Gemma Chan Says Fans Try To Turn Her Off Like Her Synth Character On Humans

Gemma Chan claims fans of Humans have tried to turn her off by pressing her under the chin, much like you would her synth character in the sci-fi drama series.

The British actress, who plays the lifelike robot Anita/Mia in the show, said despite attending boot camp to refine her android mannerism, she still finds it quite "odd" and invasive. 

In the series, synths are activated or deactivated with a light touch under the chin (Image: Channel 4)

Speaking with the Press Association, Chan said: "I've had people ask to record voicemail messages in Anita's voice, and I've had people come up and try to turn me off, pushing the bit under the chin."

"It is a bit odd," she explains, and "quite an invasion of personal space".

Earlier in the month, Chan explained how the Humans cast attended robot boot camp to help them get back into character as synths ahead of the new series.

"We have a synth boot camp that we go back into before each series," she said, "and we have a very good choreographer called Dan O'Neill who whips us back into shape."

"But it takes longer than you'd think, actually. Especially as we had quite a big gap between series two and series three."

Emily Berrington, who plays Niska in the show, said during the training she started doing things in a "synthy way" at home to help her prepare.

"We don't even have a dishwasher," she explains, "so I washed the dishes like a synth."

"And things that are quite difficult to do as a synth, like putting your coat on – things that in a human take a thousand tiny movements, trying to do as economically as possible."

"Walking down the street as a synth is my absolute favourite," she explains.

"I am someone who is always moving out of everybody else's way, so to force yourself to walk down the street in a straight line - obviously you move if there's a pram or something - is really interesting.

Ivanno Jeremiah, who plays Max, said the way the synths run is partly based on athlete Colin Jackson.

"There are videos of Colin Jackson and based on those, we were trying to work out a run that's not only efficient but simplistic and based on good posture and economy," he said.

"The 'going' was fine but the stopping was terrible and we were hobbling around for weeks afterwards, having come up with a way for synths to run but very, very sore afterwards!" he added.

The new series is set a year after the dawn of consciousness, as a decimated and oppressed synth population fights to survive in a world that hates and fears them.

"It's not set years in the future," Chan explains, "it's a time that could be now, and that really sets it out from other science fiction shows."

"We're only just waking up to things like the surveillance that goes on, and I think the show really taps into that paranoia, that worry."

Writer and photographer from South London, UK. If you want to get in touch please email me at: matthew.kirby@konbini.com