Sandra Oh will not be returning to Grey’s Anatomy following the ABC medical drama’s upcoming tenth season.

Oh has been a core member of the cast of Grey’s Anatomy since its premiere season in 2003, playing the relentlessly career-oriented Cristina Yang who’s the unflailingly devoted best friend to Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). “Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go,” Oh told The Hollywood Reporter. It’s such an interesting thing to play a character for so long and to actually get the sense that she wants to be let go as well. [Christina] wants to be let go, and I am ready to let her go.”

“I’ve gone through a lot of therapy over this,” she continued. “I started thinking about it because I had to prepare myself. I gave myself two years to emotionally let go. At the end of last season, [series creator] Shonda [Rhimes] took me aside and aid, ‘What are you thoughts?’ I said, ‘I’m ready.’ ”


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Oh’s announcement that she’d be departing after working on the soapy Shonda Rimes series for 10 years may very well not be the last from one of the show’s pivotal cast members. The contracts of Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd), Justin Chambers (Alex Karev) James Pickens Jr. (Richard Webber) and Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey) are all set to expire at the end of the upcoming season as well. No reports have been made suggesting that any of them have committed to renewing their contracts.

Despite the possibility of losing all of the remaining original cast members, the hospital drama could go on. “It's our intention to have 'Grey’s' on the air for many years to come, with as many of the original cast as possible," an ABC spokesperson said in a statement following Oh’s announcement.

While Rimes might be game to continue on with the show after Oh’s departure, she knows her show will be different in her absence. "One of the best days of my life as a writer happened the day Sandra Oh walked in my door to audition and forever changed the course of Grey's Anatomy with her brilliant, nuanced portrayal of Cristina Yang,” Rimes told THR. “And when Sandra walks out of my door, Grey's Anatomy will be once again be forever changed."

Though Oh has chosen to leave Grey’s Anatomy, its clear that the show will forever have a place in her heart. "I feel like in 10 or 20 years, when I'm lounging around in my muumuu with a martini, I'm going to watch Grey's Anatomy from the pilot to whenever it ends,” she said. “And I'm going to enjoy myself thoroughly and enjoy seeing all those moments and being able to see it with a new perspective.”

Grey’s Anatomy’s 10th season will premiere on ABC Sept. 26 with a two-hour episode.

– Chelsea Regan

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