Sandra Oh Will 'Never, Ever Forget' Enduring Legacy of Her “Grey's Anatomy” Character: 'I Love It'

Though she has no plans to return to the medical drama, Oh says she loves "that people still love Cristina"

Karen Neal/Walt Disney Television via Getty Sandra Oh as Dr. Cristina Yang on
Karen Neal/Walt Disney Television via Getty Sandra Oh as Dr. Cristina Yang on 'Grey's Anatomy'

Sandra Oh may not want to step back into Dr. Cristina Yang’s shoes, but she knows how important it was to walk in them in the first place.

The Grey's Anatomy alum, 52, has said many times that she does not want to return to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, which she exited after season 10. However, she recently told The Hollywood Reporter, “I love that people still love Cristina.”

It’s been over a decade since she left for good, but Oh revealed people still come up to her with stories of how her Grey’s Anatomy character has influenced their lives in massive ways.

Related: 'Grey's Anatomy' Cast: Where Are They Now?

“When there is a 15-year-old girl — and she wasn’t even born [when Grey’s premiered in 2005] — who then comes to me and is like, ‘I’m in medical school because of Cristina,’ I love it,” she said.

“I never, ever forget how important Cristina is,” she added. “I never do because those 15-year-old girls find me, and now 10 years on, I have much more appreciation for their appreciation.”

<p>Elyse Jankowski/WireImage</p> Sandra Oh in 2024

Elyse Jankowski/WireImage

Sandra Oh in 2024

Oh — whose stint on Grey’s earned her her first Golden Globe, as well as five Emmy nominations — has no desire to reprise her role on the hit medical drama, one of her former costars is always holding out hope for her return.

In March, Kevin McKidd, who plays Dr. Owen Hunt in the series, told PEOPLE he thinks he and Oh’s characters have some unfinished business — and he says her return to the Grey’s set  “would be really great television.”

“I was just talking about it the other night, I was like, ‘I feel like we should try and get Cristina to come back,’” he said of Oh, who played his former on-screen wife on the series.

Related: The Most Dramatic Grey's Anatomy Departures

<p>Craig Sjodin/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Kevin McKidd and actress Sandra Oh on 'Grey's Anatomy'

Craig Sjodin/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Kevin McKidd and actress Sandra Oh on 'Grey's Anatomy'

Exploring what that cameo may look like, he added, “And maybe it's something to do with some heart transplant or something that she has to show up or I don't know.”

McKidd, 50, also told PEOPLE that a conversation between the former couple would be “complicated,” to say the least.

“There's such a love between Cristina and Owen, and when they said goodbye to each other, they didn't really get a proper goodbye with each other,” he said. “It was kind of left hanging. Cristina was up there in the gallery and Owen was stuck in the OR, they literally just nodded at each other and she had to leave.”

Added McKidd: “So I think there's a lot of history there they would have to talk about.”

Related: 'Grey's Anatomy' 's Kevin McKidd Says He's 'Always Needling' for Sandra Oh to Return to the Series

The Grey’s star also wondered what his character’s ex-flame is up to now, saying, “I wonder, is she married now? Does she have a husband? I don't think so.”

“I think she's still on this single-minded track and Owen's happily married with Teddy now, but there's all that history between him and Cristina,” he added. “I think it would be an amazing episode.”

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For now, fans can catch Oh on the Robet Downey Jr.-led limited series The Sympathizer, which just wrapped its first season.

"In some ways, [doing The Sympathizer] was a choice based on working relationships, and then it really also encapsulated or included a purposefulness of how I want to be as an actor — not only onscreen, but off," she also told The Hollywood Reporter. "It really became something deeper for me, because I could really suddenly feel the past 30 years when I would walk on set."

Grey's Anatomy is available to stream on Hulu, and The Sympathizer is streaming in full on Max.

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