Sandra Oh spent a decade in scrubs as the fierce, brilliant surgeon Dr. Cristina Yang on ABC’s long-running “Grey’s Anatomy.” Now her turn as the equally complex spy Eve Polastri in BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” from “Fleabag” creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, is earning her raves along with awards buzz. “It’s great to be back working, great to be fully in,” Oh says.
Waller-Bridge writes so well for women. How rare is that?
Rare and not rare. As you know, there are so many wonderful writers. It’s very difficult to get a show on the air, and I’ve been really lucky. I’ve worked with a lot of great writers. There are many really good writers who can write character, who can write plot, but what is really rare is finding a unique voice. And Phoebe has a unique voice.
How did you find your way into this character?
This is just the work that I’m interested in. What is my own darkness? What is Eve’s darkness? What are the things that Eve is not accepting within herself that somehow Villanelle [Jodie Comer] is or brings out in her? I’ve found that for a woman who is in her mid-life to be infused with all this energy is fascinating.
This project is so female-led, behind and in front of the camera.
After a 30-year career, I felt like I spent the past six months being able to work at my fullest capacity. All my main collaborators were women. I’m on a show about women. I felt that was remarkable. So if we’re trying to move the needle in a way where there’s a more feminine point of view, a system where more women are in power, where the people who you see on the screen are primarily women, I felt like I spent the past six months making it. I feel really good about that. It has always been a part of my world desire to increase diversity in every kind of way. And I hope to expand that. But it takes a long time to get power, and probably my first experience of really being able to exercise that was with this.
What You Didn’t Know About Sandra Oh
AGE: 46 BIRTHPLACE: Nepean, Ontario, Canada FAVORITE PODCASTS: “The Daily,” “Hidden Brain,” “Freakonomics,” “Invisibilia” STRESS-RELIEVING TECHNIQUES: Meditation, cooking