Who is Gemma Chan? Meet the most interesting actress to emerge this yea | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

21 August, Wednesday

Who is Gemma Chan? Meet the most interesting actress to emerge this yea

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It's hard to ignore the juggernaut that is Crazy Rich Asians and its influence - and pervasiveness - to 2018.
There are of course the film's two leads Constance Wu and Henry Golding as standouts, but somewhere, in a smaller role that packs just as much pop culture punch as Gemma Chan's Astrid Young Teo. Chan, a 35-year-old British actress, has been a small screen staple in recent years, but is enjoying her first - and well deserved - taste of success stateside.
As part of her promotion of the film this side of the Atlantic, she did an interview with the Guardian earlier this month which perfectly encapsulated her natural charm.
In what could have been a quick fire Q&A with stock answers, Chan displayed a sense of deep-rooted wit rarely displayed so effortlessly. When asked, "Is it better to give or to receive?"
Gemma Chan in Crazy Rich Asians
Her response? "Are we talking about oral sex? I’ll just say I think we all know the answer."
Other highlights include the suggestion that Scarlett Johansson should play her in her biopic, a crack at the Conservative Party and spoke of struggling to accept her Asian features peppered alongside a throwaway mark that her worst job which "essentially involved cleaning people’s pubes from the drain."
Chan, is what you might consider an overachiever. As a teenager, she swam at national levels, "toyed with becoming a professional violinist", according to Vogue, and later studied politics and law at Oxford University. She chose to pursue acting after being offered a position at a prestigious London law firm and dabbled in modelling.
Her CV features roles in Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and most recently, a fascinating part in Channel 4's runaway robot hit Humans. So, what's next? A turn as Doctor Minerva in next year's upcoming superhero blockbuster Captain Marvel. 
(L-R) Jack Whitehall and Gemma Chan arrive for the Gala to celebrate the Vogue 100 Festival at Kensington Gardens on May 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Her steady rise towards the upper echelons of the entertainment world is a welcome departure from the clichéd Hollywood darling: she's a woman of substance, serious intelligence and happens to be breathtakingly beautiful.
In 2015, during an interview with the Telegraph, she became the poster girl for diversity in the entertainment industry, saying, "The statistics are really depressing," she laments. "I remember reading some that made me think, ‘Oh, you are more likely to see an alien in a Hollywood film than an Asian woman.'"
In the early days of her career, she said it was common for her to receive a last minute phone call for a cancelled audition "because they’re only going to see white people."
And she joins Gemma Arterton, Emma Watson and Tessa Thompson, among others, as a campaigner for the British arm of the Time's Up campaign, which offers "subsidised legal support" for women who have been harassed or assaulted at work.
Gemma Chan poses in the press room during the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) held at Royal Albert Hall on February 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Last December, she ended her six-year romance with comedy actor Jack Whitehall and is rumoured to be dating Ruth Negga's ex, Dominic Cooper. But given her reluctance to speak on her past romance, it's unlikely we'll get any confirmation soon - and frankly, her dating life is possibly the least interesting thing about this modern day renaissance woman.


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