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  M.   October 04, 2012

Alistair Foster

04 October 2012

She has been a Bond girl and earned her place as one of Hollywood’s leading ladies.

But Gemma Arterton says making her debut in a new West End musical will be the “scariest thing” she’s ever done.

Arterton, 26, told the Standard that her voice “may surprise people”. The production is a version of Made In Dagenham, the story of female factory workers fighting for equal pay, and is being written by Richard Bean, the man behind the hugely successful One Man Two Guvnors. It will be directed by Enron director Rupert Gould, with music by Bond composer David Arnold.

The actress was speaking at the exhibition by artist Chris Moon — who has revealed that he destroyed £500,000 worth of his own works for not meeting his exacting standards. Arterton owns several of his pieces.

She said: “I always wanted to be a singer before I was an actress. I then sort of got into acting, but my biggest love has always been music and when I was at Rada I did a musical there. I thought, ‘I love it’, and I felt like I was in my element.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever sung for a role. I will have to be disciplined — I will have to cut out the drinking and smoking. But I love singing more than anything and I feel so cool and free and I just do my own thing.”

She added: “For me, it felt like the next hurdle in my career. The thing I’m most excited about is that my voice may surprise people.

“It is the biggest, scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Bond is fun — this is scary.”

The production team is still seeking investment but hopes to be in full rehearsals in a year with a view to opening at Christmas next year.