"This is a heartbreak that I feel for my community of Asian-Americans"

Sandra Oh has said she feels a “heartbreak” for underrepresented communities such as Asian Americans.

In an interview with Elle, Sandra Oh was discussing her latest TV show Killing Eve, in which she plays lead character Eve Polastri.

Avoiding giving away spoilers, Oh said the fate of her character is “not anything for me as an actress to find out. I’m still exploring as Eve is still exploring.”

When asked about representation, Oh said she was both angry and heartbroken by the lack of Asian representation on screen.

“The heartbreaking grief is the seed of anger, you know what I mean?” Oh said. “The point is to talk about the heartbreak, the origin, that’s where it lies. The anger is the second arrow of heartbreak, so I absolutely, consciously try not to live there because I know behind anger is really grief.”

The former Grey’s Anatomy star added that her heartbreak is one she feels for the entire Asian American community. “I want to make [clear] that this is not a personalized grief, it’s not a personalized heartbreak—I feel it for my community,” she said. “This is a heartbreak that I feel for my community of Asian-Americans and people who are just not represented, who are not reflected—not a personal heartbreak that I speak about.”

“This is much more universal. If you are familiar with that heartbreak, you know what I’m talking about.”

Oh went on to say that securing the role of Eve made her realise that her heartbreak is internalised.

“That was actually one of the heartbreaking things for me,” Oh said. “I realized in that moment how deep the internalization was. I’ve done a lot of work, I’ve worked consistently; and in that moment, 30 years into working this industry, it really rocked me.

“That, as hard as I practice to try to stay aware, it’s like, well, it’s not like it’s not present in me as well. That is how challenging it is: It’s not just, “I can’t get a audition,” because that’s true, but it’s also internal. That’s still the dragon that I am trying to mount and ride.”