Sandra Oh says finding fame as one of the stars of "Grey's Anatomy" came with some pretty serious drawbacks.
The “Killing Eve” actor, 50, who played Dr. Cristina Yang from 2005 until 2014 on the long-running ABC medical drama, told Variety that sudden stardom negatively affected her mental and physical health.
“Honestly, I got sick. I think my whole body was very, very sick. Even though you keep on working, but it’s just like, ‘Oh, I can’t sleep. Oh, my back hurts, I don’t know what’s wrong with my skin,’” Oh said during an “Actors on Actors” conversation with “Squid Game” star Jung Ho-yeon.
“When ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ came, I think my life changed very much. It’s tricky to imagine, because this is almost 20 years ago. So the context is very different," continued Oh, noting that unlike "Squid Game," "Grey's" debuted before the social media age.
"But the stress is the same, or the confusion is the same … when people are in extremely amazing, privileged, heavy responsibility positions like this," she said, adding, "Your personal health is, I think I realized, came first."
The experience made Oh realize that her personal well-being mattered more than being a famous TV star.
“I learned that I had to take care of my health first,” said the star. “But that’s not only your body. That is your soul. That is definitely your mind."
She also realized she couldn't depend on others to find a sense of peace in the spotlight. It could only come from within.
"You have to somehow find it within yourself. You ask people’s opinions, yes of course, but ultimately, we are alone with ourselves," she said.
Oh previously opened up about the perils of fame in the early days of "Grey's Anatomy" during a 2021 interview with Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY.
“To be perfectly honest, it was traumatic,” said Oh while laughing.
She went on to say that fame can be counterproductive for actors and their work, adding that when one loses anonymity, you have "to build skills to still try and be real.”
Oh explained that she had to work to learn how to “stay grounded,” which ultimately meant learning how to say no.
"I went from not being able to go out, like hiding in restaurants, to then being able to manage attention, manage expectation while not losing the sense of self," she recalled.
When Willie asked how she pulled it off, Oh tipped her hat to a special person in her life.
"Well," she said, "I have a good therapist."