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Sandra Oh says she ‘would not be here’ without Grey’s Anatomy’s Cristina Yang

Sandra Oh played Cristina Yang for 10 years. She knows how important that character is to both Grey’s Anatomy fans and her own career.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Oh said, “I would not be here if it weren’t for [Cristina], but she also just didn’t happen. I made her.”

Sandra Oh on Grey's Anatomy
Sandra Oh on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. 

Oh was with Grey’s Anatomy from the very beginning, bringing Cristina to life in the series’ pilot. As one of Bailey’s (Chandra Wilson) interns, Cristina quickly established herself as the most competitive. She was there to be a surgeon, and nobody was going to get in her way.

Over the course of 10 seasons, Cristina experienced just about anything you could think of: Friendship, love, heartbreak, illness, grief, and more than one near-death experience. She became Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) person. She lost her eyebrows on the day she nearly married Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington). She then kept her eyebrows when she married (and later divorced) Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). She survived a plane crash. She operated under extreme duress when a gunman shot Derek (Patrick Dempsey). And she became the renowned heart surgeon she’d always dreamt of becoming — so much so that she moved to Switzerland and took Burke’s place at an excellent program.

And despite making it out of the series alive, Oh has been very vocal about not wanting to return to the role.

But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t appreciate it for what it was. “I love that people still love Cristina,” Oh tells THR. “When there is a 15-year-old girl who then comes to me and is like, ‘I’m in medical school because of Cristina,’ I love it. I never, ever forget how important Cristina is. I never do because those 15-year-old girls find me, and now 10 years on, I have much more appreciation for their appreciation.”

Cristina Yang would be proud.

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