Wednesday 21 August 2019

Sandra Oh: Before Killing Eve I couldn’t see myself in a leading role

The actress said her self-doubt felt like a ‘shard in my heart’.

Sandra Oh (Ian West/PA)
Sandra Oh (Ian West/PA)

By Alex Green, Press Association

Killing Eve star Sandra Oh has said she did not consider herself a leading lady before landing the part of Eve Polastri in the hit spy thriller.

The actress, 47, said the pang of disbelief she felt when her agent told her she had secured the starring role felt like a “shard in my heart”.

Previous to her turn in the cat-and-mouse drama, Oh was best known for appearing as Cristina Yang in US medical series Grey’s Anatomy between 2005 and 2014.

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Sandra Oh on the cover of Marie Claire (Marie Claire/PA)

But the Canadian said she “just couldn’t see it” when her agent told her she had been chosen to play the British intelligence agent in the BBC America production.

She told Marie Claire magazine: “I was like, ‘What’s my part?’ When my agent said, ‘You’re f***ing Eve,’ I just couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see myself in a leading role…

“It’s like a f***ing shard in my heart (that I felt that way) because we work really hard, love what we do and understand how important it is to be visible and to see ourselves, right?

“But to catch myself in a moment where I’m not (doubting myself) is still really difficult.”

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Sandra Oh plays Eve Polastri alongside Fiona Shaw’s Carolyn Martens in season two of Killing Eve (Parisa Taghizadeh/BBC America/PA)

She also told the publication finding fame for a second time in middle-age had a “deeper meaning”.

She said: “I’m grateful that it’s happened at 47, because I’ve done enough work on myself to really experience it. And then, too, it just has deeper meaning for me.”

Oh also said she was content without children, and that she felt fulfilled in her role as aunt.

“I went through that period, I’d say in my mid to late 30s into 40, where it was like, I make a great living and I could do this (have children) on my own, and I didn’t,” she said.

“I have an extremely fulfilling life as an aunt, not only to my nieces and nephews but also to a lot of my friends’ children.”

Killing Eve returns for second season on June 8 at 9.15pm on BBC One.

The full interview is in the July issue of Marie Claire.

PA Media

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