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Gemma Chan (born 29 November 1982) is an English actress of Chinese descent.
- I mean, God. I have friends who are so happily married with children, on their third, some friends who’ve done it who are struggling with elements of it, and other friends who have no interest in it, are free and single. Yeah. It’s weird. I do find it strange that in your 30s, suddenly, you become more aware that, if I’m going to do it, try to have a biological child, I need to think about it now. Sorry, I don’t have anything to add to that.
- Both my parents are immigrants. They came from nothing, had to work so hard, and so the idea for them, I suppose, of taking a risk, that wasn’t a luxury they had. I always knew that was the luxury and privilege that I had, that they had given me.
- As a little girl, I was quite self-conscious about my Asian features. A few kids made fun of the shape of my eyes. All the Barbies had blond hair and blue eyes, and I remember wishing I didn’t look the way I did – I was the only girl of colour in the area. But now I’ve got older, I’ve realised what makes you different is your strength.
- My mom was born in China, and she grew up in Scotland. And my dad was born in Macau. He grew up in Hong Kong. Then he had a kind of crazy life before he settled down and had kids and married my mom. But he ended up going to college in Scotland, where he met my mom. And then they moved down to London and had my sister and I.
- I think I have a quite holistic kind of approach to it all, which is that I think you should take care of yourself on the inside, but also take care of yourself on the outside, and they will feed each other. My beauty ritual is something that I find very calming. It can definitely give you a lift if you're feeling a bit tired or you're feeling a bit down. You can kind of go through your steps, and it's kind of quite meditative, really.
- I think the appeal for me was several different things. I was quite shy when I was a child and I’d always done drama and music and that was really my outlet where I felt I could be really free. I’ve always been really interested in other people, and other people’s lives, and as an actor you get to experience, to a certain degree, walking in other people’s shoes and seeing things through their eyes. That, for me, was what appealed, I think initially.
- When I talk to my friends, there are a number of times little things that happen throughout the day can build up. They can weigh you down and they can get on top of you. That is the sad and terrifying reality that many of us women and men have to face. I think it’s important that we do call people out on it, but ultimately, it’s a pattern of behaviour. It’s all part of a system that I very much don’t see it as men versus women. It’s about us working together to dismantle a system that is really oppressive to all of us.
- It’s a lazy comment and people who say that, who say homophobia doesn’t exist, that racism doesn’t exist, they say that from such a privileged place. Usually, it comes from people who are not gay or not a person of colour and just because you haven’t seen it or experienced it doesn’t mean that someone else isn’t experiencing it. Just open your eyes to what is going on in the world!
- We all have skin in the game, it is imperative that all of us stand up for each other, because prejudice against one group will bleed into prejudice against other groups.
- The time when I get the most blowback is when I say anything political or when I say anything that is standing up for women’s rights, gay rights – that’s when I get the backlash. But you just can’t let that stop you from speaking up, because if you don’t speak up, you’re leaving that space purely to the worst elements – the internet. It’s savage.
- At the end of the day, I know what my priorities are and my family, my close friends, my loved ones, know me well. I feel like I know myself a bit better and ‘fame’ is really nothing. I’m not going to be swept away in this whirlwind as ultimately quite a lot of it is nonsense. The things I care about now and that are important to me are exactly the same as a year ago, five years ago. They say you’ve got to work for a decade to become an overnight success and I have been acting now for ten years. I feel pretty comfortable with where I am!
- The pressures women face had been something I’d been talking to my girlfriends about for a while. Women have far more options than they used to — there’s a chance to work and have a family, but also an expectation that you can have it all. It’s not an easy thing to make those decisions.
- To be honest, when I was growing up, the beauty industry did feel very monocultural. It wasn’t that easy to find people that looked like me or my family - whether you’re talking about advertisements or magazines, or general representation in the media.
- My idea of beauty is as much about the inside as the outside. I think it’s about self-care, it’s about creativity. If we feel good, we look good. Being allowed to take time to nurture yourself in whatever way you need is what beauty is about. So that could be putting on a nourishing face mask, or reading a book, or experimenting, or being creative with your makeup.