Golden Globes: 'Crazy Rich Asians' Star Gemma Chan Joins Moet for 10th Toast for a Cause

The actress, who is partnering with the official champagne for the landmark event at this year's awards show, reveals what Colin Kaepernick has to do with her charitable endeavor.
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Moet British Independent Film Awards

Gemma Chan has a few reasons to celebrate at the Golden Globes.

The Crazy Rich Asians actress will be attending the Jan. 6 event as part of the ensemble cast of the Jon Chu-directed film, nominated for best picture in the comedy or musical category. But she'll also be raising a glass (or three) as part of a new partnership with Moet & Chandon. 

Moet — back in 2019 for a 28th year as the official champagne partner of the Golden Globes — is teaming with Chan for the 10th anniversary installment of its Toast for a Cause initiative, which sees the company donate $1,000 for every toast to the charity of a celebrity's choice. Since its launch, Moet has donated more than $250,000 to a variety of causes and Renaud Butel, vp of Moet & Chandon, tells The Hollywood Reporter that those philanthropic selections change by the year.

"We see nominees responding strongly to either big cultural moments or crises. For example, last year a majority of toasts were made to #TimesUp and several years back it was the American Red Cross after the 2010 hurricane in Haiti," he says of the 2018 event which was dominated by talk and dress (nearly all attendees wore black) to respect the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. "We also find that more and more celebrities have started their own foundations, and, of course, toast to support those foundations."

Speaking of support, Moet brings 1,500 Moet & Chandon Imperial minis for the red carpet along with 125 cases of Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 and Rosé Impérial magnums for table service. At the bar, more than 500 signature cocktails will be swirled with the help of "Entertaining Ambassador" Camilla Belle.

THR caught up with Chan to discuss her Moet moment, what charity she'll be supporting on the big night and what Colin Kaepernick has to do with it. 

You've got a lot to celebrate this year at the Golden Globes: a best picture nomination for Crazy Rich Asians and this partnership with Moet. Why did you decide to align with Moet this year?

I’ve been fortunate to have had an exciting year, and what better way to celebrate my first Golden Globe Awards and the success and boundary-breaking milestones of Crazy Rich Asians than with a glass of champagne? I think Astrid would agree! In all honesty, while Moet has always been an iconic champagne, I also admire their focus on charity through Toast for a Cause, so was thrilled when they invited me to get involved in the program’s 10th anniversary. I have always placed great importance on philanthropy and embrace any opportunity to give back to causes that I’m passionate about. Now, more than ever, the Hollywood community is actively seeking out ways to give back, so it’s wonderful that Moet & Chandon continues to provide that opportunity for nominees on such an international stage like the Golden Globes. Also, this year, for the very first time, Toast for a Cause will be adding a consumer element for viewers at home to participate via social media. Details will be announced shortly!

How do you decide what charities to support? What do you look for?

This year I've chosen to support the Help Refugees UK fund through Toast for a Cause. I generally look to support organizations with a personal connection and in this case, I first came into contact with them through volunteering in their Choose Love store in London. Choose Love is the first store where you can buy real products for refugees, from emergency blankets to school bags and medical equipment. All funds raised go directly towards their vital work — in less than two years, they've become the biggest facilitator of grassroots aid on the continent, with over 80 projects in Europe and the Middle East. At a time when refugees and migrants are regularly vilified by sections of the media and certain politicians, it is all the more moving to me that this is a group of everyday people taking joint action to improve refugees' lives.

Do you have any philanthropic mentors — someone you look up to in terms of charitable giving?

I have a lot of admiration for Colin Kaepernick for his activism, setting up his "Know Your Rights" camps and his donations to multiple organizations.

With the new year coming, what do you hope to accomplish in 2019?

It's going to be a busy start to the year with awards season and then the Captain Marvel global press tour. After that I hope I'll get to spend some time with my family and loved ones and then continue working on my other projects. I've also promised myself this will be the year I finally adopt a rescue dog.

Crazy Rich Asians continues to be a huge part of the cultural conversation. Though you were already a successful actress, can you say how this film and its success changed your life?

The response to the film has been above and beyond what we ever could have imagined and it means the world when people express how much the film means to them. The writer David Henry Hwang said something poignant about representation: when it's been absent most of your life, sometimes you have to see it to realize just how much you needed it. For me personally, it feels like the door is finally open to telling the stories of people who traditionally have been ignored or underrepresented or forgotten by history. We aren't going back. 

Scroll down for other moments from Toast for a Cause from past Golden Globes.