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  M.   September 14, 2010

Gemma Arterton loves saucy characters.

The British actress is in town promoting the Stephen Frears-directed film “Tamara Drewe,” based on a graphic novel by Posy Simmonds. The film is set for an early October release.

“I like everything that’s saucy and tongue-in-cheek,” said Arterton of the Tamara Drewe character. “It’s wicked and that’s why it’s unique for me.”

The story is about Tamara, once an ugly duckling who leaves her village for London and gets a complete makeover. When she returns to the rural area, life in the village is thrown into a tailspin.

And how well did she relate to the character of Tamara? “I came from a normal industrial town in Kent,” the actress replied. And yes, she did transform herself when she came to London she adds. But she was quick to point out, “Tamara’s promiscuity separates us.”

Arterton who was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, started her professional acting career just three years ago. Now she’s got some 11 films to her credit. She was recently seen in “Prince of Persia.”

She revealed that she didn’t have to audition to get the role of Tamara. “Stephen had not seen any of my films either, he just depended on casting agent Leo Davis, who suggested my name,” said Arterton, adding that that was delighted to work with Frears. “I thought he would be intimidating, but he’s just the opposite.”

Arterton is being approached with several film offers. “I’ve reached a stage that with my name attached to a film, producers can get financing,” said the actress. She confirmed that she has signed for the film “Capa.” “They’ve given me the money, so it must be financed.” But she said she’ll believe it, “when I stand in the lunch queue,” she laughed.

Her visit to Toronto marks her first film festival, and she said she was quite taken by the fest-frenzy.

“I’m amazed at how everyone descends here, the stars, the traffic.” Any stars she’d particularly like to meet? “Rachel Weisz, she’s coming to the ‘Tamara Drewe‘ screening, I’d like to meet her.”

By Mira Advani Honeycutt | September 13th, 2010