Sandra Oh has landed a big job hosting the 2019 Golden Globe Awards alongside funny man Andy Samberg. It should be an amazing show, especially considering that she’s a contender to win for best actress for her stellar work on Killing Eve. But who is the amazing lady who’s stolen our hearts on every kind of screen? We’ve compiled a bunch of interesting Sandra Oh facts that might just surprise you.
You probably know the 47-year-old from the decade she spent on the ABC drama Grey’s Anatomy or from the critically acclaimed hit show Killing Eve. Or you might know her from her movies, which include The Princess Diaries, Sideways and Hard Candy. But if you’re looking for even more info about the talented actor ahead of her hosting gig, we’ve got the scoop for you.
She hails from Canada
Mark another one for the Canadians: Sandra Oh was born in Nepean, Canada, an edge city of Ottawa, Ontario. Her parents immigrated to the Great White North from Korea in the early 1960s before Oh was born in 1971. She stayed solely in Canada until the mid-’90s, attending the National Theater School of Canada after high school and then securing starring roles in several Canadian television movies.
She auditioned for Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy
Yes, it’s true. Oh originally auditioned for the role of Dr. Miranda Bailey on the soapy medical drama before taking the role of Dr. Cristina Yang. She was even close to snagging the role, but when offered the opportunity to go to a callback, Oh took a chance and asked to audition for the part that she truly wanted, not the one that she could likely get.
That isn’t the first time she’s used the word no to get what she wants. Oh has said she turned down multiple pilots after quitting Grey’s Anatomy before she found a show that was right for her and committed to Killing Eve.
She was a ballet dancer before she was an actor
Oh was wearing her first tutu at age 4, and her first love was dancing. Although she continued dancing throughout her early school years, she realized early on that she didn’t have what it took to dance professionally and began to focus solely on acting.
“I was very fortunate because although I loved dance [ballet] with all my heart, I knew I was not good enough to be a professional dancer,” she told The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper. “I knew I loved performing. Still nothing beats being on stage for me; I prefer the stage.”
She was married to Alexander Payne
Oh was married to noted filmmaker and screenwriter Alexander Payne, who is known for his work on movies like Election, Sideways and The Descendants. The pair tied the knot in 2003 after dating for five years, but announced their separation in the spring of 2005 and finalized their divorce at the end of 2006.
But even though their relationship didn’t last, the pair worked together on the funny, thoughtful indie flick Sideways, and we’ll always have that.
Oh grew up speaking both Korean and English with her immigrant parents in Canada. Then, when she went to a performing arts college in Montreal, she picked up French too.
She keeps her love life ultra-private these days
Since her relationship with Payne ended, Oh has been extremely mum about her private life and instead focuses interviews on her career (and who can blame her?). While her Instagram shows her living her best life with friends and family, we haven’t seen pics of a beau, although there have been rumors for years that she’s dating musician Andrew Featherston, who we know almost nothing about.
Either way, we’re happy if Oh is happy, and if she’s happy staying private, we’re all for it.
She’s been nominated for six Emmys but has never won
You heard that right. Even though the deeply loved television star has won multiple Genie Awards, Critic’s Choice Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe for best supporting actress in a television series, she’s never cinched an Emmy. And she has been nominated six times, five times for best supporting actress for Grey’s Anatomy and once last year for best lead actress for Killing Eve.
Many fans were rooting for her to be the first Asian woman to win a best actress Emmy, but it wasn’t to be — at least last year.
That’s all we have now from the super-private and super-talented star, who we hope continues to wow us on-screen and win awards. She deserves them. Mark your calendar for the Golden Globes now! The ceremony kicks off Sunday, Jan. 6 at 8/7c on NBC.