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In the last year, Gemma Arterton has starred as Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost at London’s Globe Theatre, appeared in the film St. Trinian’s alongside Rupert Everett and Colin Firth, and wrapped Guy Ritchie’s latest outing RocknRolla and the independent film Three and Out, a comedy in which she stars alongside Mackenzie Crook and Imelda Staunton. She’s also set to fulfill a longtime dream, appearing in the title role in the BBC’s winter production of Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
This story first appeared in the March 24, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
But the gig that will get her the most attention, for better or for worse, is playing Agent Fields alongside Daniel Craig in the new 007 outing, Quantum of Solace. “The last Bond film did so amazingly. I was worried about whether I was going to live up to it,” she says. “But I got the part over 7,000 people, so I just thought, I must be all right.”
Arterton, 22, grew up in Kent and says she discovered her love of acting as a teenager. But “it was always a hobby. It never crossed my mind that I would end up doing something I loved as a job.”
She got serious about it at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, where she completed her training and skipped immediately into Dominic Dromgoole’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, impressing industry watchers.
The curvaceous, 5-foot 7-inch Arterton is also attracting attention from the fashion crowd, not least Marc Jacobs, who invited her to the Louis Vuitton show in February. “I met him, which was insane, because I still feel like a nobody,” she says, adding: “It was the first fashion show I had ever been to. I was trying to look like I had done it before.”
But it’s not taking long for Arterton to get up to speed, naming PPQ, Miu Miu, Luella and Louis Vuitton among her favored labels. “My personal style varies. I’m a clothes-on-at-the-last-minute kind of girl. I think ‘crumpled’ best describes me,” she says, adding, “in temperament, and in look.”