You have played some great lesbian roles. When are we
going to get to see you play lesbian again?
I’m in The Night Listener with Robin
Williams, and maybe my character’s a
lesbian—I don’t know. I mean, his character is
gay, so maybe his bookkeeper is a lesbian!
And in 3 Needles you play a nun.
Yeah, go figure that.
Another lesbian favorite.
Oh, my God, and I play a nun with two other probable
lesbian favorites: Chloë Sevigny and Olympia
Dukakis! That’s because Thom Fitzgerald, our
director, that’s his taste as well.
Your role in Under the Tuscan Sun—a
pregnant lesbian whose partner breaks up with
her—was certainly not stereotypical.
Yeah, Kate Walsh—she’s my girlfriend [and
also a costar on Grey’s
Anatomy]—gives me a kiss and says hello, and then
we say that we’re pregnant. It’s not as
if the character comes on-screen and the second thing
from her mouth is “lesbian.” It’s like
being an Asian woman on-screen. I’m at the
place where I feel I don’t need to justify why
I’m there. What’s great about
Grey’s Anatomy is that we have not
really dealt with the races of our characters yet.
I’ll be excited to see at what point
we’re going to get into situations where we can
Speaking of race, some of us first saw you in the movie
Double Happiness, in which you played a
Canadian-Chinese woman caught between her own
needs and her parents’ expectations.
Oh, God bless you! It always thrills me when
people have seen my previous work, and some of it is
the work that’s nearest and dearest to my heart.
How do you manage to be on a hit TV series as well as act
in plays and in what you call
Television is, like, my day job, and I moonlight in
theater and films. It’s wonderful and
challenging to play one character for years, but
it’s also terrific to play different characters. I
feel faithful to the indie world because
they’ve always wanted what I have to offer.
Finally, on a personal note, you aren’t married
[to Sideways director Alexander Payne]
anymore. Are you single? Engaged in a new relationship?
I’m engaged in life. Life is engaging me.