Grey's Anatomy star quits

2013-08-14 15:11
Los Angeles - Sandra Oh, who has played Dr Cristina Yang in every episode of the popular medical drama Grey's Anatomy since season 1, has announced she is leaving the series after 10 years.

"It's been a great privilege to play the character of Cristina Yang on GA and I am both sad and excited to see where this, her final season will take her," Sandra said in a statement.

"It was an emotional and deeply creative decision for me and I feel fully supported by Shonda and the writers. It’s so rare in an actor’s life to be able to explore and grow a character so fully, so completely. I am profoundly grateful to everyone at GA for the opportunity."

'Brilliant, nuanced portrayal'

Sandra is one of the few regular Grey's Anatomy cast members to have won major acting awards for the show, including a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award, in her role as the prickly but brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon.

Her character is set to depart the show at the end of season 10, which premieres in the US on 26 September.

The show's series creator Shonda Rimes was reflective in her reaction to the news: "One of the best days of my life as a writer happened the day Sandra Oh walked in my door to audition and forever changed the course of Grey's Anatomy with her brilliant, nuanced portrayal of Cristina Yang.

"Over the past ten seasons, I have been made better by Sandra's trust, faith and friendship and I can't quantify how grateful I am for her collaboration on a character we both love so deeply," she said.

Dr Owen Hunt reacts

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, which first announced the news, Sandra shared her reasons for leaving the hit series: "Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go.

"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.”

Scottish actor Kevin McKidd, who has played Cristina Yang's love interest, Dr Owen Hunt, since season 5, said he has no plans to leave Grey's Anatomy in the wake of Sandra's shock announcement.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: "Selfishly, I was hoping and wishing she might make a different choice and decide to stay because I love working with her."

* Grey's Anatomy season 9 is currently airing on M-Net Showcase (DStv channel 113), and season 8 airs on FOX (DStv 125).

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