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.   October 29, 2010

British filmmakers can be a downright curmudgeonly lot — Stephen Frears is one example, with Mike Leigh trailing close behind — but the vast majority of actors from the U.K. tend to be utterly charming and down-to-earth.

Gemma Arterton and Dominic Cooper, for instance, are more than happy to climb onto a hotel bed with a reporter and photographer to conduct an interview about their latest film, Tamara Drewe. They don’t make a fuss when a string of phone calls interrupt the conversation, they ask as many questions as they answer and, on the whole, are entirely likable.

Their characters, however, are a different story.

“Ben, on paper, is so dislikable, arrogant, totally full of himself and can’t see anything beyond his own world,” Cooper says of his Brandon Flowers-esque rock-star role. “But I wanted the challenge of trying to make him a bit more stupid and sweetly endearing, or at least not as harmful.”

To channel this persona, the actor amalgamated the behavioral traits of various hipsters he knew in real life.

“My brother is kind of like him, actually,” he says. “Not in his sensibility, but I remember going on holiday with him to France, in 90-degree heat, and he insisted on wearing leather pants and gelling his hair every morning. It was ridiculous.”

As for Arterton, she hated her character from the moment she read the screenplay — so much, in fact, that she turned down the part. It was only after some tweaking of the script and pleading from director Frears that the actress agreed.

“I realize, now, that it’s good to play people you don’t particularly like,” she says. “Tamara is definitely flawed, and I think she has a long way to go even by the end of the film because she’s still kind of using people, being manipulative.”

The film, opening today, is based on the graphic novel by British writer Posy Simmonds and follows the return of twentysomething reporter Tamara Drewe, post-rhinoplasty, to a small town on the English countryside. To one side her home is a charming inn used as a writers’ retreat and bursting with yet-to-be-published authors who feast on local gossip; on the other side is a bucolic farm. Meanwhile, Tamara is surrounded at large by two nosy tweens desperate to find out what she’s doing with a famous musician.

Arterton, who first appeared on the film scene as Bond girl Strawberry Fields in 2008’s Quantum of Solace, had just wrapped the epic action film Prince of Persia with Jake Gyllenhaal when she started shooting the more indie-oriented Tamara Drewe.

She relished the opportunity to explore this character with a bit more depth, exploring Tamara’s drive to get a nose job and the repercussions of cosmetic surgery in a society that at once demands perfection and thrives on criticizing it.

“I’ve always found plastic surgery interesting,” Arterton says. “You may think you look better, or like the ideal woman, but you still feel like the same person. Tamara is still this geeky teenager who’s lost and angry. Actually, the more polished she is on the outside, the more terrible she is inside. At the end, when you see her covered in blood and snot and tears and dirt, the mask breaks and that’s when you love her most.”

Love her the most if you’re a regular audience member; for Arterton and her co-star, watching this scene — or any other part of the movie — is somewhat painful.

“The first time I saw the finished film,” Arterton says, “I was mortified. But then I saw it at the cast and crew screening and I really enjoyed it. I saw how masterful Stephen is; he manages to make his own genre in a way, keeps all the plates spinning at once. I didn’t see that at first because I was so neurotic about my own performance.”

Vanessa Farquharson, National Post
Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010