures and roles to explore. Sandra has inspired me to diligently work hard at my craft and to never phone it in or zone out -- her professionalism and passion for acting knows no bounds. I have been lucky to get the time I have with her."
Full interview at THR
Sandra Oh can be next seen in the comedy Tammy starring a brilliant cast which includes Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Mark Duplass and Alison Janney. Tammy opens in theatres in June 2014.
You will also be able to catch her at the Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago as Paulina in the play Death and the Maiden, which will run between June 13 - July 13, 2014.
While Cristina and Owen weren't meant to be, you probably haven't seen the last of McKidd and Oh just yet. Kevin McKidd helped Sandra land the role of Gabby in Rabbit Hole and has previously revealed that he and Sandra have discussed about working on other projects outside of Grey's, so we'll be looking forward to that.
Now that Sandra Oh is a free agent, we can't wait to see what exciting projects are up for her next. In the meantime, Leslie Knope is need of a new friend...
What are your thoughts, dear peeps? Are you happy to see Sandra leave Grey's Anatomy? What kind of projects would you like to see her in next? And what would you like to see for Cristina Yang in the final season?