Oh, Sandra!

5.8.2006

By Jeffrey Epstein

In Out's June Hot Issue, Sandra Oh is Hottest Gay Icon in the Making. In exclusive outtakes from our chat with the actress, best-known these days for playing the acerbic Dr. Christina Yang on Grey's Anatomy, talks about her late-blooming sexuality and why she understands people who stay in the closet.

Have you always felt the gay love?
I don't know when that started really happening. That's when you really get a sense of who's watching. I have always felt it as a presence, but for real I did Diana Son's play Stop Kiss at the Public in '99. I have played a lot of gay characters in theater before, but this was the first piece of theater that a lot of people saw. And then Under the Tuscan Sun, too, there was a lot more notice. But it's grown as my career has grown. It's good love to have.

Why do you think the gays love Christina?
I like the fact that she's someone who is their own person who is bucking a lot of things. But the wittiness, her sense of humor, comes from a beautifully arrogant and insecure place. I like that about her. I find it fascinating. I think you have to be a fairly aware person to play someone who is deeply unaware.

When you played gay in Under the Tuscan Sun did anyone'including your 'people''advise against doing that?

No. And if anyone said that, I wouldn't have paid attention anyway. I have no one around me who would say anything like that. Half of Hollywood is gay'at least the people I run into! I'm not a person whose sexuality is so much of their personae. I understand it's a very personal decision for actors, if they're gay, whatever they want to do with that info, I understand. If you're successfully seen as some hot guy and you're hired to be the hot guy, and because of where and how we live you decide to stay in the closet because who you are might alienate your audience' if that's important to you, that's important. But I don't have that pressure to fulfill a certain type of archetypal thing in society. There's no pressure.

Your home country of Canada has legalized gay marriage. How did you feel when you heard that?
Oh, so proud! Legalizing things that make people get along better: pot and gay marriage. What's the big deal? Live and let live. If you want to love who you want to love, go ahead!

Have you always had gay people in your life?
I guess so. I didn't notice until I left home and went to theater school. I think I was really a late bloomer in a lot of my sexual consciousness. I'm ultimately happy with my development.

For more Sandra, pick up the June issue of Out.

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