Gemma Arterton: Byzantium and other must-see roles
Feature by Jack Foley
GEMMA Arterton will be next appearing on cinema screens as Clara Webb, a centuries-old young mother who also happens to be a cool and sexy vampire, in Neil Jordan’s alternative vampire flick Byzantium.
We’ve taken this opportunity to take a look at some of Gemma’s diverse roles – including some you’ll know and some you may not. This one-time Bond girl has the acting skills, looks and sensibilities for a long and successful career in the movies.
Let’s see what Arterton has been up to so far…
Gemma Arterton’s first screen credit was in Stephen Poliakoff’s Capturing Mary, a co-production of the BBC and HBO.
In this made-for-TV movie, Gemma plays Liza alongside Maggie Smith and Ruth Wilson (who we’ll see in August alongsider Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger).
The film picks up as a young man ushers an older woman into a dark exploration of her past – back to the time when, as a young girl, she met a stranger who affected her life forever.
One of the top grossing independent British films of the last decade, St Trinian’s sees Gemma’s big screen debut playing the role of St. Trinian’s Head Girl ‘Kelly Opposum Jones’.
This prominent role allowed Arterton to show off her skills and cemented her place among the rising stars of British cinema.
The all-star British cast also included Talulah Riley, Rupert Everett, Jodie Whittaker, Juno Temple, Tamsin Egerton, Lily Cole, Lena Headey, Colin Firth, Stephen Fry, Russell Brand and Paloma Faith.
It was co-directed by Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson and spawned a sequel that Arterton also made a guest appearance in.
Quantum of Solace
Fast forward one year and Arterton is gracing the silver screen worldwide as ‘Strawberry Fields’ – the beautiful MI6 agent sent to assist Daniel Craig’s second James Bond in Quantum of Solace.
By playing the sophisticated British Bond girl, akin to Eva Green’s Vesper – and to many out-sexy-ing Olga Kurylenko’s Bond girl – Gemma secured a place in the minds of moviegoers across the globe.
Reviving Goldfinger’s famous ‘gold dipped murder’ – this time with oil – was a masterstroke.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Staying loyal to the British film industry, Gemma took the title role of Alice Creed in this 2009 kidnap thriller.
Tied to a bed, often naked, for a lot of the film, Arterton’s role wasn’t the easiest, but she brought a convincing level of anguish to the kidnapped Creed – playing devilishly good in the film’s final act.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Who would turn down a Hollywood Disney film alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Sir Ben Kinglsey? Not anyone serious about raising their profile in Hollywood and certainly not Gemma Arterton.
Gemma’s Tamina is an action-packed role that saw her show off a wide range of talent and prove she has what it takes to nail a Jerry Bruckheimer film!
In 2010 Stephen Frears brought much-loved comic staple Tamara Drewe to the big screen with Gemma Arterton as the titular character.
A role that could have been written for Gemma – the hot-pant wearing city girl returning her to countryside home, mingling with writers, and setting aging hearts aflutter – Tamara again showed the unique creativity of the British industry, and Gemma’s fondness for home-grown projects.
Neil Jordan returns to the vampire-genre 19 years after Interview With The Vampire with this wildly different, fresh take on the vampire myth. Arterton plays Clara, a vampire struggling with the aches and pains of a normal society in decline.
Clara and her teenage (200 year old) daughter Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) are poor, homeless, and doing what they have to in order to survive. Arterton’s Clara is a sexy and determined young woman who isn’t afraid to take what she needs.
Check out Gemma in her latest role when Byzantium opens in UK cinemas on May 31, 2013.