Gemma Chan: We should ‘be less judgmental with others and with ourselves’

The National Student

It’s been a busy couple of years for Gemma Chan. 

After roles in blockbusters Crazy Rich Asians and Captain Marvel, the 36-year-old British actor was “craving doing something on a much smaller, much more intimate scale.” In her latest project, she takes the lead in I Am Hannah, one of a trio of TV movies directed by Dominic Savage, coming to Channel 4 this summer. Chan worked closely on the story with Savage, as did the other leading actors in the rest of the trilogy. 

“I’d not collaborated in this way where I’d been so involved in developing the story before,” Chan says when we talk to her at Channel 4 HQ. “As an actor, I’m very used to serving someone else’s vision… It feels particularly satisfying to work in this way.”  

The film follows Hannah, a woman in her thirties living in London and navigating being single, internet dating, and the pressure to settle down and start a family. “We knew we wanted to do something in the area of becoming a mother, societal ideas about motherhood, fertility,” Chan says, regarding her and Dominic’s ideas behind the plot. “I felt that I’d had a lot of discussions around this area… and it just felt like I hadn’t seen anything that had approached it in this way, having these open discussions.”

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