Gemma Chan

Last updated 09 January 2020

Gemma Chan
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Gemma Chan

Born: Monday 29th November 1982 (age: 41)


Gemma Chan is an English actress and former model. She is best known for her roles as Mia Bennett in the BBC's Doctor Who "The Waters of Mars" with David Tennant and Lindsay Duncan; Soo Lin in Sherlock, the modern-day adaptation of Sherlock Holmes for BBC One, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman; Charlotte in season four of Secret Diary of a Call Girl; and Ruth in Channel 4's award-winning series Fresh Meat.

Gemma Chan was born in LondonEngland on 29 November 1982 but was brought up in Kent in South East England. Her mother is of Scottish-Chinese heritage and her father grew up in Hong Kong.

Chan attended Newstead Wood School for Girls. She went on to study law at the constituent University of Oxford college Worcester College. When she graduated, she was offered a job with a leading law firm.[2] Instead, she decided to pursue an acting career and wound up at the prestigious and notoriously tough Drama Centre London, where such actors as Paul BettanyAnne-Marie DuffColin Firth, and Pierce Brosnan trained. Spotted at her showcase by British film producer Damian Jones (The History BoysKidulthoodWelcome to Sarajevo), she then signed to acting agent Nicki van Gelder, who has guided the careers of Samantha Morton and Helena Bonham Carter.

In 2006, Gemma was one of the models in season one of Project Catwalk, the UK version of Project Runway. She was one of the top three models who made it to the final, although her designer did not win the final challenge. Gemma has also 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 ElleCosmopolitan and The Sunday Times Style.

Gemma 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 recently cast as a new series regular in Secret Diary of a Call Girl alongside Billie Piper, the fourth and final series airing on ITV2 in the UK and Showtime in the US in 2011. Her other recent television projects include Fresh MeatChannel 4'sBAFTA nominated and British Comedy Award winning sitcom; SherlockBBC One's contemporary adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson which began airing on 25 July 2010 to overwhelmingly positive reviews and went on to win the BAFTA for Best Drama Series in 2011; and the fourth series of the BAFTA and Emmy award winning British sitcom The IT Crowd for Channel 4.[8] In 2010 she appeared in the World War II drama film Shanghai directed by Mikael Hafstrom, alongside John CusackChow Yun-fat and Gong Li and in the BAFTA nominated[ psychological thriller Exam directed by Stuart Hazeldine, alongsideJimi MistryColin Salmon and Luke MablyExam was also nominated for the Raindance Award at the 2009 British Independent Film Awards and was released in UK cinemas on 8 January 2010. She was also seen in the critically acclaimed  2011 comedy drama Submarine directed by Richard Ayoade, alongside Paddy Considine and Sally Hawkins. Gemma appeared on stage in the British Premiere of Bertolt Brecht�s last play Turandot at theHampstead Theatre, London, directed by Anthony Clark. A passionate supporter of human rights, she has also made a film for Amnesty International to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 2012, Gemma will be seen as a regular in season two of Sky Living's supernatural drama Bedlam and in True Love, a five part semi-improvised television series produced by Working Title for BBC One,[16] with David TennantBillie PiperAshley WaltersJane HorrocksDavid MorrisseyLacey TurnerKaya Scodelario and Vicky McClure.

Biography from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA