Gor­geous Gemma

Gemma Arter­ton plays the beau­ti­ful Ta­mara Drewe.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SHOWBIZ - By STEVEN REA

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

Drewe.

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