When I met Shonda Rhimes at my audition for Grey's Anatomy in 2004, I thought, whether or not these people like my work, at least she's going to get me. But she didn't just get me, she got everybody. She also got everybody to tune in to the characters and world she created every week.
No one expected itno one. Overnight she went from independent screenwriter and single mom to a public figure, the guiding force and creative engine for more than 200 employees. Shonda, 37, suddenly had this immense responsibility and pressure, which has changed her life in a way that no one can possibly prepare for.
In real life, she's a rather shy, private person who prefers living in her head to dealing with the myriad producers and studio executives and associations who all want something from herto write for them, to sell for them, to speak for them.
And watching that introverted, creative and independent spirit struggle and learn so quickly to manage and balance and truly own all that power was like watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon. She did it with self-deprecating humor, brutal honesty and no small amount of grace.
Somehow, in the midst of all that pressure, Shonda's vision for the characters became more sharply focused, more self-assured. She found that her responsibility was to them and her creative voice. And by remaining true to that voice and singular vision, I think she has created something great. As a fan, I, for one, can't wait to see what happens next.
Sandra Oh plays Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy
Next Kara Walker