Sandra Oh Says Grey’s Anatomy Fame Gave Her Insomnia And Body Aches


When Grey’s Anatomy premiered in 2005, it catapulted the ensemble of actors who played the staff at Seattle Grace Hospital to fame.

In front of Sandra Ohwho played Cristina Yang in the series for 10 years, came that limelight with drawbacks to her own health.

The acclaimed actor opened up about the effects her sudden Grey’s Anatomy fame had on her health during a Variety Actors on Actors Conversation, with Squid Game breakthrough star Jung Ho-yeon.

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According to Oh, the experience of suddenly being in the spotlight caused her to suffer serious health effects while she was filming the medical drama.

Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

“Honestly, I got sick. I think my whole body was really, really sick. Even if you keep working, but it’s like, ‘Oh, I can’t sleep. Oh, my back hurts, I don’t know what’s wrong with my skin,” Oh said during the conversation with Ho-yeon.

Oh shared the experience when Ho-yeon asked her how she coped with navigating public attention. However, Oh noted that their experiences were both very different, with Oh’s predating the rise of social media.

“When Grey’s Anatomy came, I think my life has changed a lot,” Oh told Ho-yeon. “It’s hard to imagine because this was almost 20 years ago. So the context is very different.”

Sandra Oh and Jung Ho-yeon in conversation for Variety (YouTube)

“But the stress is the same, or the confusion is the same…when people are in extraordinarily amazing, privileged, heavy responsibility positions like this one. Your personal health comes first, I think, I realized.”

In reflecting on her experiences with Grey’sOh told Ho-yeon that she had learned she had to be happy with herself in order to be in the spotlight in peace.

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“I learned that I had to take care of my health first,” said Oh. “But that’s not just your body. That’s your soul. That’s definitely your mind. So even those things like doubt, ask. Because you can’t depend on someone else in the end. You have to somehow finding yourself You ask people’s opinion, yes of course, but in the end we are alone with ourselves.”

Jung Ho-yeon
Jung Ho-yeon accepts the Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for Squid Game at the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Barker Hangar on Feb. 27, 2022 in Santa Monica, Calif. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

This isn’t the first time Oh has talked about the toll that fame has taken on her body. Last year in an interview she said it was a “traumatic” time.

“The conditions you need to do your job are with a lot of privacy,” she said Sunday Today And so when you lose your anonymity, you have to build skills to be real.”

When asked how she adjusted, Oh said, “Well, I have a good therapist.”

Other Actors on Actors Conversations in the last Variety series include Zendaya with Andrew Garfield, Anne Hathaway with Jeremy Strong and Jared Leto with Amanda Seyfried.

Grey's Anatomy cast

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