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  M.   January 30, 2008

New Bond girl spills the beans on Quantum of Solace.
by Chris Tilly, IGN UK

UK, January 29, 2008 – Gemma Arterton has only been acting for six months, but the 22-year-old has already won plum parts in Brit flicks St. Trinian’s, 3 and Out and Guy Ritchie’s forthcoming RocknRolla. If that wasn’t enough, she’s also playing a Secret Service agent in new Bond film Quantum of Solace, and IGN interviewed her on set last week to discuss landing one of cinema’s most sought after roles.

You’ve been a Bond girl for a little while now — is it still exciting or is the novelty starting to wear off a bit?

Gemma Arterton: No, every day there’s something exciting that happens, like I just got asked to present at the BAFTAs, which I can’t do because I’m filming this, but little things like that. I’ve only just left drama school and have been working professionally for six months, so all of this is out of this world. It doesn’t feel real still. That’s why I wasn’t too nervous on the first day because I just felt like it was a game. The size of it hasn’t hit me yet, but I’m sure that it will.

Tell us a little bit about your character?

Arterton: She’s called Agent Fields and she’s not a typical Bond girl. She’s actually quite funny, and very real, and someone that you could know from down the road. There’s something very fresh about her. For me, she’s got stuff that all women can identify with.

How did you get the part?

Arterton: I went to two auditions. I was in a play at the Globe in London and the casting directors came to see me in it. I was playing a very Bong girly type of role, but Shakespeare. It was Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost, and she’s very haughty and sharp. They asked me in for an audition, which I never thought I’d get. Then I got a second audition where I met the director and everyone, then I had a screen test which was petrifying, then I got the part.

Did you screen test with Daniel Craig?

Arterton: Yes. I had to do a scene from this Bond. I hadn’t read the script so I didn’t know anything about anything, which was quite nice actually, and it was such a bizarre day. You go in and have all your hair and make-up done, and I was so scared. They make you look as great as they can and then you go on set and there were literally about 60 people looking at you and thinking, “Could she be a Bond girl?” Everyone’s eyes are on you and everyone’s whispering and looking. It’s so uncomfortable, but you have to do it because the producers have to see what you look like. Then I acted a scene with Daniel and it was very brief. He said, “Hello, how are you?” And I said, “I’m really scared.” And he said, “Don’t worry.” We did the scene and he said, “Well done.” And that was it. Then the director Marc Forster said, “OK… good luck.” And I thought, “No, I’ve lost it.” But I didn’t, so that was great.

How did you find out you had the part?

Arterton: I was filming a British film called 3 and Out and me and Mackenzie Crook were doing the last scene in Gibraltar on a diving boat in the middle of the ocean, in scuba gear. The producer got a phone call from my agent and passed the phone over and he just sang the Bond theme down the phone to me. And I was like, “Nooo! Oh, my God.” And Mackenzie shed a tear because he’d witnessed such a big moment in my life, which he found very emotional. Then I had to dive off the boat. I had to pretend that I wasn’t overflowing with happiness because of the scene. Then we had dinner and lots and lots of champagne to celebrate.

Why did you want to be a Bond girl?

Arterton: You grow up watching them and they’re so glamorous. It’s such a huge part of British filmmaking – it’s just a privilege. And more than anything, it’s so that my grandkids can say their gran was a Bond girl. They’ll be like, “Look at her now, you’d never know!”

Who are your favourite Bond girls of the past?

Arterton: Honour Blackman is my favourite Bond girl – she’s pretty and sharp and sexy – everything that you think of when you think of a Bond girl. Diana Rigg too, but I love her anyway.

To what extent is your character a real Bond girl? Do you get to kiss Bond?

Arterton: Yes, I do. Though I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that. I’m actually an agent and I work with him, though I think I’ll automatically be called a Bond girl. But in that way I suppose you could call M a Bond girl. She’s very typically Fleming because in the last Bond, and this Bond with Olga [Kurylenko’s] character Camille, they’re very independent and strong women out there for themselves. But my character’s very, very cute. It’s nice because these Bond’s are so different — there’s something much more edgy about them, and my character’s like an homage to the ’60s Bond girls, which I love.

Is that reflected in your outfits?

Arterton: Not really. I think my hair is remioniscent of Diana Rigg’s hair, and there’s a scene which is an homage to something iconic, but I cannot tell you what that is. But it will be remembered.

Is it an homage to something Bond?

Arterton: Yes, it’s Bond-related.

So what’s up next?

Arterton: Well, we’re going out to Panama soon and I’ve never been to South America. So all these things are very exciting. And there’s some great banter between me and Bond which will be fun.

Are you going to all the locations?

Arterton: No, only London and Panama.

Are you a fighting Bond girl?

Arterton: No. I do have fight in me, and I have a little bit of a fight, but Olga’s character is the fighting Bond girl.

Is your boyfriend jealous of the attention you’ll get as a Bond girl?

Arterton: I think he’s wary – you know, who wouldn’t be? But I love him very much so I’m not interested. But I think Olga will be the one that eveyone’s pining over. I met her for the first time today and thought, “Oh, my God – she’s gorgeous.” I had no make-up on either!

Are you worried about being stereotyped as a Bond girl?

Arterton: Even though she’s got this Fleming thing going on, there’s something very different about my character – she’s not a femme fatale and there’s lots of facets to her. I’ve had such varied parts so far, and I’ve only been acting for six months, but I think I’ve already proved that I’m a versatile actress. I’ve had offers, even before I got Bond, for future work that’s really different, so I’m not worried about it. There are so many actresses that’s it’s not hindered their career at all. If people want to typecast you, they’re not very imaginative, and that’s too bad for them.

Has Daniel Craig give you any words of advice?

Arterton: No – it’s always brief when we’re on set together. But he did re-assure me by saying, “Be confident, you look great.” Because I just don’t think I’m Bond girl material, or I’d never be able to pull Bond in real life. I have to get my head round the fact that I am doing this. But it’s all quite surreal.

Source: IGN.com