"Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go," Oh, 42, tells THRof her decision to end her run as doctor Cristina Yang. "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."
The actress, who earned five Emmy nominations, one Golden Globe statuette and SAG Award during her time with Grey's, adds that her decision to leave was a difficult one which came about after much deliberation.
"I've gone through a lot of therapy over this," she explained. "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.'"
Though she's leaving the show to pursue other opportunities, Oh says she is looking forward to sending off Cristina with a "happily ever after" and spend the rest of her Thursday nights propped in front of the TV, keeping tabs on the happenings of Seattle Grace.
"I feel like in 10 or 20 years, when I'm lounging around in my muumuu with a martini, I'm going to watch Grey's Anatomy from the pilot to whenever it ends, and I'm going to enjoy myself thoroughly and enjoy seeing all those moments and being able to see it with a new perspective."