50 Interesting Facts About Gemma Arterton – Her Journey from a Sales Girl to a Bond Girl


Gemma Arterton is an English actress, famous for her roles as Io and Tamina in the fantasy films “Clash of the Titans” (2010) and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (2010). Here are 50 interesting facts about Gemma Arterton –

  1. Her real name is Gemma Christina Arterton. Her childhood nickname was "Tarts."
  2. She was born on February 2, 1986 at North Kent Hospital in Gravesend, Kent, England.
  3. Her parents – her mother Sally-Anne Heap is a cleaner and her father Barry Arterton is a welder.
  4. They got divorced when Gemma was of 6 years. She moved with her mother along with her younger sister.
  5. Following the divorce, Barry stayed in a close relationship and was very much involved in his daughter’s upbringing.
  6. She is of English, Polish Jewish, and distant German and Scottish, ancestry.
  7. Her matrilineal great-grandmother was a German Jewish concert violinist.
  8. Singer-songwriter Wreckless Eric is her mother’s cousin.
  9. She has a younger sister – Hannah Arterton, born in 1989, also an English actress, famous for her roles as Taylor in the movie “Walking on Sunshine.”
  10. Gemma was born with polydactyly - six fingers on each hand. She also had a crumpled ear at birth that was corrected through surgery.
  11. Talking about that, she once said “I was born with two extra fingers. There were no bones in them, just the fingers and the fingernails. And I've got a crumpled ear, look! I was a freakish baby. A bit of an oddball. And I still feel like that now … It's my little oddity that I'm really proud of. People are really interested but repulsed at the same time."
  12. She went to Gravesend Grammar School for Girls in Kent in her early days. She joined the Miskin Theatre School in Dartford at the age of 16.
  13. Still, her first stage performance was in the Gravesend Grammar School for Girls, in the amateur production of Alan Ayckbourn's “The Boy Who Fell into a Book.” Gemma even won the Best Actress prize at a local festival competition, for her performance.
  14. After joining Miskin Theatre Schools, she received a full government grant to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, from where she graduated at 2008.
  15. She even managed to land her first professional role in Stephen Poliakoff's Capturing Mary, while at the drama school.
  16. She once worked in a beauty counter as a make-up salesgirl to pay the rents and bills, before she got the offer to play the role of Kelly, the head girl in “St Trinian’s,” in the year 2007.
  17. She even worked as a singer in a South London Honest Dave's Karaoke Bar, as she is a lifelong fan of karaoke. She was instructed to sing the Titanic song – Celine Dion’s "My Heart Will Go On,” when things didn’t go well with the rowdy patrons.
  18. She beat Sienna Miller for the Kelly Jones role in the “St Trinian’s” movie.
  19. Her performance as Rosaline in Shakespeare's “Love's Labour's Lost” at the Globe Theatre, garnered her much praise.
  20. The very next year, she managed to land the role of Bond girl in the movie “Quantum of Solace.” She got the news, while she was filming her last scene for “A Deal Is a Deal” movie.
  21. On receiving the news, she sent a text to her mother stating just “I got Bond.”
  22. She had to compete with nearly 1500 other actresses to get the chance to play Bond Girl Strawberry Fields role in “Quantum of Solace.” However, the character’s full name was never revealed in the film and Gemma was only referred to as Miss Fields.
  23. She claimed the audition day to be the scariest day of her life. She burst out laughing as she realized that in the fearsomely high stilettos made for her character, she would tower over 5ft 10in Daniel, even though she is just 5ft 7in tall.
  24. She thought she had lost her chance when she accidentally commented about the height. She said "I said something really stupid, trying to break the ice. I blurted out, 'I hope you don't feel inadequate because I'm taller'!" As for Daniel, he wore stacked heels.
  25. Her Miss Fields character is more of a tribute to the Bond Girls of the 1960s, specifically Tracy Bond from “On Her Majesty's Secret Service” (1969) and “Goldfinger” (1964)'s Pussy Galore, who are Gemma’s favorites. She described her role as "not as frolicsome or femme-fatale as other Bond girls, but is instead fresh and young."
  26. The first scene in the “Quantum of Solace” filming was a love scene with Daniel Craig. "It was my first day on set, and I couldn't get that image out of my head, from Casino Royale, of him walking out of the sea in his trunks. I mumbled something like, 'I just kissed you!' and he said, 'Yes, you did, and now we have to do it again.'”
