Gemma Arterton plays the beautiful Tamara Drewe.
ders to show me how far I could see. And he loved the athlete in me. Come to find out, girls who are athletes early just blossom in every other way.”
> Kyle Chandler ( Friday Night Lights) says it was a friend from college. “I grew up in a tiny town and when I was in college I didn’t know I was going to go into acting. I’d met some people at 3 o’clock in the morning at the University of Georgia and one fella became a very good friend of mine. He’s passed away since, but as they were leaving that morning, the guy pulled me over and said: ‘ There’s an audition in the Cellar Theater at the university for A Comedy Of Errors.’ And to this day I have no idea why I went there and got the script. I think because the people we met there were absolute lunatics, they were insane. And I liked that.
“I went, got the script and studied it, auditioned, and got the part and played the one brother. When we did the dress rehearsal and the teachers were sitting around and when that applause happened, and I was centre stage, I cried inside. It was like: ‘ This is it.’”
> Hugh Jackman says his dad – who raised five children by himself – is responsible for his success. “I wanted to do (study) this course. I auditioned. I got in, but I didn’t realise it cost A$3,000 and I didn’t have that kind of money. Three days later, a cheque came from the estate of my grandmother, who’d just died, for A$3,000.
“I thought: ‘ This is freaky.’ I went to my dad, because I didn’t think my dad wanted me to be an actor, I thought he’d be a little bit worried. I said: ‘ Dad, I want to be honest with you, this money’s come through and I don’t know how you feel, but I want to go to acting school and it costs A$3,000. And do you think Gran would be upset if I used it for that or would you be upset?’
“He said: ‘I can’t think of a better way for you to spend Gran’s money.’ And he was very emotional. That was one of those first signs that I’d started on that path for acting.” – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services “LIFE sure comes easy for the beautiful,” quips one rueful soul in Tamara Drewe, gazing at the title character – played by the unarguably beautiful Gemma Arterton – as she bobs around the English countryside, turning heads, and turning a peaceful writers’ retreat into a cauldron of lust.
At Canada’s Toronto Film Festival in September, Arterton and her director, Stephen Frears, were on hand to premiere their larky farce.
Adapted from Posy Simmonds’ British comic strip which, in turn, was inspired by Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd, the movie follows Tamara as she returns to her Dorset village a changed young woman.
Like Cyrano de Bergerac, the teenage Tamara had a rather prominent proboscis, but thanks to a cosmetic surgeon, the nose is now perfect – and so a married, middle-aged mystery writer (Roger Allam) and a cocky rock star (Dominic Cooper) find themselves in vigorous pursuit of the more grown-up and gorgeous girl.
“My wife and my casting director told me about Gemma,” says Frears, the veteran director. “I said, ‘Is she any good?’ And they said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Then book her!’ ”
Which they did, even though Frears hadn’t seen a frame of the 24-year-old actress’ work.
“I’ve still never seen her in anything – except for what I’ve directed her in,” he confesses. Which means that Frears has not seen Quantum Of Solace, the Daniel Craig 007 hit in which Arterton is the good Bond girl, Strawberry Fields. Or St Trinian’s, a British comedy about naughty school girls, or the few minutes she’s in RocknRolla, Guy Ritchie’s gangland London romp.
Arterton, who made her London stage debut when she was 21, says that Breaking The Waves and Dancer In The Dark, two doomy items from Danish director Lars Von Trier, had been key in pointing her toward an acting career. Other favourite films: Breathless (“I lived my life when I was 16 by that film, trying to be like Jean Seberg”) and Mary Poppins (“a very important film when I was little”).
Next up, if all goes according to plan, is Michael Winterbottom’s adaptation of Martin Amis’ darkly comic murder mystery, London Fields.
Arterton would be Nicola Six, the woman who foresees her own death and then goes off looking for her killer.
The actress, who had roles in both this year’s sword-and-sandals sagas – Clash Of The Titans and Prince Of Persia – gets just a little squirmy when that quote from Tamara Drewe, “life sure comes easy for the beautiful”, is brought up. Does she think of herself as beautiful? “I think I have quite a good self-image,” she replies. “I’m positive about myself. I don’t think I’m beautiful, but I’m happy with myself, which is quite an odd thing for a 24year-old to say, because I know many people that aren’t. I can confidently say that I wouldn’t really change anything about myself.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer/ McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Gemma Arterton in Tamara