Before she played Sun on Lost , Yunjin Kim reveals she auditioned for Grey's Anatomy
Lost alum Yunjin Kim almost traded in sandy beaches and smoke monsters for hospital scrubs.
Before she landed on the mysterious island (a.k.a. Hawaii) she would call home for six seasons on ABC's hit supernatural sci-fi drama, Kim reveals she actually auditioned for Grey's Anatomy — but not for the role you may think. Speaking recently to EW, Kim recalled the time when she was transitioning her acting career from Korea to America and she had a holding deal with ABC where she could only audition for shows on that network.
"They actually paid me to bring me out in L.A. to wait around and audition for their shows; it was such a sweet deal," Kim says. "Lost was one of my first auditions but Grey's Anatomy was my first. I did not audition for Sandra Oh's character [Cristina Yang], it was for Izzie. And I got a callback."
BOB D'AMICO/ABC; FRANK OCKENFELS/ABC
And when Kim auditioned for Lost she actually was up for the role of Kate, which eventually went to her costar Evangeline Lilly.
"My character was written after my audition; Sun became Sun after my audition," Kim says. "They were like, 'You're so good but you're not right for Kate.' I thought, 'Great, I had a great audition with J.J. Abrams, I'm happy with that,' and kind of closed the chapter on that. I got a call a couple hours later from my agent, and they were super excited. They're like, 'They're going to write a role for you.' I had a phone call with J.J. for about 40 minutes [after that]."
But Kim still kept her Grey's Anatomy callback for the role of Izzie Stevens on the books just in case.
"When this whole thing went down with Lost as far as J.J. is going to write me a role and how amazing that was, that day or the next day, I had a callback," she remembers. "And I was like, 'I'm going to go and do this callback.' My agents were like, 'Why? You got cast on an amazing show. You should pack up and try to find a place in Hawaii.' I was like, 'I don't know, I might like Grey's Anatomy more.'" She laughs before continuing, "I didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket. What if this falls out, you know? I had no guarantee. But anyway, I ended up not going back to the callback."
The rest is history: Katherine Heigl went on to play Izzie Stevens for six seasons on Grey's Anatomy while Kim portrayed castaway Sun Kwon for six seasons on Lost. And now we can't imagine either of those roles being played by anyone else.
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