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  Nicole   October 29, 2014

Evening Standard Magazine

Gemma Arterton says she has become a true Francophile after making her second home in Paris — but London will always be her No 1 city. The actress commutes between Battersea and a flat in the French capital.

She says she loves that Parisians are “a bit cold” and “just don’t give a f***”, but London, where she is soon to star on stage in Made In Dagenham, is “way more vibrant and rocking”.

Arterton, 28, has become a star across the Channel since her role in French drama Gemma Bovery. She speaks the language fluently after taking an immersion course to prepare for the film, and is understood to have met her rumoured French boyfriend, assistant director Franklin Ohanessian, on set.

In an interview with ES Magazine, to be published in full tomorrow, she said: “I love it, I love the fact that the people are a bit cold there. I like that they just don’t give a f***. They’re like, ‘I don’t care if you don’t like me’. Or, ‘I don’t like you’. The honesty of that! “[The French] are completely themselves, they have a really strong culture, different to ours. I love their cinema, and I’ve been to the theatre quite a lot there, and it’s taken very seriously. London is way more vibrant and rocking and noisy and diverse, but Paris is more elegant and it’s just chicer.” Arterton, who was nicknamed “la Brit girl qu’on adore” (the Brit girl we love) by French Elle, added: “I’m a star there, apparently.”

Of London, she said: “I’ll always be based here. I’ve got too many roots here that are very, very strong. And, to be honest, I think I’d get bored if I lived in Paris. I’ve got mates there now, but I like to be really busy all the time and that’s much easier here. There’s much more work for me here.” From next week she will be starring in Made In Dagenham at the Adelphi. The show tells the story of a group of sewing machinists who went on strike for equal pay at Ford’s Dagenham plant in 1968.

Arterton said: “Even three years ago it was just bubbling, this new wave of feminism. Now it’s out there?…?You want to do things that you’re passionate about and I’m massively passionate about women’s rights.”

Arterton, who grew up in Gravesend, Kent, has been taking the bus to rehearsals. She said: “I don’t care if people stop me in the street, it’s no big deal?…? You can’t feel like that [different or more glamorous than others] when you’ve hung around really glamorous people, the ones with the entourages, who wear their sunglasses indoors — you know the type.” (source)