  27. She was nominated as the Best Newcomer for her performance in “St Trinian’s” in the year 2008. However, she won the same award in 2009 for “Quantum of Solace.”
  28. She claims that nobody ever recognizes her in person, after all the make up in films. She says that even she finds it hard to spot herself in some films.
  29. She had a role as eponymous protagonist in the BBC adaptation of Thomas Hardy's “Tess of the d'Urbervilles,” in the same year.
  30. She played the role of Elizabeth Bennet in “Lost in Austen,” an ITV Serial. In 2009, she had her career’s most controversial role in the film “The Disappearance of Alice Creed,” in which the character she portrayed is kidnapped and abused in several graphic nude scenes.
  31. Her west end debut was in the year 2010 in the “The Little Dog Laughed.” She turned down four film roles for the filming of this movie.
  32. She had two of her major projects, the same year – “Clash of the Titans” and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.”
  33. The 1981 “Clash of the Titans” movie was one of her childhood favorites. She was very eager to star in the remake, even though the script was very different from the original. She said "When I was a kid I must have watched [it] on video about 50 times. I saw it so often with my sister Hannah that we could actually quote dialogue from the film. I also have to admit that I had a massive crush on Harry Hamlin."
  34. For the role as Tamina in the “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” Director Mike Newell had wanted Jake Gyllenhall to play, whom her had known from childhood. However, he selected Gemma Arterton because of "how very old seeing the back of her beautiful neck" made him feel.
  35. Following these projects, she starred as the lead in “Tamara Drewe,” a story of a young newspaper writer.
  36. For the role of Natasha Rushman/Black Widow in “Iron Man 2” (2010), Gemma was the first choice, after Emily Blunt dropped out. However, Scarlett Johansson was cast later.
  37. She was even supposed to play the role Catherine Earnshaw replacing Natalie Portman in “Wuthering Heights” (2011), which she lost to Kaya Scodelario.
  38. Gemma was featured in the Empire Magazine's "The Hot List" as one of the biggest upcoming stars in the 2010's.
  39. She married Italian sales manager Stefano Catelli in a secret hilltop ceremony on June 5, 2010 in the village of Zuheros in Spain before family and close friends. The duo was in a relationship since March 2009.
  40. Stefano was rumoured to be the Daniel Craig’s stunt double in “Quantum of Solace.” She, in response to these rumors, just giggled and said “All I can tell you is that he is my significant other and he's not even in the industry. Nobody knows anything about him and that's how I want it to be."
  41. Hayley Atwell beat Gemma to the role of Peggy Carter in “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011).
  42. In 2011, she was nominated twice for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for her performances in “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” and “Tamara Drewe.”
  43. She was initially considered for the Selina Kyle/Catwoman role in the “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012), which went over to Anne Hathaway.
  44. She starred as Gretel in the action horror film “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” opposite Jeremy Renner who played the character of Hansel, in the year 2013. Jeremy is around 15 years older than Gemma.
  45. She beat Diane Kruger, Eva Green, and Noomi Rapace, for this role of Gretel. Tommy Wirkola selected her for the role as she impressed Tommy with her performance in “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” (2009).
  46. Jeremy and Gemma were involved in intense training for nearly a month beforehand to prepare for the physical demands of their roles.
  47. In a scene while running through the forest, she sprained her ankle and suffered an injury.
  48. In 2013, she and Stefano announced that they have separated.
  49. The next year, she played the lead role in a film adaption of Posy Simmond’s graphic novel – “Gemma Bovery,” a modern re-imagining of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary.
  50. Gemma likely has her calendar full for the next couple of years with upcoming movies like “Which Brings Me to You,” “Their Finest Hour and a Half,” “A Hundred Streets,” “The History of Love,” and “She Who Brings Gifts.”

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Gemma Arterton

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