Many television series go past the border of providing entertainment to address serious real-life issues in our immediate society.
They incorporate these issues into their scenes, and this helps the actors and viewers to face such issues and contribute to its solution. Many series have been applauded for their portrayal and address of issues such as sex, sexual identity, race, and racial identity, topics that are necessary but tough to discuss.
Sometimes, the portrayal of these themes isn’t glaring and direct but subtle points in the scenes that show diversity and inclusion, help viewers and actors to overcome their personal bias against these issues.
A perfect example is popular actress Sandra Oh, who admitted that her role in the British thriller series “Killing Eve” taught her a lesson about her internalized racism and helped her overcome it.
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‘Killing Eve’ Takes Spy Thriller To New Heights
There are many crime thriller series, but there aren’t many that are as unique as Killing Eve. The show has released three seasons so far, with season four set for release in 2022.
The series, which premiered in 2018, focuses on Eve (played by Oh), an adventurous MI5 spy who is bored of her career and desk job, and Villanelle (played by Jodie Comer), a deadly assassin who loves her luxurious life and is willing to maintain it no matter the cost.
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When Eve is put on Villanelle’s case, and the two meet, they become fascinated and attracted to each other, intertwining their lives and blurring their opposing goals the further they fall.
Oh took on the role of Eve not long after she departed from “Grey’s Anatomy,” where she had a long run as the character, Dr. Christina Yang. She has severally expressed that she seriously considers any role she takes and how it fits the goals she has set for herself as an actress.
Also, she noted that taking on the role of Eve has been a major part of the journey to achieving those goals. Finally, she said she was hooked to Eve’s character from the very first script reading for the pilot episode.
Oh’s Lessons From Her Role On Killing Eve
“Killing Eve” is now a successful and award-winning series with millions of fans and viewers all over the world. In particular, Oh’s performance has earned her multiple Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations and awards.
However, Oh revealed in an interview with NPR that it was difficult for her to imagine landing the lead role as Eve. She recalled that when she got the call about her successful audition saying; “When I was first offered the project of Killing Eve, I remember asking my agent, ‘I don’t get it, like, who am I playing?’ And my agent was saying, ‘Eve, you’re playing Eve.”
And for Oh, that was the moment she realized that she had internalized all the racist stereotypes about characters and roles that she was able to portray on TV, and despite her many years of success as an actress, she still had a limited perception of herself.
In her words; “That was really a significant moment for me to understand… how profound my internalized racism was.”
Oh Spoke Out Against Limiting Asians
Oh has always been an open and vocal supporter of an increased and more powerful representation of diversity and for equal opportunities for Asian stars in the world of entertainment.
She once spoke about the lack of progress in the UK concerning the inclusion of Asian people and cited an example that she’s the only Asian on a set with over seventy white people.
She also recently gave an amazing speech at a “Stop Asian hate” peaceful rally to speak out against hate crimes against AAPI people. Her career itself is a beacon for breaking the stereotypical mold that has captured many Asian stars in entertainment over the years.
In 2019, she became the first Asian actress to host the Golden Globe Award ceremony, and she has also won two Golden Globe Awards herself, another great feat for Asian actors.
Oh’s Impact In The Asian-American Community
During her interview with NPR, Oh spoke about her responsibility as a role model in the Asian-American community, and how she wants to use her platform to always leave an impact.
She spoke about this in relation to how she handled internalized racism and limitations, and said, “it was an important thing for me to do because I just felt like I needed to connect with the Asian American community. I felt I didn’t really know what I had to offer other than to say like, let’s work through this fear that we have because that’s what will destroy us if we bend to the fear.”
Several celebrities have joined Oh to speak out against Anti-Asian racist incidents and to call for the protection of Asian families and communities in America. Some of these famous people include Daniel Dae Kim, Eddie Huang, and Joanna Gaines.