Gemma Chan has had a big year, with successful films such as Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” and Marvel’s “Eternals.”
Now, the actress turns to her involvement in L’Oréal Paris’ annual Women of Worth initiative, which recognizes the work of 10 women honorees who have been making an impact in their communities at a grassroots level.
The philanthropic program, which has been running for 16 years, will return to NBC on Dec. 16 for a one-hour special telecast, with Chan sitting down with honorees Michelle Tran and Briana Daniel to further discuss their efforts.
“I feel very fortunate to be involved with this year’s Women of Worth program. I got to travel to Paris to meet and speak with all of the honorees, which was amazing,” Chan told WWD. “I interviewed [Daniel and Tran] about the causes they’re involved in, and what led them there. They’re just a formidable, amazing group of women. It really gives me hope every day.”
Daniel is the founder of Street Team Movement Inc., an organization that restores hope to individuals impacted by homelessness by providing them with laundry and remedial aid distributed through vending machines.
Tran is the cofounder of Soar Over Hate, which combats anti-Asian hate and xenophobia by providing Asian Americans with personal safety devices, need-based scholarships and culturally competent therapy.
After speaking with Daniel, Chan revealed what struck her the most was that Daniel voluntarily lived on the streets for 32 days after befriending a man who was homeless. That led her to start the nonprofit she has now, focusing on hygiene and laundry services, which Chan said, “is something that’s so easily overlooked, but is so intrinsically tied to our self-worth and our human dignity.”
The actress has been an ambassador for L’Oréal since last November and hopes to continue being part of philanthropic initiatives that help empower women.
“I’m so proud to work with L’Oreal Paris because they have such a history of celebrating and uplifting women,” Chan said. “I’m looking forward to being part of initiatives like Women of Worth, which I think just expands the idea of the tagline, ‘Because you’re worth it,’ or because we are worth — it goes far beyond something that’s just superficial or skin deep.”
Women’s empowerment is one of the social issues Chan is most passionate about alongside girls’ education. “I think an educated girl will uplift her community and uplift her family, and it’s all kind of interlinked,” she said. “So the more we can do to give that power to girls and young women, the better it is for everybody.”
After gaining widespread recognition playing the multihyphenate Astrid Leong-Teo in “Crazy Rich Asians,” Chan continued to make strides in not only her career, but also fashion.
Who could forget the star’s hot pink ruffled parachute dress by Valentino at the 2019 Oscars, which also conveniently had pockets where she hid cookies as snacks for the ceremony? Chan’s Met Gala looks have also been memorable, wearing custom looks by designers such as Tom Ford and Prabal Gurung.
“I would say my red carpet style is quite playful, and sometimes dramatic,” Chan said. “I like to change it up a bit from event to event. But it’s a contrast in my day-to-day style, which is pretty laidback.”
Chan recently wrapped up filming for an AppleTV+ series called “Extrapolations,” an anthology series that depicts the effects of climate change through various points of views that happen to be interlinked. In the new year, she will start shooting for a sci-fi movie called “True Love,” which also stars John David Washington, Benedict Wong and Danny McBride.
L’Oréal Paris’ Women of Worth special will air on NBC on Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. EST.
READ MORE HERE: