One of the original and most beloved characters of Grey’s Anatomy will take her leave in 2014. Five-time Emmy nominee and one-time Golden Globe winner, Sandra Oh, who has played the “brilliant but demanding” Cristina Yang since the ABC medical drama began in 2005, will take her leave at the end of the season.
Oh spoke to Hollywood Reporter and said, “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.”
However, this was still a difficult decision. Oh admits to needing quite a bit of therapy to prepare herself for the life-changing decision. Although many others have left the cast of Grey’s Anatomy, including Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight, creator Shonda Rimes points out that Oh’s exits feels different and bittersweet. Rimes reassures fans that she will give Cristina Yang the exit she deserves.
“Letting go of such a huge part of my life … I want to cry right now,” Oh said. “‘Grey’s’ has been the most important role of my life. Playing Cristina and growing her and growing myself in her, I want to usher her into the next section of her life in the best way possible. It’s got to be Cristina Yang’s happily ever after.”
Truthfully, it’s hard not to be sad over the news of Yang’s departure. Despite her rather cold and sarcastic personality, she provided a view of Asian-Americans in main stream media that the world was unaccustomed to. No longer did we see the shy and bashful Asian character who innocently followed behind lead characters. Cristina Yang was ruthless, bold, driven and abrasive. She had no problem being the golden center of attention– in fact she strived for it. Not only was this an Asian character with a strong personality, this was an Asian woman that was a force to be reckoned with.
In honor of Cristina Yang’s contribution to Asian-American presence in the media (a rather badass presence if I may add) we’ve decided to put together a list of Top Ten (GIF Worthy) Reasons We’ll Miss Cristina Yang: