British actress Gemma Chan cast in 'Crazy Rich Asians.'
MORE AND MORE people are going to discover Gemma Chan. The Asian/British actress has just been picked to play Astrid Leong in the movie adaptation of Keven Kwan's novel "Crazy Rich Asians."
Up to now, Chan was best known only to a narrow sci-fi audience from her role as a artifcial being in the British television series Humans.
It has been rumored that Chan was going to play Astrid, the beautiful cousin of Nick Leong in the novel, because she fits the physical description of the character, a woman who causes heads to turn when she walks into the room. Plus - growing up just outside of London, she speaks with that British accent that director Jon Chu was seeking.
The movie takes place mostly in Singapore and will have an all-Asian cast, a rarity for a Hollywood studio.
Directed by Jon M. Chu, “Crazy Rich Asians” follows a Chinese/American economics professor Rachel Chu and her boyfriend Nick Young — the heir to an extremely wealthy family living in Singapore.
Chan will join Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) playing Rachel, Malaysian actor Henry Golding as Nick Young and international star Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) who plays Nick's mother who is not crazy about her son's ABC (American Born Chinese) girlfriend. Chan, 33, studied law at Oxford University and volunteered working in Syria helping refugees. Although Humans has given her some notice, she knows she's the exception when it comes to getting roles.
“I’ve been fortunate in my career,” she told The Telegraph, “but, yes, there have been many times when I have been told my audition has been cancelled because they’re only going to see white people.
"The statistics are really depressing," she laments. "I remember reading something that made me think, ‘Oh, you are more likely to see an alien in a Hollywood film than an Asian woman.'"