Welcome to Gemma Arterton Online, your best and oldest source for the english rose Gemma Arterton. We strive to provide you with news, photos, in-depth information, media, fun stuff and much more on our favorite British star! Gemma is most known for her roles in: St. Trinian's, Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia and Clash of the Titans. Her upcoming films are Vita & Virginia, My Zoe and Summerland. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We hope you enjoy the site and come back often!

  M.   May 02, 2010

Having landed the lead in this summer’s biggest blockbuster, the 24-year-old talks fame, family and why she’ll always be a Gravesend girl

“I am in a silly mood today,” says Gemma Arterton. As she’s bouncing around a photo studio in a gigantic feather duster of a dress trying to do an impression of Sesame Street’s Big Bird, it’s hard to disagree. So far Arterton’s entertained the room with her Alison Steadman in Abigail’s Party (“I love Demis Roussos”) and an accurately nasal Kenneth Williams: “Oooaaahheeeuuh, heee taaaalked wiiith aaaall theeeese voouuuoowels.” She’s explained her utterly useless test for drunkenness in which she’d ask herself to multiply 12 x 12. “Then after a few years I realised I’d just memorised the answer 144 and I was actually pissed! What an idiot!”

Every so often she’ll have a breather to debate the merits of the new Christian Louboutin thigh-length pom-pom boots or recent shopping purchases with the Observer’s fashion team in the urgent tones that men use to discuss Premier League football, but then she’ll do a little dance or an impression and she’s off again.

Though she also, consummate professional that she is, follows the photographer’s instructions to the letter. Giving the perfect amount of sexy face, game for every suggestion, every pose. It’s not often you watch someone enjoy their job this much.

It’s good that there’s fun to be had, because Arterton is tottering on the verge of international hugeness, and the implications of that are starting to hit home. Still only 24, the actress already has the sort of CV someone 10 years older would be proud of. She’d played Rosaline in As You Like It at the Globe Theatre and appeared in the popcorn remake of St Trinian’s and Stephen Poliakoff’s BBC drama Capturing Mary before she had even graduated from Rada in 2007. She then won the part of Agent Strawberry Fields, one of the funniest Bond girls ever, in 2008’s Quantum of Solace and played a wonderfully doomy Tess of the D’Urbervilles on TV.

But 2010 is her year, the moment that proves her range as well as precocious ability. In the past four months Arterton has been everywhere. In The Little Dog Laughed in London’s West End, in multiplexes as Io in the Clash of the Titans remake and in art-house cinemas in smart little British film The Disappearance of Alice Creed. Next up is her biggest role to date: Princess Tamina in the big-screen adaptation of the video game Prince of Persia. It’s a Jerry Bruckheimer project, the same producer who transformed a hokey-sounding film based on a Disneyworld roller-coaster ride into the $2.68bn franchise known as Pirates of the Caribbean, turning Keira Knightley into a huge star along the way. Arterton says she’s been trying not to think too hard about what this role could mean to her career and her life, but as the publicity amps up around the film’s release it’s harder to ignore.

“On Saturday I went to see Kick-Ass with my sister Hannah and there were posters of me everywhere in the cinema – one life-sized cutout, a massive banner and then a couple of me and Jake [Gyllenhaal, her co-star]. Then people came out from seeing Clash of the Titans and I felt really weird. We had to wait for our screen to open and I was just freaking out. I wanted to stand in the corner. The reality is dawning on me that this is big. I’ve put it out of my head, but now it’s actually happening. I’ve had such a normal life – it’s very strange that it’s changing, because everything still feels normal to me.”

Arterton’s early years were, indeed, very normal. She grew up in Gravesend, Kent. Her parents, Barry and Sally, are a plater and a cleaner respectively. They divorced when she was five years old and her dad remarried, so Arterton and her younger sister Hannah were raised by her mother. Arterton always wanted to perform – she played in bad punk bands as a teenager before falling in love with the stage after appearing in a school play. She decided to take a performance arts course at Dartford’s Miskin Theatre and it was there that a tutor suggested she tried out for drama school. She was offered a place by every school she auditioned for, and opted for Rada.

“I went for that one because it’s royal, so I thought it was probably the best. When I got there I was intimidated at first, because I thought I was common and I didn’t know what I was doing. But then you realise that the Oxford graduates with agents are feeling intimidated, too. Then you’re just so knackered from the work you just get on with it. It was a brilliant experience; I had such a good time.”

Though she’d moved to London to study, Arterton kept close ties with family and friends from Gravesend, and it’s this that has probably helped her keep a good grip on the everyday. Anecdotes about life on film sets revolve around her nearest and dearest rather than co-stars. “My dad came twice to the Prince of Persia set and was in Morocco with us for two weeks. Everyone knew him – ‘Hey, here’s Barry!’ and he’d be: ‘All right, mate, how’s the daughter?’ It’s lovely bringing friends on set because they wouldn’t normally get the chance to do that. Everybody was gobsmacked by the scale of it. I had my own palace built for me – unbelievable! I’d never seen anything like it.”

Palace or not, she still hasn’t had her head turned by the blockbuster experience. “There’s a Lego figurine of me for Prince of Persia, but it looks like Anne Widdecombe – I love it! I can’t really think beyond that, I can’t think about the size of a film or the merchandise or the budget. I just have to be me in that situation. I mean, I’ve made friends in the film industry, but all my best friends are from home and I’ve known them for years. That’s important because you need people to tell you when you’re being an idiot or that, in the grand scheme, this is all irrelevant.”

That’s not to say that Arterton doesn’t love her job – she lights up when she talks about finding a character or performing on stage. She’s utterly thrilled that her next film is premiering at Cannes. It’s an adaptation of cartoonist Posy Simmonds’s strip Tamara Drewe (based on Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd) and directed by Stephen Frears. “I was like: ‘Oh my god! The first film where I’m the lead is going to Cannes! It’s the day after the Prince of Persia premiere in LA, but I can just make it if I have my hair and make-up done on the plane.”

She’s nervous about the film because she’s the main star and, unlike most of her film work so far, it’s modern. “You can’t hide behind the costume and the hair like you can with period drama. But then again, in Tamara Drewe I get to say things like: ‘Drop dead, you smug prick’ which is so much easier than: ‘This is your destiny.'”

Frears’s film is slated for an autumn release, and after this year of back-to-back releases Arterton isn’t sure what’s next. She’s got a slew of interesting projects and scripts on offer; there’s a wedding to plan at some point (she’s engaged to someone called Stefano who works in fashion but she’s determined to keep that part of her life private). Surely moving to Hollywood is on the cards at some point?

“I’ve only been there once,” says Arterton. “But my job is my job – I don’t want it to be my life, and if I lived there I think it would become my life. I might move to another country in Europe at some point. I love Spain. I really feel at home in Andalucia: the people there are my type and the underground communist movement in Spain is really cool. I think I might end up there one day – not yet, it’s too chilled out.”

For now she’s happy to enjoy the enviable position she’s landed in with her career, mixing up billion-dollar blockbusters and the sort of theatre and indie film projects she always imagined would be her life back when she first dreamed of being an actress. “For me, this isn’t just a career – it’s a hobby, too. I like to have fun and feel gratified and satisfied. You can ride the wave of the Hollywood blockbusters, but when it ends, what are you going to do? I know now there’ll always be theatre and I’m looking for roles in scripts that I can’t put down. Good work is coming my way, so I’m not stressing about it.” Gemma Arterton may sometimes get in a silly mood, but there’s a very sensible head on her shoulders.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed is out now;

Prince of Persia is out on 28 May