"Not used to walking in heels either," the actress and L'Oreal Paris spokeswoman told PEOPLE

By Hanna Flanagan
July 20, 2021 12:34 PM
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Gemma Chan attends the final screening of "OSS 117: From Africa With Love" and closing ceremony during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 17, 2021 in Cannes, France
Credit: Arnold Jerocki/FilmMagic

We would've never guessed it by her poised and polished demeanor, but Gemma Chan told PEOPLE she actually felt "so out of practice" while walking the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival red carpet this weekend.

"Got a bit of butterflies. Not used to walking in heels either," the Crazy Rich Asians actress — who stunned in a custom Oscar de la Renta gold sequin gown and Aquazzura sandals — said. "It's definitely, it's a little bit overwhelming. It's joyful. I'm very, very happy to be here. Yeah, it's been a while since I've done a live red carpet, I feel like it's been a year and a half, maybe."

"I've been in elasticated waists....It's been an adjustment getting back into the swing of it, but it's nice," Chan, 38, added. "It's nice to get dressed up."

The L'Oreal Paris spokeswoman also opened up about how her beauty routine changed while cooped up inside amid the coronavirus pandemic, sharing, "It was nice to give my skin a break."

"In my day job, I wear makeup on set most days. And it was nice to focus on skincare," Chan said.

The Eternals actress then backtracked a bit with a very relatable confession: "Actually, I say that, [but] at the beginning of the first lockdown, I didn't do anything. I didn't brush my hair," she quipped.

Once she finally got back into a daily routine, Chan realized it made life feel a little more normal even while stuck in quarantine.

"Even if you're not seeing anyone or maybe you were just seeing some people over Zoom, it might be nice to put on a bright lip or something to cheer you up," she shared.

Chan continued: "My idea of beauty has evolved a bit. Beauty to me was already about self-care and having time for yourself and permission to take care of yourself. But especially more so now."