Gemma Chan is Best Known For her portrayal of diverse Asian characters on various television sitcoms like Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Fresh Meat, Doctor Who, and The Waters of Mars.
Born Name Gemma Chan
Nick Name Gemma
Years active 2006–present
Born: November 29, 1982, 36 years and 7 months, London, England, United Kingdom
Sun Sign Sagittarius
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Dark Brown
Height 5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
Measurements 32-24-34 in / 81-61-86 cm
Bra size 32B
Gemma completed her schooling from Newstead Wood School for Girls in Orpington in the London borough of Bromley. She later went on to complete her degree in law from Worcester College, Oxford. She then channeled her passion for acting and enrolled herself at the Drama Centre London.
Father – He is an Engineer.
Mother – Helen Born (Pharmacist)
Siblings – She has a sister.
Gemma Chan (born 29 November 1982) is a British film, television, and theatre actress and former fashion model. Born in London and raised in Kent, Chan attended the Newstead Wood School for Girls and studied jurisprudence 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. In 2006, she was a competitor on the first series of the reality television series Project Catwalk, and made her acting debut in the independent horror serial When Evil Calls. Her film debut was in the psychological thriller Exam (2009), followed by her portrayal of Mia Bennett in the BBC Doctor Who special The Waters of Mars, a guest appearance as Soo Lin in Sherlock (2010), and supporting roles as Charlotte in season four of the Showtime and ITV2 series Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2011), and Ruth in Channel 4 Fresh Meat (2011).
Chan continued to garner recognition for her roles in high-profile films including Paramount Pictures’ action-thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), the fantasy film 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. In 2018, Chan received widespread recognition for portraying Astrid Leong-Teo in Jon M. Chu romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians and also portrayed Bess of Hardwick in the historical period drama Mary Queen of Scots. She portrayed Minn-Erva in the Marvel Studios superhero film Captain Marvel in 2019.
Early life and education
Chan was born at Guy Hospital in London, England. She is of Chinese ancestry.
Her father grew up in Hong Kong and was an engineer. Her mother parents emigrated from Mainland China to Scotland via Hong Kong. Chan mother grew up in Greenock, Scotland. Chan was raised near Sevenoaks, a town in west Kent, in South East England, and attended Newstead Wood School for Girls in Orpington in the London borough of Bromley. She later went on to study law 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 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
Chan appeared in the autumn 2009 special of the BBC Doctor Who (The Waters of Mars) with David Tennant and Lindsay Duncan, 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 in Fresh Meat, BBC One Sherlock, and the fourth series of The IT Crowd for Channel 4.
In 2012, Chan was a regular in series two of Sky Living supernatural drama Bedlam and in True Love, a five-part semi-improvised television series produced by Working Title for BBC One,
In 2013, she starred in BBC One crime drama Shetland alongside Douglas Henshall and Steven Robertson and guest starred in the BBC Death in Paradise. She was a cast member of Channel 4 romantic drama Dates.
Chan played the synthetic Anita/Mia in Humans, an AMC/Channel 4 eight-part science-fiction drama. Filming commenced in autumn 2014 with a June 2015 premiere. The second series premiered on 30 October. For her portrayal of Anita/Mia, Chan has been nominated for numerous awards.
In July 2016, Chan provided the voice for the character of Dewdrop in BBC One animated miniseries Watership Down.
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.
Chan made her professional stage debut in the British Premiere of Bertolt Brecht 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.
On 6 August 2013, Chan appeared as a guest on the Cultural Exchange feature of the BBC Radio 4 series Front Row, where she nominated the film The Princess Bride as an art work she loves.
Chan started dating comedian and Fresh Meat co-star Jack Whitehall in 2011; the couple split up in 2017 after six years together, with their busy work schedules cited as the main reason for their breakup. They have remained good friends following their split.
In September 2013, Chan appeared at the Old Bailey in central London as a witness to a fatal stabbing outside Putney Bridge tube station.
Gemma has Scottish-Chinese ancestry on her mother side.
Mole on the upper lip
Gemma has done endorsement work for the following brands –
Investec Derby Festival
Gemma made her theatrical film debut in the mystery-thriller When Evil Calls as Molly Nelson in 2006.
First TV Show
Gemma made her television show debut in the reality series Project Catwalk as a contestant in 2006.
Gemma has revealed that she is not fond of exercise. However, she ensures that her diet consists of iron, vitamins and lean proteins.
Below is what Gemma diet usually consists of –
Breakfast – Orange juice with scrambled egg and bacon on toast, Peppermint or Green Tea
Snacks – Nuts, Fruits, Coffee, Chocolate, and Minstrels
Lunch – Beef Stroganoff with rice and salad with Apple Crumble and Custard
Dinner – Cod Loin with Basil and Tomatoes with steamed beans
Gemma Chan Favorite Things
Place – Ibiza
Football Team – Arsenal
Gemma Chan Facts
For her role in the television series Humans, she attended synth school.
She used to be a national level competitive swimmer.
She learned ballet when she was young.
Gemma learned how to play the violin when she was 14 years old.
Her parents were skeptical when she decided to pursue her acting career, and her father refused to speak with her for 3 months.
She admitted that she has not visited her parents’ hometown since she was 11 years old.
She was very shy when she was in school.
Gemma considers her primary schoolteacher to be her role model.
Gemma decided to venture into modeling to pay her fees for drama school.
Her maternal grandparents escaped from Communist China before the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution. They were the first family with Chinese lineage to set base in Greenock, Scotland.