How Sandra Oh Made Emmy History

Sandra Oh became the first actress of Asian descent to earn an Emmy nomination for lead actress in a drama series, making history with her breathtaking performance on BBC America's Killing Eve.

The actress, who was nominated before for her role as Cristina Yang on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, reacted to the news with an adorable selfie on Twitter.

"[Oh my God, what the f—]?? This is me hearing about Emmy nom [with] fellow sister [Michelle Krusiec] — my expression is kinda ..what?"

Oh also opened up about the historic nomination in a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter shortly after nominations for the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards were announced Thursday.

"I'm struggling to find the right words for it," Oh told the outlet. "I feel quite serious about it. What's a blend of the words 'seriousness' and 'joyous'? I'm absolutely thrilled. I feel my community at all times; I am my community at all times. I have joy not only for the show and myself and family, but also for my community. Hopefully my community can feel like they have representation as well."

Oh, who stars on Killing Eve as MI5 spy Eve Polastri, has been nominated for an Emmy five times before. She earned five consecutive nominations rom 2005-2009 for her role on Grey's, all in the supporting actress category, but never won.

Oh also talked about why her role on the new series is a breakthrough.

"What breaks through is the time and the focus of the show on these two characters. It is focusing on female psychology and the female psyche and is doing that unabashedly in a thriller. I don't think that we've seen that before," she said.

Back in 2010, The Good Wife's Archie Panjabi became the first actress of Asian descent to take home an Emmy for acting, winning in the supporting actress category. In 2017, Aziz Ansari, Riz Ahmed and BD Wong all earned acting nominations. Ahmed won leading actor in a drama for HBO's The Night Of, becoming the first man of Asian descent to win an acting Emmy. Ansari won the Emmy for best outstanding writing in a comedy series for Netflix's Master of None.

"I wait for everyone else who will also have the opportunity," Oh said of Ahmed's win and her own nomination. "It cannot rest. I don't want to rest on the fact that a handful of us have had the opportunity and that it stops there. I want the movement to keep on going. I want the ripple to turn into a wave."

Killing Eve also secured a nomination for writer Phoebe Waller Bridge in 2018.


"Her writing is confident in her own self, and I think that's what resonates and what cuts through," Oh says of the series creator. "It's what makes it so mad, naughty and viciously smart. I love working with her. She is a real special artist, and I hope to continue working with her."

Take a look at the full list of nominations for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, which will air Monday, Sept. 17 on NBC.