From Showtime and ITV2’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl to the BBC’s Doctor Who The Waters of Mars, down to Channel 4’s Fresh Meat and several other TV series, we have watched Gemma Chan grace our screens for almost a decade. The Brit is not only a tremendous film and TV actress but also an amazing theatre entertainer.
She also stars in an AMC/Channel 4 science-fiction drama Humans which premiered in 2015 and played Astrid Leong-Teo in Jon M. Chu’s 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians.
Gemma Chan’s Biography
Chan was born in Guy’s Hospital, London on the 29th of November 1982. She grew up in Sevenoaks, West Kent, South East England and attended Newstead Wood School for Girls, Orpington, Bromley. Growing up, Chan was such a great swimmer, that by the time she was a teenager, she was swimming at a national level but she didn’t turn out a swimmer in her career after all. She also considered becoming a professional classical violinist but she also didn’t end up as one.
After high school, she headed to Worcester College, Oxford where bagged a degree in Law. After graduation, she was offered a training contract at the law firm Slaughter and May but turned it down for a career in modelling and then in acting, she said her parents were really not comfortable with her choice of career as they felt a career in something more stable would be more appropriate for her. Still determined to pursue an acting career, she enrolled at the Drama Centre London, where she was spotted by British film producer Damian Jones. She would later sign to Nicki van Gelder (acting agent).
Chan kicked off her acting in 2009, appearing in BBC’s series Doctor Who “The Waters of Mars as geologist Mia Bennett. She was later featured as a regular in the 4th and final series of Secret Diary of a Call Girl which aired both in the U.S and UK. Gemma also starred in the British comedy-drama Fresh Meat and on BBC One’s Sherlock, as well as the 4th series of The IT Crowd.
In 2012, she starred as a regular in the second series of the Bedlam and in True Love which aired on BBC One. Gemma Chan also starred in Shetland in 2013 alongside Steven Robertson and Douglas Henshall and as a guest star in Death in Paradise, she was also a cast member in Channel 4’s romantic drama Dates. She would later play Anita/Mia in AMC/Channel 4’s science-fiction drama Humans. Her role in the series earned her several award nominations.
Asides TV series, Chan has also starred in a number of movies like the Exam, Shanghai, Submarine, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, The Double, Belles familles, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. As a human rights supporter, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Gemma Chan made a film for Amnesty International. In 2018, she starred in the film Crazy Rich Asians, as Astrid Leong-Teo. The movie is based on a novel of the same name written by Kevin Kwan
Chan is also a theatre actress who made her first stage appearance in Bertolt Brecht’s play Turandot staged at the Hampstead Theatre, London. She also performed in Anders Lustgarten’s The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie, at the Finborough Theatre in 2012. The following year, she performed in Yellow Face, a play by David Henry Hwang. Later that same year, she performed in Our Ajax – a play by Timberlake Wertenbaker.
In 2016, Chan voiced Dewdrop in BBC One’s animated miniseries Watership Down. She appeared as a guest on the Cultural Exchange feature of BBC Radio 4’s Front Row in 2013, on the show, she nominated The Princess Bride film as one work of art she loves so much.
Family Facts – Parents
Her parents’ names are not known but her dad is said to be an engineer who grew up in Hong Kong and her mother, a Chinese-Scottish pharmacist who works at Guy’s Hospital, the same hospital Chan was born in. Her maternal grandparents had emigrated from China via Hong Kong to Greenock, Scotland where Chan’s mom and her younger sister (Chan’s aunt) were raised.
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The beautiful actress of Asian descent is currently not married but has been in a couple of relationships. She dated Jack Whitehall – a stand-up comedian, TV host, writer and actor. He played JP in the TV series Fresh Meat, Alfie Wickers in Bad Education, and many more.
Jack and Gemma met on the set of the comedy-drama series Fresh Meat in 2011 and began dating shortly after. After some time together, the pair called it quits in September 2017. They cited their increasingly hectic schedules as the reason for their break-up.
Chan has since moved on with her life, she is currently in a sizzling romance with English actor Dominic Cooper. The rumour of their romance got out after the two were first spotted cuddling up during a night out in Spain in August 2018, and they have done little or nothing to dispel the rumour.