Gemma Chan

Gemma Chan

Actor
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Life Story

Gemma Chan (born 29 November 1982) is a British film, television, and theatre actress and former fashion model. She portrays Charlotte in season four of the Showtime and ITV2 series Secret Diary of a Call Girl; Ruth in Channel 4's Fresh Meat; Mia Bennett in the BBC's Doctor Who "The Waters of Mars" and Soo Lin in Sherlock. She also appeared in Exam and Paramount Pictures' action-thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. She stars in Humans, an AMC/Channel 4 science-fiction drama, which premiered in June 2015.

Chan was born at Guy's Hospital in London, England. Her father grew up in Hong Kong and was an engineer. Her mother, a pharmacist at Guy's Hospital, emigrated from pre-Cultural Revolution Communist China via Hong Kong with her parents (Chan's maternal grandparents) and younger sister, growing 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 read law at Worcester College, Oxford.

Following 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.

In 2006, Chan was one of the models in series one of Project Catwalk, the UK version of Project Runway. She has been photographed by Rankin for a campaign for Nivea Visage, having previously worked as a model in order to fund her studies and drama school training, appearing in campaigns for Nokia and Selfridges and numerous magazines including Elle, Cosmopolitan and The Sunday Times Style.

Chan appeared in the autumn 2009 special of the BBC's 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's Sherlock, and the fourth series of The IT Crowd for Channel 4.

Family

No info available

 

Trivia

Studied law at Worcester College, Oxford University prior to training as an actress.
Graduated from the Drama Centre London in 2008.
Was one of three models to reach the final of the first season of Sky One's Project Catwalk, the UK version of Miramax's Project Runway.
Worked as a fashion model to fund her drama school training, appearing in campaigns for Nokia and Selfridges & Co and numerous magazines including Elle, Cosmopolitan and the Sunday Times Style.
Classically trained on the violin and piano, attaining the Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music on the violin whilst still at school.
In October 2012 she witnessed a murder of a homeless gentleman outside the Putney Bridge Tube station in West London. She stayed with the gentleman while medics and police were called, but he soon expired. In September 2013 she gave evidence in the trial of the defendant.
Appearing on stage in the British premiere of Bertolt Brecht's final play "Turandot" - Hampstead Theatre, London [October 2008]
Filming as a guest star on the Autumn 2009 special of the BBC's Doctor Who (2005), with David Tennant and Lindsay Duncan. [February 2009]
Filming as a new regular on the fourth season of Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2007) with Billie Piper. [August 2010]

Personal Quotes 

All of us have a lot of physical tics that we don't realize that we're doing subconsciously.
Italy - I love the late-night culture, hanging around the square at midnight with everyone, catching up and having a drink.
Growing up, I never saw any Asian faces on TV, so it didn't feel like a viable option.
I do feel a responsibility to try and raise awareness and to help tell the stories of those who may not otherwise have a voice.
Even though I don't necessarily believe in everything that's supernatural, I like being scared and I like things that are suspenseful.
I know we've had AI films, but they've been quite specific in their scope. The scope of 'Humans' is a world set up where this technology is universally accepted. I haven't seen anything that's dealt with it in that multi-layered, every-layer-of-society way.
AI - not so some kind of far-off thing. It's part of our lives now, from your phone to everything you do. It makes our lives easier in a lot of ways.
It's really rare in TV not to think, 'Well, I've seen a version of this before.'
Making a pretty picture, an image, is a completely different thing from acting to camera.
I think 'Humans' is more about provoking the idea that there is a class of beings in society that we treat as less than... as subordinates; people who we treat badly and take for granted. Often they are the same people who work hard to keep the city going. We need to think about that.
Save the Children is also working to improve accommodation for refugee families living outside settlements. I met a family which had been living in a substandard building without windows, doors or a toilet.

Filmography

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