Gemma Chan tried a few different careers and paths before landing on her growing acting career.
It all started with her studies in law at the University of Oxford before she transitioned to modeling and acting. Chan has grown quite a bit in fame and success since her humble initial acting gigs around 2010.
The best Gemma Chan movies and TV shows include a surprising amount of performances worth watching. Though her career feels like it’s just getting started, Chan already has a plethora of roles under her belt. The best Gemma Chan movies and TV shows range from serial dramas to blockbuster Marvel movies and much more.
1. The Boy and the Heron (2023)
Renowned anime creator Hayao Miyazaki delivered yet another unbelievable Studio Ghibli masterpiece with a film worthy of his legacy. This movie feels better going into it without any knowledge of its premise, but suffice to say, it's a coming-of-age story about a boy who meets a mysterious heron. This leads him on a journey alongside an unforgettable masterclass cast of Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson, Florence Pugh, and so many more.
2. Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
Gemma Chan showed she could act just as well, if not even better, in animated films in addition to her live-action offerings. This gorgeous Disney movie follows a girl who tries to find the last dragon alive to save her world. The world of Kumandra feels so alive with its rich lore and beautiful scenery.
3. Humans (2015-2018)
This sci-fi drama follows a near-future in which human-like machines help out people around their house. It may lack the visual effects of other similar explorations of AI, but it makes up for this with a quieter, more impressive script and storytelling method. It only grows in quality throughout its three seasons, in no small part due to the stunning cast.
4. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Gemma Chan plays the role of Astrid well in this award-winning rom-com about a woman who meets her boyfriend’s wealthy family. The romance between the two leads feels engaging, while the supporting cast, with the likes of Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina, steal every scene they appear in.
5. Submarine (2010)
This weird and quirky coming-of-age tale follows Oliver, a Welsh teen who holds nothing back in his search for fulfilling his desires before his 16th birthday. It somehow balances the awkwardness of Oliver’s wishes well with the memorable, funny moments and sometimes intense drama worth checking out.
6. Captain Marvel (2019)
Brie Larson takes on the titular role of this Marvel superhero for a grounded and sometimes quieter approach to an origin story. The emotional character beats, and the relationship between Carol Danvers and Maria Rambeau carry the film. It also features Gemma Chan in her first MCU appearance.
7. The Creator (2023)
This underrated sci-fi action movie follows a dystopian future where humanity battles against AI for dominance. It centers around John David Washington’s Joshua, who must take down the leader of the AI, whose identity shakes the foundation of his world. Of all Gemma Chan movies, this one might have the most ambition.
8. The Double (2013)
Jesse Eisenberg proves he has the talent to pull off more than the usual adult comedy with this intense thriller about a man who becomes jealous after a lookalike takes everything he wants. Eisenberg plays both lead roles with such flexibility to make this a worthy dark comedy thriller.
9. Watership Down (2018)
This beautiful and artistic animated series adapts the renowned 1972 Richard Adams novel about a group of rabbits on the run, trying to survive amid humanity’s takeover of their lands. It may not be a perfect adaptation, but it excels due to the phenomenal ensemble cast with James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, John Boyega, Daniel Kaluuya, and many more.
10. Let Them All Talk (2020)
An impressive ensemble cast comes together for an otherwise simplistic tale about an author who goes on a journey of healing alongside those she cares about. It accomplishes so much more than it should, with equal parts laughs and emotions with its cast of actors like Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest, and Gemma Chan.
11. Don’t Worry Darling (2022)
This stylish thriller has that classic Stepford Wives vibe going on. While it does little to add anything new to the idyllic society with weird undertones trope, it has brilliant acting from the leads in Florence Pugh and a surprising Harry Styles. Gemma Chan herself plays an underrated supporting role in the film.
12. Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2011)
Gemma Chan rose to fame even further when she starred in the fourth season of this fascinating comedy series. It tells the story of a 27-year-old woman who keeps her “dating” business secret from her family and friends. Despite its serious subject matter, it often impresses with how goofy and ridiculous situations get for her, especially in the improved latter seasons.
13. Eternals (2021)
This Marvel movie may be one of the messiest since the MCU began. It has a massive scope, centering around a group of aliens with superpowers who shaped humanity’s history for thousands of years. Its cast feels impressive, but few stars shine through its lack of focus outside of Chan’s Sersi.
14. Mary Queen of Scots (2018)
This film follows the titular character in a historical drama with talent in spades. The cast gives it their all, including the likes of Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as the two incredible leads. Its script and pacing may sometimes be a bit uneven, but the performances feel powerful nonetheless.
15. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
This remake of the action thriller series sees Chris Pine take on the lead role of the titular Jack Ryan as he tries to balance his hidden CIA agent life with the people he cares about. It doesn’t offer much new to the overstuffed genre, but it does just enough to be interesting with its star-studded cast.
16. Exam (2009)
The biggest issue with this mystery thriller comes from its rather low-budget affair, which holds it back some. The cast makes it work, at least until its somewhat disappointing ending, telling the story of eight compelling people who work together to get a job at a famous corporation. Hey, not all Gemma Chan movies are great.
17. Shetland (2013-2014)
Gemma Chan guest-starred as one of the recurring characters for this long-running thriller series's first couple of seasons. It follows a classic murder mystery in the titular Shetland Isles. The first couple of seasons with Chan have some of the most substantial parts of the entire show in terms of story and characters.
18. Sherlock (2010)
Gemma Chan guest-starred in this impressive adaptation of the famous fictional detective but made a splash as Soo Lin Yao in her short-lived time in the series. Fans who want to check out her should watch the series' first season with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
19. I Am (2019)
This Channel 4 production follows an anthology series about various women and how life affects them. It has a bit of melodrama to it, but it sticks the landing for most of its lengthy but episodes. It also only gets better as the seasons go on with stars like Kate Winslet, Gemma Chan, and more involved.
20. Dates (2013)
Chan starred in one of the episodes of this serial drama series about people going on a first date with someone they met online. The drama feels a bit forced and repetitive at times, but some enjoyment comes from the usual fights and disagreements that arise across the rotating cast in its nine episodes.
21. Intrigo: Dear Agnes (2019)
Gemma Chan stars in this strange thriller about a woman whose friend hires her to murder her husband. The writing and action feel a bit too slow, and it never makes full use of Chan’s potential as the leading star in this boring and skippable film.
22. London Fields (2018)
This bizarre murder mystery thriller follows a woman who knows her death will come at the hands of one of her three lovers. The idea sounds nice, and it has the talent to back it up with the likes of Billy Bob Thornton and others, but it fails from start to finish with a horrible script and mishandling of its source material.
23. Stratton (2017)
This forgettable and stereotypical action thriller follows an MI6 agent who assembles a team to stop an evil villain from using chemical weapons on the world. The bland plot and writing do little to justify some of the stars in the movie, like Gemma Chan herself.
24. Pimp (2010)
This movie offered Gemma Chan her first notable starring role in a film, even if it never amounts to more than a total a mess. The problematic and uninteresting flick follows the week in the life of a pimp using hidden cameras. It doesn’t quite carry the nuance necessary for this type of story.