Gemma Chan looking for history’s losers
Gemma Chan wants to play “history’s losers”.
The ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ actress feels more “responsible” about the roles she chooses now and wants to find stories that have previously been untold.
She said: “History is written by the winners, but I’m interested in history’s losers, finding those stories and helping to tell them.”
And Gemma admitted there has always been a part of her that wanted to be “part of a change” that brought more Asian faces to mainstream film and TV.
Asked if she’s always been political in her work, she told Sunday Times Culture magazine: “I mean, probably in the back of my mind, on a subconscious level. Growing up, I didn’t see any Asians on TV, and there probably was a part of me that said, I want to be part of a change. But I didn’t know that it would be possible or how it might happen.”
The 35-year-old star hopes ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ heralds a big change as it’s one of the first American films to have a predominantly Asian cast in more than two decades.
She said: “That’s the difference, for me. It’s a film made by mainstream Hollywood, so that’s exciting. Hopefully it’s the start of something -- rather than having to wait another 25 years.”
And Gemma thinks the film was “great” because it’s broken stereotypes.
She said: “It’s fun seeing Asians in an aspirational way. Asian men have been emasculated on screen for so long -- never the romantic lead, always the sidekick or a stereotypical, probably quite demeaning role. So how great that we have sexy Asian men in it!”
The ‘Humans’ actress appreciated the fact producers cast Chinese, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Americans, Australians and Brits in the movie.
She said: “It just brought home the fact that Asian culture is not homogeneous. I’m so used to being not just the only Asian, but the only person of colour on set. Loads of us said this.”