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Grey's Anatomy Fame Made Sandra Oh 'Very, Very Sick' With Insomnia and Body Pains

Oh says her sudden stardom led to serious health effects.
  • Sandra Oh in Grey's Anatomy (Photo: Richard Cartwright/ABC/Everett Collection)
    Sandra Oh in Grey's Anatomy (Photo: Richard Cartwright/ABC/Everett Collection)

    As Sandra Oh rose to fame on Grey's Anatomy, her health took a toll, she revealed during a Variety Actors on Actors conversation with Squid Game star Jung Ho-yeon.

    "Honestly, I got sick," said Oh. "I think my whole body was very, very sick. Even though you keep on working, but it's just like, 'Oh, I can't sleep. Oh, my back hurts, I don't know what's wrong with my skin.'"

    Oh noted her sudden stardom pre-dated the rise of social media, so the context of her career growth is different from what many young actors experience today. "When Grey’s Anatomy came, I think my life changed very much," she explained. "It's tricky to imagine, because this is almost 20 years ago. So the context is very different. But the stress is the same, or the confusion is the same … when people are in extremely amazing, privileged, heavy responsibility positions like this. Your personal health is — I think I realized — came first."

    The Emmy nominee ultimately realized she needed to be happy with herself before she could be comfortable in the spotlight.

    "I learned that I had to take care of my health first," Oh told Ho-yeon. "But that's not only your body. That is your soul. That is definitely your mind. So even those things like doubt, question. 'Cause you can't, ultimately, depend on anyone else. You have to somehow find it within yourself. You ask people's opinions, yes of course, but ultimately, we are alone with ourselves."

    Past seasons of Grey's Anatomy are currently streaming on Netflix.

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    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy