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!

Archive for the ‘Radio/Audio Interviews’ Category
  M.   January 24, 2014

Tech Week & Previews

“I’m really proud of it. I think it’s such a bizarre play. And I think this space really serves it in its most true sense.”
In her third interview, Gemma discusses the play now performances have begun, performing in front of an audience in the new space, and getting used to wearing a ruff.

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Time: 6 minutes 30 seconds

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Transcript coming soon.

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  M.   December 19, 2013

“The Duchess is so good under pressure. When she’s under pressure, that’s when she really flourishes and sharpens.”
Gemma discusses the satisfaction of getting off-book, the way the Duchess carries herself and moves, and the warmth of the new Playhouse.

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Time: 13 minutes 46 seconds

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Phil Brooks: Welcome to the Adopt an Actor podcast series. This is the second interview with Gemma Arterton, who is playing the title role in the upcoming production of The Duchess of Malfi.

So what have you been doing in rehearsals so far?

Gemma Arterton: So I think the last time I spoke to you we had just got one scene up on its feet, so we’ve been plotting through the play and now we are the point where we are starting to – we are all off book pretty much and we are just embedding it. The first couple of weeks was very wordy, us working our way around the language and what it means and all of that. And now it’s sort of go go go and ploughing through. It’s quite exhausting, I have to say! Its great fun and there are so many different colours to this piece, but you catch me on a day where it’s been particularly gruelling. We’ve been doing the fifth act, which is when she [the Duchess] dies. It’s always quite tricky at this point in rehearsal because you’re sort of midway through getting it into your body, and it starts in your head and it trickles into your bones, and we’re in that place now – we’re trying to get into our bodies.

PB: Is there anything you have noticed about the language your character uses?

GA: Yeah, she speaks very – in the first half, before anything bad happens, she’s quite measured. She chooses her words carefully. She’s very pointed with her language, quite cheeky. And then the rest of the play is just her behaving very momentarily, so the language is very very much in the moment. And she’s not – unless she is really considering, you know there’s a scene where she curses her brothers, and that’s very very deliberate, and very strong. But because she’s being – the character of the Duchess is someone that’s constantly adjusting to being abused – so she’s always on the move, she’s always taking blows or giving them back or, it’s not a character that… I think if she’s wasn’t being attacked she would speak very very beautifully, because there are a few moments in the play where she talks about nature, and birds and being free. And I think that’s her. The rest of the time she’s defending herself, so she speaks in that way.

PB: Obviously, you mentioned you were working on the scene where she dies – are there any other scenes or moments that are particularly significant to your interpretation of the Duchess?

GA: Yeah, there’s a scene – I never remember the numbers – but there’s a scene that starts with her being very very happy and free with Antonio and Cariola, and is probably one of the happier moments in the play. And then within 6 or 8 pages – maybe more than that – within the act, and it’s literally in the moment, sort of real time, she goes through 5 different things but having to deal with them in the moment, she finds her brother who threatens to kill her. Then she realises she has to send her husband away, lie about all this stuff, re-gather herself. It’s just brilliant. And it’s so much fun to do even though it’s very exhausting and hard but that’s the Duchess I think. She’s so good under pressure. When she’s under pressure that’s when she really flourishes and sharpens. And I think it’s a crucial scene for us to see how wonderful she is, how excellent and why it is that these brothers are not going to ever destroy her dignity because she’s much much cleverer and brilliant than they are. So I think it’s a scene where you see that, and it’s also a scene where she grows up very quickly.

PB: What relationships in the play are important to your character and why?

GA: I think the most important relationship is with Ferdinand because its blood and they’re twins, and it’s very complicated. And the second is Antonio, but at this point in the rehearsal I think that the Ferdinand is more important, it’s bizarre. She obviously loves Antonio and has risked her whole life and fame and reputation to be with him because she loves him. But there’s this relationship with her brother that’s something that I think gives the whole play a depth and darkness, because there is a love between them that is inexplicable. And when I think about siblings, I would throw myself in front of a bus for my sister so that’s I think the most important relationship. And Cariola as well, the relationship to Cariola because she’s sort of like her adopted sister in a way and is always there for her as someone to sound off, someone to be there for support. I think when she dismisses Cariola at the end just before she dies, it’s sort of like a weight is lifted off her. She can really die now, you know. So yeah it’s weird, for me they are the three most important; Antonio and Ferdinand and Cariola. And Bosola, there’s a very strange relationship with Bosola that I think is actually very key but is something that I don’t want to discuss too much because I think it has to remain ambiguous to the audience. But I think it’s very key to the Duchess’ life. He’s very very key.

PB: Have you started much specific character work yet, looking at voice or movement?

GA: Yeah, movement very much so because for me it’s very important to have a lot of grace and status without being haughty because I want her to be warm. And I want her to be the hostess with the mostess. And even when she’s under pressure she doesn’t crumble, she still spine without being stiff. So it’s something I’ve been working on with Gylnn [McDonald] to open up my hands and not make it look very English – you know, pointy. Often with classical text we do that because we’re freaking out, and I’ve got to try and keep it very relaxed and Italian, and not English and hoity-toity. Yeah! Voice wise the same thing, don’t let it get all posh and hoity-toity because it’s not. She’s sexy Italian rather than – there’s definitely something about that she’s got this sensuality about her naturally that’s, she’s got this husk and a warmth to her and I think that’s something that I think is so key actually, generally playing this play, is that it is so not English, but we are all British actors so we’ve been working on imagining warmth and sunshine and aridness and smells and those kind of gorgeous Amalfi landscapes. Fruit and all of that and it really is so important because it is a totally different exotic kind of landscape.

PB: Have you gone inside the playhouse yet and play around with the space, because you hadn’t last time.

GA: Yeah, no actually we’ve been in there I think a couple of times now. I actually love it in there, I prefer it to the rehearsal room because – and usually it’s a bit daunting when you get on stage the first time but I really like it there because it’s very warm and it allows you to – it drinks your voice in, so it’s not as echoey. So you can be really really specific and quiet and it allows that. Also I quite like it because it’s high and around so it’s just nice to play out.

PB: I suppose that helps to trying to be open with the audience…

GA: Yeah exactly and for it to be very, you have to have this grace in there and that’s something we have also been playing with, darkness. In rehearsals sometimes we turn the lights out and just have candles, and that’s incredible what happens because you lose a sense, the audience lose a sense, they can’t see you. So you have to be so specific, and you can’t mumble, and you’ve got to be crisp and clear but not shouty. And it’s great because it sort of localises on the language, that’s all you have. You can’t sell it with your facial expressions, it’s really really interesting. And I think it’s something that will really challenge us once we’re teching because not only are we in charge of our lighting but also of, I don’t know, we have to change the audiences way of understanding the play. They have to understand it in a different way.

PB: James [Garnon, playing the Cardinal] mentioned that there isn’t a jig as such in the Globe, there is a ‘movement piece’, how is that going? Have you started working on that yet?

GA: Yeah it’s actually really beautiful. Because everybody dies in this play apart from maybe two people, it’s sort of a resurrection. And it’s very very taught. Because the jigs are usually sort of ‘hooray! The plays finished and it’s all great’ and it still has that element to it but it’s much more deliberate and measured. So we’ve been sort of, it’s beautiful actually I think, and perfect for this particular piece because it does end so gruesomely. It has a grace to it and an elegance to it. Yeah she’s very talented Sian [Williams, Choreographer]. So yeah, but we still have quite a way to go on it I think.

PB: Finally, what have been the highs and lows of the first few weeks of rehearsals?

GA: Learning lines was…[sighs]. It’s really hard actually because we don’t actually have that much time. And it’s been one of those things where every day you have to go home and sit for three hours and learn them. Which is just like detention every day you know. But once, like for me I got off book yesterday and its like ‘oh my god!’ It really means that you can fly and start acting it and start embodying it and not being so like ‘oh what’s my line what is it what is it’. I think that’s been quite hard. But apart from that I’ve just adored it. Also for me, lows it that when we rehearse everything and usually, the way Dominic [Dromgoole, Artistic Director and Director of The Duchess of Malfi] rehearses is he sort of repeats, just repeats and repeats. Which is how you have to do it on order to get it into your body. But for me that’s been very draining because so for example today we probably did my death 5 times and then before that the scene where I think my children are dead 6 times, and it’s just so draining. But that’s ok. Usually when you do the play you do it once, but in rehearsals often you’re trying to find things as well so you’re kind of throwing yourself out there much more so than when you are doing the play. So that’s been quite exhausting! And I go for lunch and people look at me like I’ve been beaten up or something because my eyes are all puffy and horrid, make up running down my face! They turn around, ’Are you alright?’ Someone asked me the other day if I was ok, I was like ‘yeah I’m working at the Globe doing a tragedy.’ But yeah it’s great, it’s just work you know.

PB: Thank you very much.

GA: Thank you.

  M.   December 13, 2013

Pre-Rehearsal – Dec 04, 2013

“The more I get into I’m realising how bold the Duchess is, much stronger than any other character I’ve played. It’s beautifully written.”
In her first interview, Gemma discusses the character of the Duchess, the more conversational nature of the text compared to Shakespeare, and all the different – and unexpected – elements of the play.

Time: 9 minutes 1 second

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Transcript of Podcast

Phil Brooks: Welcome to the Adopt an Actor podcast series. My name is Phil Brooks and I’m talking to Gemma Arterton, who is playing the title role in the upcoming production of The Duchess of Malfi.

How familiar were you with the play?

Gemma Arterton: Not very familiar I have to say. When I was at RADA, we did a Jacobean term, and I didn’t do duchess of Malfi – I can’t even remember the one I did but it wasn’t a very good one, but there were some people in my year who did it and I remember being very jealous that I wasn’t get to play the Duchess! Anyway it’s always been something… I’m not… I’m only now becoming very very familiar with the play. It something that I knew about and I always knew I wanted, would love to have played her at some point. So there’s been a couple of opportunities but this is the one where I’ve really gone ‘this is perfect’.

PB: Have you performed other Jacobean plays apart from Shakespeare before or is this your first foray into…

GA: This will be my first foray yeah.

PB: Have you read the whole thing through before you started rehearsals?

GA: Yeah of course! I’m too scared to be so nonchalant like that. Yeah, it’s funny though because I – it’s one of those things like any classical piece of writing you really have to hear it to really get an idea of what it’s about.  You can read it dry, and you can read it to yourself and it’s not the same thing. It wasn’t really until we were in the read through on the first day that it really came to life for me, because when I was reading it in preparation I would read it to myself. Everyone brings their own flavour to each role and it’s so perfectly cast everything just popped. And I think that’s something that’s very – actually it’s so beautifully written in that sense. It’s much more sort of popping than…it’s not as lyrical as Shakespeare. It feels much more conversational.

PB: Do you find that makes it easier to learn the lines or just a slightly different way to work through the text?

GA: It’s always difficult to learn lines! But in a way you’re right because the thoughts are very sharp. That’s the thing about Jacobean writing anyway, it’s that its very passionate, so its very clear and to the point. There are moments of course where you sort of go off on big tangents, but its not a play filled with imagery and metaphor, its much more sort of on the line thought. So that’s actually quite easy to learn, that sort of stuff.

PB: What were your initial impressions of the play now that you’ve read through it and gone through it?

GA: Now my initial impressions are, I just think it’s absolutely magnificent. There is so much going on with – when you hear the language you just think it’s sort of situational and it’s just happening now. But there’s so much going on within it, and it’s very bold. And the Duchess herself, the more I get into it, I’m realising how bold she is, much stronger than any other character I’ve played I think. Ever. Which is kind of, it’s very forward thinking I think for the time, but its beautifully written and there’s so much contrast within the play. There’s romance and beauty as well as the kind of horror that happens. And there’s fun as well. I think when you originally think of Jacobean theatre you just think of bloodshed and death – which is very prevalent obviously in the Duchess of Malfi – but there’s also so much joy and [a] lightness of touch and intelligence within it as well.

PB: Surprisingly fun.

GA: Yeah surprisingly yeah.

