Gemma Chan made waves when she first appeared as a series regular on ITV’s SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL, as the dominant Charlotte. It was a role that was born to grab the audience’s attention, but not only did it grab our attention…it squeezed us hard around the throat in some kind of asphyxiation ritual that we’re ashamed to admit to liking. This wasn’t the first time the stunning Gemma Chan had gone out of her way to try something different. Originally a law student, after graduation he decided to pursue her real passion of drama. After a stint as a model on PROJECT CATWALK, she began picking up small but memorable roles on shows such as DOCTOR WHO, THE IT CROWD, and SHERLOCK, as well as parts in films including PIMP and SUBMARINE.
Now she’s set to star in Channel 4’s DATES, a show about dates (funnily enough) from SKINS creator Bryan Elsley. In the show she’ll be playing a gay character, and Chan discussed her thoughts on portraying the character with ES Magazine:
Playing a gay character, you feel a certain responsibility. I’ve never dated a woman, and I wouldn’t want to do something that wasn’t truthful, so we had to trust the writer. I think it’s important to see gay relationships on TV. In New Zealand recently they’ve legalised gay marriage and we need to get with the times over here; there are no good arguments against it.
DATES has been described as “surprising, awkward [and] sexy as hell” but what about Gemma Chan’s own dating life? After all, she is dating one of Britain’s top young comics, Jack Whitehall:
He has to work quite hard to make me laugh. It’s a persona he plays on stage; it’s a heightened, exaggerated version of him. I don’t know how you would deal with someone at that pitch every day.’…. ‘as a comedian you use your own life but I think people know it’s not a literal telling of the truth. You appropriate stories and present them as something that happened to you. If he wants to draw on my life, it’s on a case-by-case basis. He knows he has to run everything by me first.
Set to air this summer, DATES will also star Andrew Scott, Katie McGrath, Greg McHugh, Will Mellor, Sheridan Smith, Neil Maskell, Oona Chaplin, Montanna Thompson, and Sian Breckin. Hopefully the show will be as memorable as Chan’s first date with Whitehall, which took place in the luscious surroundings of Nando’s:
I don’t think it matters where you are or what you do. It’s about two people and the chemistry.
Gemma Chan is certainly a name to look out for as later this year she will be seen in both Richard Ayoade’s second directorial feature, THE DOUBLE and Chris Pine starring CIA reboot JACK RYAN.
ES Magazine, out Friday and is available to read for free on iPad and Kindle Fire.
Gemma Chan is styled by Nicky Yates and is wearing Marios Schwab.