Gemma Chan & Dominic Cooper have ‘the most affectionate cat in the world’

I think so much of Gemma Chan’s beauty, and I’m always interested to see what a team of professional stylists, hair and makeup artists and photographers will do with her for magazine editorials. Harper’s Bazaar UK got their hands on her and the cover shoot is a complete snooze. I am begging magazines to do dramatic editorials with Chan! Come on! Anyway, Gemma is promoting her roles in Don’t Worry Darling and AppleTV+’s Extrapolations. She chats about assimilation, being the daughter of immigrants, her long-time relationship with Dominic Cooper and more. Some highlights:

Working with Meryl Streep: “She is really lovely, but I mean – I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her.”

Her early jobs playing sometimes-racist tropes: “You know what? At the beginning, the question was very much, ‘Will I be able to make a living? Will I be able to survive doing this job?’ I would do anything – bit parts, one-line parts… It’s really difficult in my industry to speak up, with the power structures that are there. I know you can be penalised in a way that means your livelihood has gone. Even if you try to do the right thing, speaking up against bad behaviour, all it takes is someone to interpret what you say the wrong way, or decide that you’re trouble… It’s a hierarchical, word-of-mouth kind of industry where, traditionally, bad behaviours have been indulged. There’s a lot of fear. It’s hard to change that culture. It takes years.”

Contributing to a book about British Asian people: “Reading East Side Voices, I was so emotional. It’s the book I wish existed when I was growing up. When you or I were young, it was just: assimilate.”

Red carpet qualms: “It’s still nerve-racking. You still have to sort of fake it a bit and just get through it. You know what? It is fun to get dressed up. But I’m also really happy and comfortable not doing that, and wearing sweatpants.” And, of course, as a child of the Nineties, there have been fashion mistakes. “I swear my sister and I were put in flammable shell suits, and then taken to a firework display. I’m lucky to be alive!”

Her private life: She lives a mile or two away in Primrose Hill (“I couldn’t live in the country – no Deliveroo…”) with her boyfriend, the actor Dominic Cooper, and their rescue cat Mr Kitty (“the most affectionate cat in the world!”). We talk a little about fame, and the responsibility she felt to speak out on behalf of the Asian communities during the pandemic. “I think I’m so fortunate to be in a relationship where we can talk about anything. Dom was very understanding and empathetic. I was quite open about how I was feeling during that time, and he was just incredibly supportive. I definitely didn’t feel I had to shoulder everything on my own. I’m really, really lucky.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar UK]

I don’t think Gemma should be “blamed” or criticized for taking some roles which were absolutely full of (racist) tropes about Asian women or Chinese immigrants. I remember seeing her at the start of her career in an early Sherlock episode and what stands out is that the WRITING was awful and Gemma did the best she could with the material. Plus, she’s right – she’s a working actress and there are so few roles out there for Asian actresses. I also love that she has a rescue kitty! I glanced through her Instagram to see if she ever posts photos of Mr. Kitty, but no, I didn’t see any. She mostly uses her Insta for work and charity.

Cover & IG courtesy of of Harper’s Bazaar UK.

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18 Responses to “Gemma Chan & Dominic Cooper have ‘the most affectionate cat in the world’”

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  1. Leesa says:

    I didn’t realize she was with Dominic Cooper. I don’t love that for her. Isn’t he kind of a cheaty skeeze? She deserves better.

    • SarahCS says:

      That’s my association with that name but I’m too lazy to google and check if he’s who I think he is.

      • Sarah says:

        Maybe you guys are thinking of Dominic West, the one who was massively cheating on his wife? I, too, am too lazy to Google. 😀

      • Owlsyn (Ableism is Not Cool) says:

        Def thinking of Dominic West (The 300, Brassic, The Affair, The Crown) as opposed to Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia, Captain America, Preacher).

      • Leesa says:

        No, I’m thinking of Dominic Cooper. Wasn’t he cheating on Amanda Seyfried back when they were together. Or he was already with someone else and didn’t tell Amanda? Idk. Two skeezy Dominics.

      • Sarah says:

        According to a very perfunctory Google he cheated with Amanda when he was with someone else and they were in Mama Mia together.

        I think the best part is Cher telling Amanda she ‘dodged a bullet’ after they broke up on the MM2 set!

        Listen to Cher Gemma.

      • Anners says:

        I *always* mix him up with Dominic West and I was horrified to think she was with that drippy slimeball….now I’m not so sure Dominic West is much better. Gemma Chan deserves good things – she just seems so lovely inside and out.

  2. sunny says:

    I really like her. I think she is stunning and definitely has a stage presence. I am always amazed at the list of Dominic Cooper’s exes. Like that man has dated some of the most gorgeous, charismatic women in the world.

    • dj says:

      Sunny that was my first thought! Wow. Dominic Cooper must have some magic in that he has had some beautiful, talented ex girlfriends!

      • Lizzie says:

        I wonder what that magic would be. He once told a story in public about being a server in a restaurant and his wee-wee falling out of his pants on the guests’ table. Thats the only way I can see him now, a magic void.

  3. Snuffles says:

    I’m envious of all of the affectionate cats I see online. Mine is the complete opposite. On the one hand, she quite frequently follows me around, demands my undivided attention and prefers to take her naps near me, but God forbid I try to pick her up and snuggle her! She kicks the shit out of me.

  4. sammah says:

    Soooo true! She and Dominic Cooper are so empathetic that they supported D*pp in his campaign to spear Heards name in the press. What a charming couple!

    • Haylie says:

      That’s my recollection too. And that sus stuff with Constance Wu online.

      I’m not a fan.

    • iseepinkelefants says:

      Sad. She’s beautiful. But Dominic is a sleaze (though I liked him and Seyfried together) and I can’t support anyone who supports Depp. I also remember Dominic breaking lockdown with Lily James and leaving a restaurant together with a bottle of wine. Which was weird if they’ve been together so long

  5. DeluxeDuckling says:

    That Sherlock episode was SO RACIST. I’m glad she has better work now, omg

  6. Lemon says:

    I want the dirt on Streep.

    • girl_ninja says:

      I know that her daughters were in a movie that was filming in my state and one of my best friends was an extra on the film. She said that Streep was fine but that her daughter(s) who were also in the film were snobby and openly laughed at the extras on set.

  7. Becky says:

    Dominic Cooper was also a sleazy cheat but maybe he’s matured.