Gemma Arterton


Gemma Arterton

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Gemma Arterton
Gemma Arterton Toronto 2014.jpg

Arterton at the premiere of Gemma Bovery, September 2014
Born Gemma Christina Arterton
(1986-02-02) 2 February 1986 (age 31)
Gravesend, Kent, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Alma mater Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Occupation Actress
Years active 2007–present
Spouse(s) Stefano Catelli (m. 2010; div. 2015)
Family Hannah Arterton (sister)

Gemma Christina Arterton[1] (born 2 February 1986)[2] is an English actress. Arterton made her film debut in the comedy film St Trinian’s (2007). Her breakthrough role was in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace (2008), playing Bond Girl Strawberry Fields, which won her an Empire Award for Best Newcomer. She is known for her roles in the fantasy films Clash of the Titans (2010), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), Byzantium (2013) and as the character Gretel in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013).

Early life[edit]

Arterton was born at North Kent Hospital in Gravesend, Kent,[3] to Sally-Anne (née Heap), a cleaner, and Barry Arterton, a welder.[3][4] Her matrilineal great-grandmother was a German-Jewish concert violinist.[5]

She attended Gravesend Grammar School for Girls in Kent, and made her stage debut there in an amateur production of Alan Ayckbourn‘s The Boy Who Fell into a Book. The production was entered into a competition at a local festival, where she won the best actress prize.[6]

At age 16, Arterton left school to attend the Miskin Theatre at North West Kent College in Dartford. She received a full government grant to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), although she said in 2008 that she “got up to her eyes in debt with a student loan.”[6] She graduated from RADA school in 2008.[7] Her sister, Hannah Arterton, is also an actress.[8]


Arterton won her first professional role in Stephen Poliakoff’s Capturing Mary while she was still at drama school.[9] She made her stage debut as Rosaline in Shakespeare‘s Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Globe Theatre in London in July 2007 before graduating later that year.[10] She made her film debut in St Trinian’s (2007) as Head Girl Kelly.[11]

In 2008, she appeared in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace.[12] Chosen from around fifteen hundred candidates, Arterton plays Bond Girl Strawberry Fields, in what is described as a “nice-sized role”.[13] Arterton describes her character as “the thinking man’s crumpet“.[14] In the same year, she played the eponymous protagonist in the BBC adaptation of Thomas Hardy‘s Tess of the d’Urbervilles.[15] Also in 2008, she played Elizabeth Bennet in the ITV serial, Lost in Austen. Her most controversial role to date was in the 2009 film The Disappearance of Alice Creed, in which her character is kidnapped and abused in several graphic nude scenes.[16] The role required her to be handcuffed to a bed and wear a ball gag in her mouth throughout. She requested that she be left tied to the bed even when the camera was not on her to help her performance. She joked that the crew would put the ball gag back in if she was chatting too much.[17][18][19]

Arterton is the face of Avon‘s Bond Girl 007 fragrance, which launched in October 2008.[20] Having already started in a series of advertisements for Avon, Arterton in May 2008 requested a role opposite model Kate Moss for Rimmel, but was blocked on contractual terms under her Avon contract.[21]

Gemma Arterton at the Toronto International Film Festival 2012

In 2010, Arterton made her West End debut in the UK premiere of The Little Dog Laughed.[22] She was originally attached to star in a new adaptation of Wuthering Heights[23] as Catherine Earnshaw; however, she later left the project.[24] In 2008 Arterton announced that she was “soon to be in a film adaptation of the book Burden of Desire in a starring role, but as of 2016 the film has not been produced.[25]

Arterton appeared in pivotal roles in the 2010 films Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and played the lead in Tamara Drewe.[26] In 2010 Arterton also starred in the Almeida Theatre‘s production of “The Master Builder.”[27] In 2011, Arterton was nominated twice by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for her performances in Tamara Drewe and The Disappearance of Alice Creed.[28] In November 2012, she was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2012 International Film Festival of Marrakech.

