Sandra Oh left her full time gig as Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy behind way back at the end of Season 10. While her character (and not Oh) did make a brief appearance in the following season at Derek's funeral, and Cristina has been referred to several times on the series, Oh herself has never returned. This, of course, doesn't mean that fans are cool with not getting to see Meredith and her "person" on screen together again. While Oh knows we'll never see her on the show, she's very appreciative of her time on Grey's and being asked about when she'd be willing to return, and she revealed why.
Season 17 of Grey's Anatomy, as fans will know all too well, has been punctuated by several surprise appearances from characters (and actors) audiences thought they'd never see again. Sandra Oh, who moved on to a starring role on Killing Eve after her Grey's tenure, was recently asked, during a Los Angeles Times interview, if she'd consider returning to the medical drama. It doesn't sound like there's any amount of audience love which would make Oh go back, but she's clearly glad that fans still have so much interest in her character. Oh noted:
No. I love it, though, and this is also why I really appreciate the show … that I still get asked this. . . . It’s very rare, I would say, to be able to see in such a way the impact of a character. In some ways, you do your work as a bubble and you let it go. I left that show, my God, seven years ago almost. So in my mind, it’s gone. But for a lot of people, it’s still very much alive. And while I understand and I love it, I have moved on.
I'm sure long-time Grey's Anatomy fans are disappointed by the news that, no matter how many times Cristina may be mentioned on the show, there doesn't seem to be any hope of actually seeing Sandra Oh reprise the dedicated surgeon on camera. Even though Oh has "moved on" from the role which defined her career for quite a while, many fans haven't quite been able to do the same. And, it turns out that this is something that Oh actually likes about the experience of playing Cristina.
There's no way that Sanda Oh didn't realize, while still playing Cristina, that she was one of the more popular characters on Grey's. But, once you leave a show with such a massive fanbase, and one which cycles new characters in and out on a semi-regular basis, it would be pretty easy to think that viewers would mostly forget about you and your character once you're gone. Instead, as Oh pointed out, in the seven years since we last saw Cristina Yang, people have continued to hope she's going to head back to her hospital stomping grounds. All that does is show how much they loved the work Oh did as Cristina.
Meredith has been in and out of consciousness this season, and her beautiful brain has given her a safe space on a dream beach where she's been able to visit with several former characters. The opportunity has been there for Cristina to turn up in some capacity, but it's at least good to know that even if Sandra Oh isn't interested in returning, she does appreciate how much we love and miss Cristina.