Sandra Oh Almost Wasn’t Cast As Cristina Yang In ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Sandra Oh is once again in the center of rumors that she may return to Grey’s Anatomy for Season 12, according to Bustle. The 44-year-old actress could appear in the second half of the ongoing season, which came back after hiatus last month and will run through the end of May.

The ABC series’ showrunner, Shonda Rhimes, earlier announced she had quite a few surprises up her sleeve for this season, but could one of those surprises be Sandra Oh’s return to the series? Oh’s character, Cristina Yang, was last seen in Season 10 taking over Burke’s hospital in Zurich.

Watch below for Sandra Oh’s final scene in Grey’s Anatomy.

And that was the moment when Grey’s Anatomy fans started missing one of their most favorite characters of the show. But although the chances of seeing Sandra Oh back on the show are rather small, Rhimes, ABC, and Oh herself have neither confirmed nor denied the ongoing rumors about the potential return of the character. And it’s not like fans are asking Rhimes to return one of the show’s dead characters (and there are quite a few dead surgeons that the fans miss), they are asking to bring Sandra Oh’s character back for at least a few episodes.

The rumors about Sandra Oh’s potential return were started by the Day Herald, which posted unsourced information claiming that Meredith, played by Ellen Pompeo, will be “teaming up” with Cristina Yang in an upcoming episode. However, other sources dismissed the information as not credible, since it wasn’t confirmed by anyone else.

And while that rumor got Grey’s Anatomy fans excited about Sandra Oh’s possible return, the chances are rather small that the information is true. The character is not expected to make the big return this season or the next season, according to Bustle.

Nearly two years ago, Sandra Oh said in an interview that she would be open to return to the series in the future, and plus the actress still spends some of her free time with her former co-stars.

But while there is no credible information that would either confirm or deny Oh’s possible return to the show, Grey’s Anatomy fans shouldn’t give up hope. It’s Shonda Rhimes we’re talking about, and this woman is capable of making big surprises.

In her book Year of Yes released in 2015, Rhimes reveals she had almost made a mistake as the show-runner of Grey’s Anatomy, according to Business Insider. And this mistake revolved around the choice to cast Sandra Oh as Cristina.

When Rhimes started the casting process for the ABC hit show, the show-runner was faced with a decision to cast Sandra Oh or a particular actor, who was supported by the show’s team, for the role of Cristina Yang. The team hadn’t yet met Sandra Oh at that time, and they all agreed that this unknown actor was great and perfectly suited for the role.

But Rhimes had doubts, so she kept telling the show’s team that she needed more time to think. And the showrunner was motivated to make the “right” decision after her casting director, Linda, called her on the phone and reminded her that it was her show and that if she were to cast someone she didn’t want, it wouldn’t be her show anymore.

Then Rhimes organized a group call with the team, and after hesitating a bit more, she finally said “No” to the team and told them about the actress she thought was perfect for the role, Sandra Oh.

The team wasn’t happy with the fact that Rhimes had turned down the actor they approved for the role and tried to convince her otherwise, but then the team met Sandra Oh the next day, and they realized the show-runner was right all along.

In the book, Rhimes wrote that it was her very first “No” at work.

“Because of that NO? I decided that I was steering the ship. And I started behaving that way.”

[Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images]