THE DAILY MAIL – Gemma Arterton said she’s going to ‘let her hair down’ when she portrays actress and royal mistress Nell Gwynn, in swirling skirts and bloomers, on the West End stage.
Renowned as much for her wit as for her beauty, Gwynn is often referred to as the favourite of Charles II’s many lovers.
Gemma, born in Gravesend, Kent, told The Daily Mail that the play, Nell Gwynn, by Jessica Swale, ‘speaks to me in that “working-class girl finding her voice and breaking through class barriers” kind of way’.
She hadn’t been expecting to return to the stage so soon after starring in the musical Made In Dagenham, for which she received the Evening Standard’s musical newcomer award during a ceremony at the Old Vic last Sunday.
But she couldn’t resist Nell and her bawdy ditties. ‘There’s singing! And dancing! Gwynn’s very lively,’ said Gemma of the play which originally starred Gugu Mbatha-Raw when it started life at Shakespeare’s Globe for a recent short run.
Gemma said she likes the scenes where Nell engages with the audience about popular topics, including how women are treated. ‘It’s nice to know that we’ve had to fight through this before,’ Gemma observed, wryly.
After Dagenham closed, she shot four films back to back, all of which will be released next year. One is the wartime-set Our Finest Hour And A Half, in which she’ll appear alongside leading man Sam Claflin, for director Lone Scherfig, who also directed An Education.
Future projects include a film version of Eileen Atkins’s play Vita And Virginia, about the intimate friendship between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, with Gemma as West.
Gemma and Atkins got to know each other when both were performing at Shakespeare’s Globe — Gemma in The Duchess Of Malfi, and Atkins in an Ellen Terry monologue.
Ms Arterton and the Globe go back a long way. Dominic Dromgoole, outgoing artistic director, cast her as Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost, her first professional part after leaving RADA.
‘Dominic and the Globe seeded Gemma,’ said Nica Burns, Nell Gwynn’s key producer, who co-runs Nimax — the company that controls the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, where Nell Gwynn will begin preview performances on February 4.
On Sunday night (November 22), the Evening Standard Theatre Awards took place at The Old Vic Theatre. Gemma won the award for Best Newcomer in a Musical – for Made in Dagenham – and it was totally deserved! She looked simply and splendid in a pink Prada long-dress. So, many congrats to Gemma and enjoy these photos of the event we’ve added to our gallery!
LONDON BURNING – “I grew up on a council estate, and when you grow up somewhere like that, it’s hard to shake it off. Even when you’re placed in über-glamorous circumstances, you can’t quite fit in. I’m so grateful to have come from that, because I can see the disparities between the two! Well, to me the glamorous side is not real at all. I enjoy going to film festivals, I enjoy going out for nice dinners and living the nouveau-riche life, because that’s what I am, nouveau-riche. Yet it’s not where I feel comfortable. I guess that’s why I live in south London still. Even though I live in a nice place, I still can be five minutes down the road and I’m in Brixton or wherever. I don’t think I could ever live anywhere that was manicured because I’d find it very uncomfortable…
How weird is this: [my first job was in] the Warner Bros shop! And then I ended up working on Warner Bros films. I made my first film when I was 22… I remember one day I was serving a guy in the shop that was James Bond’s stunt double, and he was boasting to everyone. And then, five years on, you’re working on the same thing. It’s weird. Life is full of things like that.“
Gemma looked splendid as she unveiled the 2015 Tiffany & Co Christmas Windows on London’s Bond Street. She looked great in a snow-white dress – with her dark hair and warm smile – also wearing a beautiful jewelled drop necklace. Several photos from the event have now been added to our gallery, be sure to check them!
Please visit our friends’ fansite dedicated to the extremely talented and beautiful French actress Adèle Exarchopoulos whose new film Les Anarchistes is coming out in France on November 11th. Adèle is best known for her Palme d’Or winning role in La Vie d’Adèle aka Blue is the Warmest Colour. She’ll soon be co-starring with Gemma Arterton in Orpheline.
Congratulations to Gemma for her nomination at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards!
EVENING STANDARD – Made In Dagenham’s Gemma Arterton competes for best newcomer in a musical with High Society’s Ellie Bamber and Natalie Dew for Bend It Like Beckham.
Back in August, Gemma attended the UK premiere of Gemma Bovery during the at the Film4 Summer Screen at the Somerset House. Lots of photos have now been added to the gallery, with big thanks to Emily for helping us with some HQs! Be sure to check them out, enjoy!