Sandra Oh Reveals She Had Her Own ‘Turning Red’ Moments with Fierce Mom

 sandra oh turning red pixar movie

Mothers and daughters will certainly see themselves in Disney*Pixary’s latest TURNING RED including star Sandra Oh who's reminded of her own “fierce” mother. Most will recognize her TURNING RED character as a "tiger mom," but Sandra Oh doesn’t see the concept of the title as a negative term. She has come to accept what that entails in her own mother/daughter relationship.

In the animated feature now streaming on Disney+, 13-year-old Mei Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang) hits puberty, and her body changes in more ways than she expected. Whenever she gets too excited, she transforms into a giant red panda. Her condition is exasperated by her mother Ming, voiced by Oh, who expects her to stay the dutiful daughter during this rebellious stage.

Director and co-writer Domee Shi and her co-writer Julia Cho inserted their own experiences with their mothers in TURNING RED. The largely Asian cast also have their own stories with their own “tiger moms.”

The term “tiger moms” is a reference to a demanding maternal figure who pushes their child to excellence in all aspects including obedience. The term is usually attributed to Asian mothers.

When Sandra Oh was asked in a press conference for the movie if she’s ever experienced tiger mom moments, she retorts, “Oh, my whole life!” In her own words, this is how she describes her relationship with her mother.

Sandra Oh at Turning Red Premiere artist: Alberto E. Rodriguez copyright: 2022 Getty ImagesSANDRA: I'm also not afraid of that concept of tiger mom. I mean, I love my mom. And she's a fierce, fierce person. Tiny. Tiny. But fierce.


You know, I actually do have something that I posted a very long time ago on Instagram. Because it was such an unbelievable quote that my mom said in the kitchen. I had to write it down on Post-It, and then I put it up on Instagram. And it was basically she said, I'm not joking, I'm not joking, "If only you were neater, I would love you more."


So, I happen to have a really good relationship with my mom, and I know not everyone does. But I do, and in the way of, like, I can't stop her from being herself.


And I'm not gonna stop her, and I'm gonna enjoy her... [LAUGH] so-I'm not gonna do what she wants me to do because that's just not me. Um, but there, within that is that pull that we are always having, I think, with our mothers and with our Asian mothers that is very, very difficult to satisfy them. [LAUGH]

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