WILTS AND GLOUCESTERSHIRE STANDARD – Gemma Arterton said working on films can be “frustrating” and described her Bond girl days as “a distant memory” as she prepares to play one of Britain’s most celebrated actresses on the big stage.

The star is appearing in West End play Nell Gwynn, which charts the rise of an unlikely heroine from orange seller to celebrity.

Gemma will play the cheeky, charming and clever Nell – one of the first and most acclaimed women to appear on the London stage and who also won the heart of King Charles II in the 1600s.

Although she is an established film star with a number of movies due out in future, Gemma, 30, has a soft spot for theatre, admitting that she often finds film “quite frustrating”.

She told the Press Association: “I guess with theatre, you are the captain of your performance. You’re going out there every night and doing it, and it’s always different. And the audience are different.”

On the subject of film, she said: “And for an actor, I think, often I find it quite frustrating with film that you do your performance and then you give it to somebody else, and then they kind of cut it and decide what’s good and what’s not, and how they want to see it.”

Asked about how the exhilarating feeling of live theatre compares with the lifelong excitement of having been a Bond girl – she played Strawberry Fields in Quantum Of Solace in 2008 – Gemma said: “If I’m really honest with you, it feels kind of abstract all of that film stuff to me, because it’s done. Often by the time that a film comes out it was like two years ago that you shot it, so it’s like a distant memory, whereas when you’re doing a play, you’re living it and it’s happening, and then it’s gone and that’s it, then it’s done, it can never come back. If people saw it, they saw it, and if they didn’t then they will never see it again. Whereas with a film it’s sort of just sort of always there and following you around for the whole of your life. It’s a weird thing. Sometimes if I see myself in a magazine or something, I just think ‘well, that’s not me’.”

She likes to think her current role as Nell Gwynn is fate as she shares a birthday with her and grew up on a street named after her.

“When I started researching her, that was the first thing I saw – that her birthday was the 2nd of February. She’s 366 and I’m 30. Our birthdays were last week. It’s believed that her birthday’s on that day because someone did her birth chart,” Gemma said.

Asked if she thought it was fate that she would one day play this character, she said: “I don’t know. I mean, I like to see it that way because it gives me strength when I go out in front of 1,000 people every night playing her. But you know, I guess it’s coincidence.”

Gemma hopes to make good use of her time before going to the theatre every evening, and specifically wants to do more work with her production company.

She wants to get Brooklyn star Saoirse Ronan on board for a project in the near future, and joked: “Well, we hope we can still have her now that she’s this huge Oscar-nominated actress, but she’s a good friend, and she’s perfect for the role and she loves it. So hopefully we can get that going.” (source)

Nell Gwynn runs at the Apollo Theatre until the end of April.

By Sheryl Garratt

It’s easy to like Gemma Arterton. She’s smart, funny and rarely afraid to speak her mind, so when she says she’s excited about her latest role, you know she means it. ‘I couldn’t resist it. It’s what we need in the West End right now: a bit of pep, a bit of witty comedy.’

It’s a freezing Monday morning at a rehearsal space in south-east London, and Gemma’s caught an early Eurostar from Paris – where she now lives much of the time – to start her second week of preparation for the West End run of Jessica Swale’s play Nell Gwynn.

Dressed in a grey mohair jumper, dark knee-length skirt, thick tights and suede boots – and with skin that glows despite little sign of make-up – she looks better than ever, with an added touch of Parisian polish. She approves of French style: ‘They know what suits them and they stick to it. It’s about knowing yourself, rather than following trends.’

By Amy West

Gemma Arterton turns 30 on Tuesday (2 February) and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate her birthday than to watch one of, if not all of her best films. From the star-studded The Boat That Rocked to children’s guilty pleasure St. Trinian’s, she’s appeared in a lot of titles considering she only really rose to fame less than 10 years ago.

She even played a Bond girl in the 2008 film Quantum Of Solace, so there’s bound to be something to suit everyone who wants to share in her special day.

Gemma Arterton turns 30 on Tuesday (2 February) and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate her birthday than to watch one of, if not all of her best films. From the star-studded The Boat That Rocked to children’s guilty pleasure St. Trinian’s, she’s appeared in a lot of titles considering she only really rose to fame less than 10 years ago.

She even played a Bond girl in the 2008 film Quantum Of Solace, so there’s bound to be something to suit everyone who wants to share in her special day.

Gemma Arterton is about to play feisty royal mistress Nell Gwynn in the West End — and a birthday today is not the only thing they have in common, she tells Nick Curtis

“She’s great fun, witty and fresh and real: she sort of represents this new wave of feminism without being stampy and shouty. She says it how it is.”