PB: So you mentioned that you found the Duchess to be quite a bold character, have you started to discover more about her as you’ve gone through the process?

GA: Yeah. Actually yesterday was the first day we got it up on its feet, and we were working through the marriage scene where I basically get Antonio to marry me on the spot. And I found it quite – I had to keep up with the Duchess, even me whose very very forthright and quite, sort of, feisty I guess – I was shocked by her strength and how quick she is. So that’s something that I think must have been so shocking to audiences of the time, how she’s very very like a bloke at time. But always with grace and wit. But very very strong. I look up to her, I think she’s really quite someone.

PB: An interesting character then as you go through…

GA: Yeah and as we continue we get deeper into the play, and deeper into the second act, and becoming sort of like a bloodfest, and me thinking my children are dead and all those things. That’s when she really pulls all of her – everything she has, and she becomes the most wondrous thing ever. So we only just worked on the first scene where I was bowled over by her, so oh god! It’s gonna be something!

PB: I’ll ask you again in a few weeks and see how much it’s all changed!

GA: Yeah.

PB: So you’ve performed at the Globe on the stage, have you looked in the new space yet? Have you managed to work your way around and figure out how you’re gonna move?  

GA: Well, the Globe is totally different actually, and I remember when I was here, a long time ago now I was 20 – but I remember you have to be so very very outward and really present. And move with such purpose. And your voice has to be so sharp. And you do need that in that space. I went to see something in the new space, I went to see something – like a little arrangement of music and poetry and all sorts – and its very warm, its very allowing and I don’t think you need to push as much. You need to be clear and crisp obviously, but its very – you don’t need to push it, it’s much more intimate which is lovely. But you can’t be sloppy in there I don’t think. So it will be interesting. And the space is much smaller and obviously – and often with classical- especially this piece for me, the physicality of the Duchess is so important as she’s so flighty and breezy and graceful. But I have to streamline it. I think its about being very simple and clear which is really hard. So we’ll see though, its always nice once you’re in the space to feel how it does affect the way – even if you’re not acting and you go into a space you change the way you move and speak. And obviously because we have candlelight as well, and the space is very high and surrounding, it’s kind of like, I dunno. It’s quite nice for this play as its all about being watched this play, and being spied on. So it’s a nice oppressive feeling. I hope that we can get in there soon ‘cause I’d like to test it out!

PB: I guess it should allow you to be more subtle with facial expressions and…

GA: Absolutely, you can really relate to the audience as well, because they are right on you. And a little glance of the eye will be seen, which is lovely.

PB: Finally what preparation did you do for the role before rehearsals started?

GA: I didn’t really do much, I just read it a lot. Did a lot of historical research because the Duchess is actually based on a real Duchess. Its very very close to what actually happened, this story – obviously its been elaborated on a little with the brother that’s very bizarre. But the real Duchess did live, the real Duchess of Malfi, and so I did a lot of research into that. Went to see some art of the period, things like that. Yeah I didn’t do too much. I don’t know, I like to get in there and not have too many ideas before I come in. That’s my personal way but…

PB: I guess that means once you’re in a group then you can start to develop things together  

GA: Yeah exactly. And I think it’s so about the language that you don’t need to invent things around it. You are on the language, that is your framework so it’s that that gives you your everything.

PB: Brilliant, thank you very much.

GA: You’re welcome.


  Nicole   May 28, 2013

Former Bond girl and actress Gemma Arterton talks to Steve Wright about her latest role in Byzantium – a British horror film set in a rundown seaside town.

  Nicole   May 28, 2013

Gemma was a guest at BBC Radio 1xtra, Trevor Nelson Show. She was there to promote Byzantium, here you can listen to her interview (click on the photo)

The beautiful photo has also been added to our gallery!

  Nicole   February 15, 2013

Gemma visited BBC Radio 1 this morning, and she was a guest on the Breakfast Show. Candids of her arriving at the studios have been added to the gallery, and her interview can be listened HERE. The video will be probably posted later so, stay tuned!

Candids > February 15, 2013
Photoshoots > BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show

  M.   February 01, 2013