These Core Values Gemma Chan's Parents Instilled in Her Helped Her Succeed
In her latest role, Gemma Chan, who played the beloved character Astrid Leong in the 2018 adaptation of Kevin Kwan's novel Crazy Rich Asians, stars alongside the legendary Meryl Streep in Let Them All Talk. The film, set aboard the Queen Mary 2 as it sets sail across the Atlantic Ocean from New York City to Southampton tells the story of an author, her nephew, old friends, and a literary agent, all on a cruise together while the author (Streep) sets about hashing out her next novel.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film features an all-star cast—including Dianne Wiest, Candice Bergen, and Lucas Hedges—was released in mid-December and is currently streaming on HBO Max.
Chan has no shortage of big-screen moments on the horizon—including in the upcoming Eternals, a new Marvel franchise. Her success in the runaway rom-com hit Crazy Rich Asians put her solidly on the map and in contention for a wide variety of leading roles. It's something she could have never predicted as an undergraduate law student at Oxford University's Worcester College.
"The key for [my parents] and therefore for myself, and my sister, was the importance of education," Chan recently told Elle UK. "It allowed my father to have a completely different life to his father, mother and some of his brothers and sisters. Both of my parents are immigrants who came from very humble backgrounds.
"They definitely instilled in me a work ethic from a young age and a sense of, 'The world doesn't owe you a living you have to make your own way.' At one point in my dad's childhood, he was homeless. My amah, his mum, raised six kids on her own. They had absolutely nothing, they lived in a shack on a hillside in Hong Kong. I'm one generation away from that."