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  M.   February 10, 2016

By Naomi Gordon

Gemma Arterton is really looking forward to her upcoming movie She Who Brings Gifts, but insists she’s not playing against type – she’s just not wearing any make-up.

The dystopian horror is based on Mike Carey’s critically-acclaimed novel The Girl with All the Gifts, and Arterton plays maternal psychologist Helen Justineau.

“I’m really excited about this film,” the 30-year-old told Digital Spy. “The script is written by the author Mike Carey and it’s his first screenplay.

“The lead girl [Sennia Nanua] in it is just wonderful. She gives a heartbreaking and beautiful performance. And it’s very realistic within its futuristic setting.

“Everyone thinks I’m playing against my type – I’m not, I’m just not wearing any make-up! I’m playing a very maternal strong character. And it’s got Glenn Close in it, who’s just brilliant, and Paddy Considine. So really great actors.”

Arterton went on to praise director Colm McCarthy and predicted that the finished product could be very special indeed.

“I haven’t seen it yet, all I know is what we shot, and the director is brilliant, and I just feel like it’s going to be a really strong film,” she added.

Arterton has five “really, really different” movies coming out this year, including 1930s comedy Their Finest Hour and a Half, French film Orpheline, fantasy romance The History of Love, and British drama A Hundred Streets.

She also takes the titular lead of Nell Gwynn in the new West End production written by Jessica Swale.

Speaking about the role of Gwynn – who was the first actress to tread the boards in the 1600s and went on to become known as the real Queen of Restoration England – Arterton added: “I have a relationship with the Globe – my first ever job was there and then they got in touch with me and offered me the part of Nell.

“I wasn’t planning on doing theatre in this period but when I read Jessica Swale’s script I was smitten. You can’t say no to a part like that.

“The whole thing is so much fun and it’s really, really intelligent and important. And I couldn’t resist doing it.”

Nell Gwynn opens on Friday, February 12 at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.