Chan in 2016
|Born||29 November 1982|
|Partner(s)||Jack Whitehall (2011–2017)|
Dominic Cooper (2018–present)
Gemma Chan (born 29 November 1982) is an English actress. She is known for her role as Astrid in the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians, in which she received widespread recognition, and as Anita/Mia on the television drama Humans.
Born in London and raised in Kent, Chan attended the Newstead Wood School for Girls and studied law at Worcester College, Oxford. She gained a position in a law firm following graduation, but chose to pursue a career in acting instead, studying acting at the Drama Centre London. She has had supporting roles in television series: Doctor Who special "The Waters of Mars", Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2011), Fresh Meat (2011) and Bedlam (2011).
Chan continued to gain recognition for her roles in high-profile films including Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), and Transformers: The Last Knight (2017). She also starred in the leading role of Anita/Mia on the AMC/Channel 4 science fiction drama Humans from 2015 to 2018.
In 2018, Chan received recognition for portraying Astrid Leong-Teo in Jon M. Chu's romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians and also portrayed Bess of Hardwick in the historical drama Mary Queen of Scots. She portrayed Minn-Erva in the Marvel Studios superhero film Captain Marvel in 2019 and will play Sersi in Eternals in 2021.
Chan was born at Guy's Hospital in London, England. Her father grew up in Hong Kong and was an engineer. Her mother's parents emigrated from Mainland China to Scotland via Hong Kong. Her mother grew up in Greenock, Scotland. Chan describes herself, and has been reported in media, as British Asian.
Chan was raised near Sevenoaks, a town in western Kent, in South East England. She attended Newstead Wood School for Girls in Orpington, London. She later went on to study jurisprudence at Worcester College, Oxford.
Following her graduation, Chan gained a training contract offer as a graduate at the law firm Slaughter and May, but instead she pursued an acting career and studied at the Drama Centre London. Spotted at her showcase by British film producer Damian Jones, she signed to acting agent Nicki van Gelder.
In 2006, she was a competitor on the first series of the reality series Project Catwalk. Chan appeared in the autumn 2009 special of the BBC's Doctor Who ("The Waters of Mars"), which aired 15 November 2009 in the UK, playing geologist Mia Bennett. She was cast as a series regular in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, the fourth and final series airing on ITV2 in the UK and Showtime in the US in 2011. She has also appeared as Ruth in Channel 4's Fresh Meat, as Soo Lin in BBC One's Sherlock, and the fourth series of The IT Crowd for Channel 4.
Chan made her acting debut in the independent horror serial When Evil Calls. In 2010, she appeared in the World War II drama film Shanghai, the psychological thriller Exam, and the 2011 comedy-drama Submarine. A supporter of human rights, she has made a film for Amnesty International to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She appeared in the action-thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. The Double, and London Fields. Chan starred in Belles familles, by French director and screenwriter Jean-Paul Rappeneau, which premiered in 2015. She also featured in the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
In 2018, Chan co-starred as Astrid Leong-Teo in the film Crazy Rich Asians. She first heard about the novel Crazy Rich Asians from a text from her sister, read it on holiday, and "fell in love with Astrid". On 29 April 2019, CNBC reported that Chan is to reprise her role as Astrid in the back-to-back filming of two sequels to Crazy Rich Asians set for filming in 2020. She also featured in the short film titled Leading Lady Parts in support of the Time's Up movement.
In August 2019, she joined the cast of Marvel Studios' Eternals, which is set to be released in February 2021. This is her second role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after previously appearing as Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel.
Chan made her professional stage debut in the British premiere of Bertolt Brecht's last play, Turandot, at the Hampstead Theatre, London, directed by Anthony Clark. In November 2012, she performed in The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie, a play by Anders Lustgarten at the Finborough Theatre. In June 2013, she performed in the UK premiere of Yellow Face by American playwright David Henry Hwang at The Park Theatre, London, directed by Alex Sims. It was revived in 2014 at the Royal National Theatre with the original London cast returning.
In November 2013, Chan performed in the world premiere of Our Ajax by Timberlake Wertenbaker at the Southwark Playhouse, London. Wertenbaker chose her to play the war goddess Athena after she saw her performance in Yellow Face.
In September 2017, Chan split from her boyfriend of six years, Jack Whitehall. In December 2018, Chan made her first public appearance with Dominic Cooper as a couple at the British Fashion Awards.
|2006||When Evil Calls||Molly Nelson|
|2013||The Double||Glamorous Judge|
|2014||Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit||Amy Chang|
|2016||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them||Madam Ya Zhou|
|2017||Transformers: The Last Knight||Quintessa|
|2018||Crazy Rich Asians||Astrid Young-Teo|
|Mary Queen of Scots||Elizabeth Hardwick|
|Intrigo: Dear Agnes||Henny|
|Leading Lady Parts||Herself||Short film|
|2019||Mr. Malcolm's List||Short film|
|2020||Let Them All Talk||Post-production|
|TBA||Don't Worry Darling||Shelley||Filming|
|2006||Project Catwalk||Herself||10 episodes; finalist|
|2009||Doctor Who||Mia Bennett||Episode: "The Waters of Mars"|
|2010||The IT Crowd||Ivana / Female Sulu||Episodes: "The Final Countdown", "Reynholm vs. Reynholm"|
|Sherlock||Soo Lin Yao||Episode: "The Blind Banker"|
|2011||Secret Diary of a Call Girl||Charlotte||Regular (season 4)|
|2012||Bedlam||Kiera||Regular (season 2)|
|True Love||Kathy||Television miniseries|
|2013||Shetland||Hattie James||Television series|
|Death in Paradise||Jennifer Cheung||Series 2, episode 7|
|Dates||Erica||Episodes: "Erica and Kate", "Erica and Callum"|
|2014||The Game||Chen Mei||Television miniseries|
|2016||Revolting Rhymes||Snow White (voice)|
|2018||Watership Down||Dewdrop (voice)|
|2019||I am Hannah||Hannah||TV film|
|2020||Thunderbirds Are Go||Professor Kwark (voice)||Episode: "Icarus"|
|2012||The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie||Finborough Theatre|
|2013||Yellow Face (UK premiere)||The Park Theatre|
|Our Ajax (World premiere)||Athena||Southwark Playhouse|
|2014||Yellow Face||Royal National Theatre|
|2015||The Homecoming||Ruth||Trafalgar Studios|
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…actor Gemma Chan in 1982 (age 37)
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And now I just hope it’s going to open the door for others. I don’t want to be the only successful Asian actress or British Asian actress.
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It’s one of the reasons why she cast British Asian actor Gemma Chan ... as white historical figures Bess of Hardwick
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