Sandra Oh Admits She Was 'Profoundly Disappointed' With Major Magazine Cover: 'I Wanted to Look Good'
By Jennifer Drysdale
Chance Yeh/Getty Images
Sandra Oh doesn't have regrets about her career -- but she does about a certain magazine cover.
In a new interview with Vulture, the 47-year-old actress opens up about the one time she ever graced the cover of a mainstream U.S. magazine, and how disappointed she was to see an unflattering photo chosen for the cover.
“I was extremely excited. I was definitely holding onto image in a way that was -- I don’t know -- it hurt me a lot. It hurt me to not see ourselves,” she says. “I don’t know what it is, but I put a lot of that into this one magazine cover because I wanted to look good. Like, I’m not a f**king model, but I wanted to look like those actresses that look great on magazines. And I was so profoundly disappointed with the cover they chose.”
Oh doesn't name the magazine, but a little sleuthing reveals it to be her 2007 cover for Marie Claire.
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"I didn’t feel like it was representing me, and it wasn’t a good shot,” she expresses. “It was all about trying to control an image. Me. I was trying to control this image that I would look great and beautiful on this American cover and it had a wide publication. I was chasing after something, and I did not get it. It was almost like I was trying -- especially at that time, the majority of all images on magazine covers were attractive white women -- I was trying to be accepted that way.”
Now, Oh says she's not so concerned with what others think about her. “It takes a long time to free oneself from chatter -- goals, social media, image, persona,” she says. “And if you’re able to move through in that way, you can actually start trying to create from a different place.”
That sort of thinking helped Oh decide to make her departure from Grey's Anatomy after 10 seasons of playing Cristina Yang. “It just felt like I did all I wanted to do,” she recalls. “I didn’t feel like, Ugh, that’s all I can do, I’ve done everything. It was more than that. It was actually, dare I say it, a sense of satisfaction.”
Oh left the role that earned her five Supporting Actress Emmy nominations, though she scored her first for Lead Actress this year with Killing Eve. Oh was the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated in the lead actress category, and a win would be another first in history -- but she's not necessarily feeling that pressure. "Thinking ahead or thinking behind is not good for me,” she says. “If it is to happen, then I promise [I’ll say], ‘This is what I feel!’”