Sandra Oh's mother warned her: if you get into acting, you're gonna get tangled up in drugs and prostitution. Her parents were Korean immigrants, settled in Ottawa, very religious - a business guy and a biochemist (you know, total slackers), and when Sandra started falling in love with performing arts as a kid they got prettttttty nervous.
So you can imagine why after several years of being a broke, struggling actor, Sandra was the nervous one, 'cause she had to show her parents her performance as a prostitute in 'The Diary of Evelyn Lau.' Evelyn Lau was one of Sandra's first major roles, and it won her a Gemini. The director of that film still remembers Sandra walking into the audition, asking for a minute to centre herself and then lying down in the middle of the floor until she was ready to get up.
Even though Sandra's kicked some serious ass in the States (remember when she beat up Thomas Haden Church with her motorcycle helmet in the movie 'Sideways'?) working in Canada is important to her. She recently took on the role of Dr. Judy Song in CBC's 'Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays'. She feels Canada gives her a certain freedom that she hasn't always experienced as an Asian actress in Hollywood. For years, Sandra found she was a tough sell for American movies, and she'd only get offered bit parts like "The Sassy Best Friend".
TV's been a different story, of course: 'Grey's Anatomy' is just finished its eighth season, and is coming back in the fall with season nine. Dr. Cristina Yang's been a stand-out character on the series since it started back in '05, bringing heart and humanity to a tough but troubled doctor.