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Sandra Oh on 'Killing Eve' and At-Home Life

The Golden Globe-winning actress is back on Season 3 of her thriller hit

spinner image Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri in Killing Eve
Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri in a scene from the Season 3 premiere episode of "Killing Eve."
Des Willie/BBCA

Sandra Oh, 48 (Grey's Anatomy, Sideways), is dealing with socially distant living, and exulting in the return of her hit show Killing Eve (AMC, BBC America, April 12, 9 p.m. ET). In Season 2, her assassin-hunting MI5 character Eve Polastri got shot by the gorgeous, impulsive, dressed-to-kill, completely insane assassin who's in love with her, Villanelle (Jodie Comer). But Eve survived — and in real life, Oh intends to do so, too.

Surprise! Eve's alive

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Eve did not die, but she is forever changed. The naive bounce that she had, and even her go-getterness, has gone underground. She's very much a broken person. This season there is a harrowing event that energizes her to continue the pursuit of Villanelle again. During this time when people are at home and spending a lot of their time being entertained and positively distracted, I am very, very happy to be a part of that.

Beating isolation

Last night I had a Zoom cocktail date with friends and then a Zoom dinner. It was really great. And I talk to my parents in Vancouver every day now. It's hard to be away from them. More than ever and deeper than ever, I am leaning into my meditation practice. The community that I already know shifted online, but it's much more frequent. I feel like if I don't keep the mind in a growth-brain, mindful space, the propensity to fall into anxiety or negative stories is quite high. I'm sure, as it is for everyone.

TV therapy

You go, “I have never watched The Sopranos.” When it was on I didn't have HBO — even though, for God's sake, I worked for HBO. It's been an amazing time to go back and look at all the classic films on the Criterion Channel. With so much production down, there are so many films and shows worth watching that have already been done. Like, why not watch The Wire again?

Housework therapy

I've been cooking a lot of beans and quinoa, getting inventive with potatoes and carrots and onions. And baking, and cleaning. I sent my mother pictures of what I've been cleaning to prove I'm finally becoming the daughter she always wanted. Because I'm cleaning.

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Hollywood's Asian boom

spinner image Sandra Oh attends the Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

For the past year and a half, suddenly there were so many more Asian American-led projects coming my way. [Oh is the first American of Asian descent to win Golden Globes and Emmy nomination for lead actress in a drama, for Killing Eve.] Because of COVID-19, there's a retraction on all fronts in our industry. The change just has to continue and deepen.

Aging fearlessly

Ooh no, oh no, no, no, no, I'm not worried about aging. I'm really looking forward to it, to moving into this space of maturity. I really deeply understand why people would never want to go back and be 20, 30, even 40. I feel now I'm getting a handle on [stuff]. I'm going to have a Zoom meeting with all my mates from theater school — and we have not seen each other since 1993.

Turning 50 next year

When it's my birthday, I tell everybody. Six months before I turned 40, I emailed all of my friends around the world: “I am turning 40. Come to my house for three days and put on a [expletive] show for me.” It was amazing. I don't know what I'm going to make my friends do when I'm 50. I have to find something really nice, very celebratory. The awesome thing about getting older is, you're not depending on exterior validation to know the value of your work. I can't tell what the future will be, or the next project, but with this much experience, I know how to choose correctly.

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