Up-and-coming It-girl Gemma Chan talks to InStyle about her fashion hits, beauty must-haves and her new role alongside Billie Piper in Secret Diary Of A Call Girl....
We tipped her as one to watch last year and with the debut of one of her biggest TV roles last night, Gemma Chan is certainly making waves in the industry. Already appearing as a model in Project Catwalk, she's also starred alongside David Tennant in Doctor Who as well as making guest appearances in Sherlock and The IT Crowd. We caught up with the fashion loving actress at the InStyle Best of British Bafta Party...
You've been a model, musician and actress, which of these professions do you like the best?
Oh definitely acting, the others, particularly modelling was a way for me to earn money for drama school but I did enjoy it.
Tell us what it was like starring alongside David Tennant in Doctor Who?
Well it was one of my first big TV roles so I was incredibly excited but also working with such a well-respected actor was great experience. I didn't find David Tennant at all intimidating, he was really fun to work with and always puts everything into his role.
One of your latest roles is alongside Billie Piper in Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, what was it like to play Belle's archrival?
It was a great role, very different from the roles I've done before. In Sherlock I played a very demure character so this role couldn't be more different. She's a very strong, bull-busting character but also very funny, she has a quirky side.
What was your family's reaction?
They are actually fans of the show but I think I'm going to have to go around there and break their TV ariel. My character is quite outrageous, I definitely couldn't watch it with my mum and dad!
Do you like watching yourself on screen?
I can just about bare it but I don't go out of my way to go and see my own shows. I used to find it excruciating especially when I was at drama school, you just think you could have done better, you don't really see what other people see. I am very critical of my own performances, I can just about cope with it now.
You have appeared in Project Catwalk as well as having been photographed by Rankin, what is it that attracts you to fashion?
I think fashion is really good fun and the show was great because it showcased the designers and their designing talent which had never been done on one of those shows before. I just think that your personality can really shine through with what you wear. I think its great, I've always really enjoyed fashion.
How would you describe your own style?
It depends on my mood, it can be sometimes a little bit quirky, sometimes feminine or something chic and sophisticated but other times I just like to have fun. I just think you should wear what you want, whatever makes you happy. I don't have any hard and fast rules of fashion.
Who are your top designers and favourite high street shops?
I love Mango, there is always something I have to have. I also love shopping around Portobello in a little shop called Appletree Boutique, when I go there I always have to buy something. Like most girls I love Chanel and at the moment I'm really loving Dior's spring/summer collection.
What three things are on your shopping list for SS11?
I really need a pair of comfortable day loafter shoes which I am on the lookout for at the moment. I'd also love a new leather jacket in classic black colour. I am a bit obsessed with shirts and blouses at the moment especially paisley print.
Three beauty products you couldn¹t live without?
Eyelash curlers because I have naturally straight eyelashes, MAC face and body foundation as it's lovely, light and sheer and doesn't make you look too made up. The last I would have to say would be Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream which is my favourite lipbalm, I literally go through tubes and tubes of the stuff.
What's next for you?
The very next thing I am doing is going back up to Scotland to work with the National Theatre of Scotland, which will be fun, getting back to my theatre roots again. Then I am off to LA because Secret Diary of A Call Girl launches over there just after it does here and apparently it's very popular there so it will be really good to see some promos for that. I will probably do a few auditions, certainly a little bit of an American adventure for me next I think.
Secret Diary Of A Call Girl returns on February 1 at 10pm on ITV2
By Annabelle Spranklen