Arterton starred in the action horror film Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters as Gretel opposite the actor Jeremy Renner who played Hansel. The 3-D film was set 15 years after Hansel and Gretel killed the witch who kidnapped them.[29] It was released on 25 January 2013. In January 2014, she took the title role in John Webster‘s The Duchess of Malfi, the inaugural production at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the new indoor theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe.[30] In the same year, she starred with Ryan Reynolds, Anna Kendrick and Jacki Weaver in the psychological thriller film, The Voices.[31]

In 2014–2015, Arterton was starring in Made in Dagenham,[32] a stage musical about the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968 concerning equal pay for women. She played a woman named Rita O’Grady and her performance received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Simon Edge, for the Daily Express, complained of an “underpowered central performance from Gemma Arterton as Rita … she lacks any of the goofy charisma that Sally Hawkins brought to the film role, so that it’s hard to see how her character ever came to the fore of this dispute”.[33][34] The show closed after only five months, due to poor ticket sales. Since its premiere on 5 November 2014 at the Adelphi Theatre in London,[35] she has publicly expressed her support for their cause.[36]

In a 2015 interview with the Independent newspaper, Arterton stated that she was director Jonathan Glazer‘s choice for the lead role in his movie Under the Skin. However, Glazer was forced to recast due to Arterton’s perceived lack of ‘star power’.[37]

In February 2016, Arterton started a run playing the title role in the Shakespeare’s Globe transfer of Nell Gwynn,[38] at the West End‘s Apollo Theatre.[39] In July 2016 she was named as a member of the main competition jury for the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.[40] and she will play Vita Sackville-West in upcoming film Vita & Virginia[41][42]

Personal life[edit]

From 2007 to 2008, Gemma had an 18-month relationship with British animator and special effects technician John Nolan. They met on the set of Quantum of Solace and lived together near Alexandra Palace.[43] In 2008, she had a relationship with Spanish stuntman Eduardo Munoz,[44] whom she met on the set of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, when he was hired to teach her to ride horses. They lived together in a flat in London and split up after six months.[45][46]

On 5 June 2010, Arterton married Italian businessman Stefano Catelli, who works for a British fashion marketing company, in a private ceremony in Zuheros, Spain, less than a year after the couple began dating and getting engaged at the Download music festival in 2009.[47] In early 2013, Arterton and her husband separated,[48] and in August 2015 their divorce was finalised “by [mutual] consent” at the Central Family Court in High Holborn.[49] Arterton stated she “never really believed in exchanging vows”, and that she’s not sure she would “want to walk down the aisle again.”[48][50] In 2013, Gemma stated that she wants to wait until she’s won an Oscar to have children.[51]

Since 2013, she has been in a relationship with Franklin Ohanessian, a French film assistant director whom she met on the set of The Voices in 2013 and worked together again in the film Gemma Bovery.[52][53][54]


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2007 St Trinian’s Kelly Jones Head girl
2007 Capturing Mary Liza TV film
2008 Lost in Austen Elizabeth Bennet TV series (2 episodes)
2008 Tess of the d’Urbervilles Tess Durbeyfield TV series (4 episodes)
2008 Three and Out Frankie Cassidy
2008 RocknRolla June
2008 Quantum of Solace Strawberry Fields
2009 Boat That Rocked, TheThe Boat That Rocked a.k.a. Pirate Radio Desiree
2009 St. Trinian’s II: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold Kelly Jones former Head Girl, now an MI7 agent
2010 Clash of the Titans Io
2010 Disappearance of Alice Creed, TheThe Disappearance of Alice Creed Alice Creed
2010 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Princess Tamina
2010 Tamara Drewe Tamara Drewe
2011 A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures Shelly
2012 Song for Marion Elizabeth
2012 Byzantium Clara
2013 Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Gretel
2013 Runner Runner Rebecca Shafran
2014 Inside No. 9 Gerri TV series (episode “Tom & Gerri“)
2014 Gemma Bovery Gemma Bovery
2015 The Voices Fiona
2016 Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em Jessica Spencer Sketch for Sport Relief 2016
2016 The History of Love Alma Mereminski
2016 The Girl with All the Gifts Helen Justineau
2016 Orpheline
2017 Their Finest Catrin Cole
2017 100 Streets Emily [55]
2017 Watership Down Clover Miniseries
TBA Vita & Virginia[56] Vita Sackville-West Pre-production


Year Award Nominated work Result
2008 Empire Award for Best Newcomer St Trinian’s Nominated
2008 National Movie Award for Best Actress St Trinian’s
2009 Empire Award for Best Newcomer Quantum of Solace Won
2010 Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout Female Clash of the Titans Nominated
2010 Scream Award for Best Breakout Performance Female Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
2010 Teen Choice Award for Choice Fantasy Actress Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Clash of the Titans
2011 BAFTA Rising Star Award Herself
2011 Glamour Award for Woman of the Year – Film Actress Herself Won
2014 Awards for Best Actress In A Musical Made in Dagenham (musical) Nominated
2015 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical Made in Dagenham (musical)
2015 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical Newcomer Made in Dagenham (musical) Won
2016 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress Nell Gwynn (play) Nominated
2016 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress Nell Gwynn (play) Nominated

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