Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang) could have started Grey's Anatomy as a resident, but instead she demoted herself to the position of lowly intern. That's right — she initially auditioned for the part of Bailey (eventually given to Chandra Wilson), and the casting agents even expressed interest in her filling the role.
But, just like the go-getter surgeons on the show, Sandra pursued the job she really wanted.
Ten years later, the 42-year-old actress recollects the process in ABC and Cadillac's "Beyond the Screen" video series.
"I remember exactly when I was rehearsing for Grey's Anatomy and meeting Shonda [Rhimes, creator of the show] and getting the part," Sandra recalls. "When I first auditioned, I actually auditioned for the part of Bailey. And I played Bailey nothing like how Bailey was supposed to really be, which is Chandra Wilson. And they said. 'Great!' Then they called me back. And they said, 'You know what, we're gonna test a bunch of people. Why don't you come in? We'd love for you to come in and test for Bailey.'"
Sandra is likely referring to "screen tests," in which actors try out roles on camera, so that casting agents can get a better sense of how they'll play on screen.
"And I said 'No, I don't want to test for Bailey. There's another part that you haven't cast yet, and that's the part of Cristina,'" Sandra continues. "So I'm gonna say what I really, really want — which is, I wanna audition for the part of Cristina Yang. And then they called and they said, 'You got the part.'"
It was a real gamble, but it played off — to the tune of five Emmy nominations so far. Get it, girl!