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.   September 10, 2010

She’s one of British cinema’s hottest young things and her latest film looks set to cement her reputation as a smouldering sexpot. But, finds Rob Driscoll, Gemma Arterton has a lot more going for her than that

As entrances go, Gemma Arterton’s arrival as the title character of her new movie Tamara Drewe is a memorable one – dressed as she is in a tiny pair of denim shorts which leave little to the imagination.

Then, having sashayed along a country lane in the rear-hugging cut-offs, she is then required to climb over a stile – much to the fascination of a handful of goggle-eyed local yokels.

The scene is both sexy and hilarious – and will undeniably send 24-year-old Arterton’s rating on the radar of her adoring male fanbase hurtling even higher.

But how keen was the fast-rising British actress to sport such a revealing ensemble on the big-screen?

“Oh, I actually went in there and said, ‘Please can you make me the shortest, most uncomfortable shorts ever?’” smiles Arterton, her tongue wedged in cheek.

“No, it’s in the book, and it’s a memorable scene, those hot pants. And for the ensuing joke, the wonderful punch line delivered by Tamsin Grieg, (which we can’t really repeat here), they had to be ridiculously provocative.

“So I actually had a screen test, where I wore various styles of shorts.

“As I walked along, they went, ‘Shorter, shorter!’ and so they became quite short.

“We’ll be auctioning them for charity at the end of the year.”

This is proving to be Arterton’s break-out year. Granted, she’s previously been a Bond girl, but already this year we have seen her in two spring/summer blockbusters, Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia.

She’s proved herself more than capable of holding her own opposite Hollywood hunks like Jake Gyllenhaal and Sam “Avatar” Worthington, but her latest effort is something else entirely.

It’s this joyful, yet often dark and raucous, rural comedy based on Posy Simmonds’ fondly-regarded comic strip (or graphic novel, in current parlance), that will truly cement her reputation as the new “It” girl of British cinema, while Arterton herself sees the role as the closest to herself yet.

The film, a big hit at Cannes in May, is set in a sleepy Dorset village, where Arterton’s eponymous prodigal heroine returns after many years, having re-invented herself as a successful London journalist, to renovate and sell the family home after the death of her mother.

Having left the village as an awkward, ugly duckling teenager, Tamara returns as a smouldering femme fatale, complete with a sleek nose job, kicking up a storm of envy, lust and gossip, and stoking up the ardour of several men whose paths she happens to cross.

These include her one-time teenage boyfriend, handyman hunk Andy Cobb (played by Welsh actor Luke Evans), resident author and serial philanderer Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam), and rock drummer and teen idol Ben Sergeant (Dominic Cooper), all of whose attentions invite the burning question: Who will woo Tamara Drewe?

“I wanted to play Tamara, because she’s not really the heroine, she’s very flawed but that’s what makes her real,” says Arterton, who was born and grew up in Gravesend, Kent.

“It’s the closest role to me, I suppose, that I’ve played.

“She’s a modern girl, sort of charming, she makes snide and witty remarks and I like to think that’s like me!

“It was also so refreshing to play someone who was written by a woman, who is very modern.

“What I really love about Tamara is that all the time she’s playing at being so confident and charming, but deep down, she’s a total wreck,” she adds.

“She can be rather promiscuous and thoughtless in her actions, and she doesn’t always think how they’re going to affect anyone else and that’s a modern thing as well.

“It’s a very honest portrayal, I think.

“The insecurities that she has, I’d say, are very relevant to what happens to girls now – this whole need to fit in, the need to look beautiful, to be successful, and doing anything in order to get like that.”

Posy Simmonds’ original comic strip, also called Tamara Drewe, was loosely and cheekily inspired by Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Far From The Madding Crowd.

And the screen version continues that conceit with its own witty modifications – such as the slimy Ben Sergeant’s seduction of Tamara with his drumsticks (opposed to Hardy’s anti-hero, Sergeant Troy, taunting the novel’s heroine Bathsheba Everdene with his dangerous swordplay, as fans of the 1968 film with Powys farmhouse resident Julie Christie and Terence Stamp will remember).

For Arterton, too, the Hardy reference is pertinent and poignant.

She starred as Tess of the D’Urbervilles in BBC One’s acclaimed serial adaptation two years ago.

But could she find any surprising parallels in her approach and playing of the two roles?

“You know, Bathsheba Everdene is a very advanced character for her time, very modern,” she muses.

“Hardy was very clever and knew women much better than we even know women, I think.

“I suppose that Tess and Tamara Drewe are both out there doing things on their own.

“But they are very, very different and both downtrodden in a way. There’s an argument in Tess that she sort of brings it on herself.

“But Tamara actually does bring it on herself in many ways, but doesn’t really know why it happens and how she gets there.

“They are both different characters – but I suppose they’re just both very advanced for when they’re originally written.”

Tamara Drewe’s director is veteran British film-maker Stephen Frears, best known of late for The Queen, and renowned for his somewhat curmudgeonly, “old man” status.

True to form, he wasn’t that aware of Arterton when it came to casting his heroine.

Not surprisingly, he hadn’t seen her previous fare, including the 2007 St Trinian’s remake, while Bond movies and mega-budget Hollywood fantasies aren’t his usual required viewing.

“When I met Gemma, she did immediately remind me of Posy Simmonds’ drawings,” explains Frears, “because she’s, well, she’s so curvy, isn’t she?

“She’s like a sort of line drawing in her own way. She’s a really wonderful girl, warm and funny.

“I thought, ‘Oh, I’d like to watch her for 90 minutes’. It was as simple as that, really.”

There’s another reason why this year is a landmark one for Arterton – her wedding to the Italian fashion distributor Stefano Catelli.

She admits that she had never planned to get married, because she had grown up surrounded by divorced couples, including her own parents.

“I always thought that it was a pointless thing to do,” she concedes.

“But when I met Stefano, I just understood why you get married instantly.

“You become the same thing and you just grow together.”

As for future films, things are looking rosy.

Ridley Scott, no less, is apparently keen to meet her to discuss a role for his Aliens prequel.

And she’s already been cast in The Keys To The Street, an adaptation of Ruth Rendell’s book, scripted by Christopher Nolan, of The Dark Knight and Inception fame.

For now, though, Arterton is having her own little love affair, with Tamara Drewe.

“I just love her,” she purrs.

“I remember when we were filming it, there were times when Stephen would say, ‘I don’t really know why she does that’.

“And I’d say, ‘That’s because she’s a woman, and sometimes we don’t know why we do things. We’re very complicated’.

“It was so good to play someone like that, because so often film roles are too thought through, and too perfect, and this one was imperfect. That’s why I love Tamara Drewe.”

Tamara Drewe opens at cinemas today