Sandra turns 43 today — July 20, 2014 — and to celebrate her birthday, we've rounded up seven facts about the five-time Emmy nominee that even the most diehard Grey's fan might not know.
1. She was a ballet dancer. While it's impossible to imagine Cristina in a tutu, we can see why the tall and graceful Sandra would be a good dancer.
2. She's multilingual. She speaks fluent Korean, English, French, and Spanish
3. She was a member of a champion improv team. She was part of the National Champion Canadian Improv Team at The Canadian Improv Games during the late '90s. Cool!
4. She and Kate Walsh worked together before Grey's. Sandra and Kate Walsh (Addison Montgomery) played lovers in the 2003 film Under the Tuscan Sun.
5. She's terrible at riding motorcycles. Sandra had to learn to ride a motorcycle for her role in the critically acclaimed film Sideways, but she told EDGE she was "terrible" at it, and wouldn't trust herself on one again.
6. She thinks fame makes it harder to be a good actor. "Your ability to be authentic is compromised," she explained to EDGE. "Fame is detrimental to one's true artistry because that artistry comes out in the privacy of one's being with one's soul — when your soul feels safe in its surrounding to be free, to be authentic."
7. She wants to be the best. Like Cristina, she sets high standards for herself. She told the Los Angeles Times (via People) that when she was in theatre school she "was called 'The Quote Child'" because there were so few Asian actors in the school. "I just didn't let it get to me," she said. "I decided very early that I was going to be an actor. Period. The best actor possible."
Catch Grey’s Anatomy this fall on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.