My Bond girl should have turned down sex with 007, says Gemma Arterton – The Sun

Posted: December 28, 2020 at 1:51 pm

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SHE gained an army of fans after playing sexy Bond girl Strawberry Fields but Gemma Arterton says she prefers her latest role wearing a nuns habit.

Gemma also had to have part of her hair shaved off for the role in tonights hotly-anticipated BBC One drama Black Narcissus.


The three-part series is about a 1930s religious group that sets up a school and hospital in an abandoned palace in the Tibetan Himalayas.

Gemma said: I have this weird hairstyle. I was very grateful that I didnt have to shave it all off but I did bits and bobs.

Im still growing it out actually, Ive got short bits all over the place. I loved wearing the habit, though.

The role of a nun couldnt be further from MI6 agent Strawberry in 2008s Quantum Of Solace, starring Daniel Craig as 007.

Despite beating 1,500 other hopefuls to become a Bond girl, Gemma has admitted shes had criticism for the role.

She has said: At the beginning of my career, I was poor as a church mouse and I was happy just to be able to work and earn a living.


I still get criticism for accepting Quantum Of Solace, but I was 21, I had a student loan, and you, know, it was a Bond film.

But as I got older I realised there was so much wrong with Bond women. Strawberry should have just said no, really, and worn flat shoes.

Gemma grew up on a council estate in Gravesend, Kent, with her mum, Sally-Anne, who runs a cleaning business, and her younger sister Hannah.

Her parents split when she was very young but Gemma is close to her dad Barry, a welder.

She won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at 18 and has gone on to star in St. Trinians, Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, Clash Of The Titans, Kingsman: The Secret Service and BBCs Tess Of The DUrbervilles.

Gemmas extraordinary success means she can now pick and choose new roles.



In one interview, she said: Im at a point in my life where if Im going to take on a project, it has to be really something great. I dont simply want to work for the sake of working.

In Black Narcissus she plays Sister Clodagh, who leads a group of nuns to their new home on a remote mountain top in Nepal, only to discover it is a former harem filled with tragedy and dark secrets.

The psychological drama, based on the 1939 novel of the same name by Rumer Godden, was filmed before the pandemic.

Production was split between Pinewood Studios in London and three weeks in the Himalayas, ending two days before Christmas last year.

She said: Im so proud of the work we did on this. We put our hearts and souls into it.

We all went to Nepal and it took us three flights and a week to get there. We were in the middle of nowhere in the Himalayan mountains and it was a really special bonding experience.

These things dont come along very often at all. There was something really magical about this and the shoot itself for me was one of the highlights of my career so far.

However, filming in a village 8,900ft above sea level doesnt come without its disadvantages.

As well as freezing temperatures, Gemma says the high altitude made them all hyperactive one night.

She said: We were well looked after, we had blankets, but its extreme. The temperatures drop dramatically at night and you are out there on your own, the altitude gets you.

"I remember we had a party one night and we were all dancing outside and none of us had had anything to drink. But we all got really hyperactive because the air is so thin, you just get really dizzy.

Despite its remote location, the cast and crew were delighted to find a familiar-sounding Yac Donalds restaurant, which serves happy meals made from the local long-haired cow called a yak.


Gemma said: You have Yac burger and Yac cheese and its quite well known, this place. People come from all over the world to go there. We got quite excited about it.

Black Narcissus is the latest in a string of gritty parts for Gemma.

In 2009 noir thriller The Disappearance Of Alice Creed, she played a kidnap victim, who was handcuffed, gagged and tied to a bed for much of the film.

There was 2017s largely improvised drama The Escape, about a bored and desperate housewife, and in this years Summerland, her character Alice is a recluse whose life is dramatically changed by a child war evacuee.

As well as avoiding decorative roles, Gemma wants to help bring about a shift in Hollywood.

She set up her own production company Rebel Park in 2013, focused mainly on female talent, and has been a vocal campaigner for equal pay in the film industry.

She has said: I have my own production company which is all about giving women an opportunity in film.

Its [the industry] getting better but it definitely isnt there yet.

I struggled with that a little bit at first but Ill keep making suggestions to people.

The down-to-earth, straight-talking star says she has learned from the mistakes she made in her early career and intends to act for as long as she can.

Gemma said: I look forward to getting older and wiser. My role model is my grandfather. Even in his mid-nineties he gave the impression of being in his twenties.

He was very sharp-minded and looked like Clark Gable with his moustache and hair. He was still sexy a really hot guy. I secretly hope Ive inherited his genes.


She has certainly inherited her familys grafter work ethic.

Gemmas latest blockbuster, The Kings Man, is directed by Matthew Vaughn and due for release in February.

She is also voicing two animated movies and is set to star alongside Colin Firth in 1930s theatre drama, Curtain Call.

The Kings Man is the third film in the Kingsman series and also stars Ralph Fiennes and Djimon Hounsou.

Gemma is again playing a secret agent but, unlike her Bond girl, Polly is funny and a bit different.

She added: I remember telling Matthew she is Mary Poppins but more rock n roll. She runs this global network of spies. Pollys incredibly quick and smart.


Away from the cameras, Gemmas personal life couldnt be better.

She married Peaky Blinders and War & Peace actor Rory Keenan, 40, in a private ceremony in Co Wicklow, Ireland, last year.

The pair began dating shortly after appearing together in West End play Saint Joan, by George Bernard Shaw, in 2016.

During lockdown Irish Rory wrote and made two films, while Gemma took up painting.

The pair both love cooking and, as a huge fan of The Great British Bake Off, Gemma has even considered what she would make if she was given the chance to be a contestant.

During an interview on the Table Manners podcast, she said: I really like a Gypsy Tart which is a Kentish tart. If I went on GBBO, I would do that as its such a guilty pleasure.

Acting, film production, campaigning, baking . . . is there anything Gemma cannot do?

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My Bond girl should have turned down sex with 007, says Gemma Arterton - The Sun

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December 28th, 2020 at 1:51 pm

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