Gemma Arterton is describing Nell Gwynn, who she is playing in the West End transfer of Jessica Swale’s play about the orange-seller who became Charles II’s lover, stepping into the dainty shoes originally filled by Gugu Mbatha-Raw at Shakespeare’s Globe. Of course, the description pretty neatly fits Arterton herself, who also shares both an earthy sexuality with Swale’s seductive heroine and a birthday: Arterton turns 30 today while Gwynn would be 366.

The actress grumbles good-humouredly that she’ll mark her milestone with the technical rehearsal for the play after three short weeks’ rehearsal, and won’t be able to celebrate with her family in Gravesend or her boyfriend, assistant director Franklin Ohanessian, in Paris until after the run.

She had even been planning a bit of downtime after a hectic 2015. First she did her first all-singing, all-dancing role in Made in Dagenham, which won her an Evening Standard Theatre Award last year for Newcomer in a Musical, but which sadly closed after six months. (Arterton is still “the most proud of that out of everything I have done” and mourns its passing). Then she made four films back-to-back. But when she read Swale’s script it was a “no brainer”. The part of Nell, like the woman herself, was “irresistible”.

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Rehearsals photos for Gemma’s new play Nell Gwynn have just been released. You can find them in our gallery! I can’t wait to see Gemma in this new adventure! :)

Stage > Nell Gwynn (2016) > Rehearsals

VARIETY – Uma Thurman (“Kill Bill”), Alexandra Daddario (“True Detective”), Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”) and Laurent Lafitte (“Little White Lies”) have joined Bollywood star Dhanush in Marjane Satrapi’s “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir.”

TF1 International reps the English-language project and will kick off pre-sales at Berlin’s European Film Market.

Gemma Arterton (“Hansel And Gretel”), Abel Jafri (“Timbuktu”) and Seema Biswas (“The Queen Bandit”) complete the cast.

“Extraordinary Journey” will mark the most ambitious project undertaken by Satrapi, the Iranian-born French comicbook artist and filmmaker behind Cannes’ jury prize winner “Persepolis” and “Chicken With Plums.”

Satrapi made her English-language debut with “The Voices” starring Ryan Reynolds.

Luc Bossi’s Brio Films is lead producing. Vamonos Films, Italy’s Paco Cinematografica and India’s Little Red Car are co-producing. “Extraordinary Journey” has already been picked up by SquareOne in Germany.

The comedy adventure tale is based on Romain Puértolas’ bestselling debut novel “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe,” which came out in 2014 and has been translated into 35 languages. The novel follows the pilgrimage of a con man from India to an IKEA in Paris.

Satrapi’s film will follow the epic journey of a wild storyteller from New Delhi to Paris, where he falls in love with a woman and accidentally gets deported, along with a band of African refugees, to the far corners of Europe.

“It’s a story about love, magic and adventure and it takes place across three continents. I’m drawn to fantasy stories and I love creating worlds that don’t exist, imagining things in bigger and more beautiful ways,” said Satrapi, who aims at weaving fantasy with realism, grounding the story in today’s world and touching on the condition of refugees.

Bossi, who co-wrote the big screen adaptation with Puértolas and Jon Goldman (“Diplomacy”), said the film shared similarities with Wes Anderson’s “Grand Budapest Hotel,” Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” and Roberto Benigni’s “Life Is Beautiful.”

Spearheaded by Avy Kaufman, the international casting is a key element of this project. Satrapi placed a large emphasis on bringing together a wide range of actors coming from diverse horizons to reflect the book’s spirit.

Dhanush follows the footsteps of a growing number of Indian stars who have been getting international parts over the last year. Recent examples include Irrfan Khan (“Jurassic World”), Anil Kapoor (“24”), Priyanka Chopra (“Quantico”) and Om Puri (“The Hundred Foot Journey”).

Pic will be shooting in June in Paris, Rome, Jodhpur and Casablanca with a crew that includes cinematographer Maxime Alexandre (“Warrior’s Gate,” “The Voices”). (source)

By Emily Hardy

Full casting has been announced for the West End transfer of Jessica Swale’s new play Nell Gwynn, directed by Christopher Luscombe.

The full cast includes Paige Carter, Michele Dotrice, Matthew Durkan, Michael Garner, Greg Haiste, George Jennings, Ellie Leah, Peter McGovern, David Rintoul, Anneika Rose, Nicholas Shaw, David Sturzaker, Jay Taylor, Sasha Waddell and Sarah Woodward.

Award-winning Gemma Arterton (The Duchess of Malfi, Made in Dagenham, Quantum of Solace) stars as cheeky, charming and clever Nell Gwynn, one of the first, and most acclaimed, women to appear on the London stage.

Following its critical acclaim and a sell-out run at Shakespeare’s Globe, Nell Gwynn will be on at the Apollo Theatre for a strictly limited season from 4 February 2016.

Jessica Swale’s entertaining new play Nell Gwynn charts the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place in the heart of the King.