The team behind the BBC America series “Killing Eve,” which debuted earlier this year to glowing reviews, has much to celebrate: The series earned two Emmy nominations Thursday, one for Phoebe Waller-Bridge, for outstanding writing for a drama series, and another for its star, Sandra Oh. For her role as Eve Polastri, an M15 officer who becomes obsessed with a merciless hit woman, Ms. Oh, who was born in Canada to Korean parents, is believed to have made history as the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated for best lead actress in a drama series.
On Thursday afternoon, Ms. Oh spoke about her groundbreaking nomination and her feelings about the possibilities for more diverse representation in Hollywood. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
It’s wild to imagine that, in 2018, we’re announcing you as the first Asian woman nominated in your category.
You want to know what? Let’s celebrate it, man. I’m serious, just [expletive] celebrate it. It’s like, we’ve got to start somewhere. And I’m happy to get that ball rolling, because what I hope happens is that next year and the next year and the next year, we will have presence. And the presence will grow not only to Asian-Americans, you know, from yellow to brown, but to all our other sisters and brothers. Our First Nations sisters and brothers. Our sisters and brothers of different sizes and different shapes. If I can be a part of that change, like [expletive], yeah, let’s celebrate it.
The subject of representation is everywhere now in film and TV, but do you feel that the tide is really changing? Or are you more along the lines of being cautiously optimistic?
I want to try and find another word for “cautiously optimistic” because, having been in this business for my entire life now, I know and I realize that change is slow. L et’s try to celebrate it. And to be patient.M aybe that’s it — to be patient and to be relentless about making the change happen.
I mean, women [laughs] — can we talk about women for a second? The change is slow, but let’s just continue pressing on with the change. I’m not going to say that the tide has changed, no. But what I do feel is that people are more open. And what I mean by people — I think people who…