Gemma Arterton (1986-) b. Gravesend, Kent, England.
Born in January 1986 in Gravesend, Kent, actress Gemma Arterton is the daughter of a cleaner and a welder. She attended Painters Ash Primary School in Northfleet and Gravesend grammar school, and then undertook performance art classes with the Masquerade Theatre Company in Kent. She then proceeded to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts on a full government grant.
Arterton landed her first professional role when cast alongside Maggie Smith and David Walliams in the Stephen Poliakoff TV movie Capturing Mary (2007). The actress first gained public attention for the role of sexy schoolgirl Kelly, which she won against Sienna Miller, in the remake of St Trinian’s (2007). Arterton then bagged the major role of M16 Agent Strawberry Fields in the Bond movie Quantum Solace (2008), allegedly beating off 1500 candidates for the ‘Bond girl’ role. The following year, she landed her first leading role in the gritty low-budget kidnap thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009), in which Arterton spends much of the film ball-gagged, hooded and handcuffed to a bed. Despite its obvious budget constraints and failure to maintain its momentum, it’s a well-crafted in which Arterton is a real revelation as she convincingly transforms from victim to fighter.
After reviving her role as head-girl Kelly Jones in the limp Trinian’s sequel St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold (2009), Arterton was signed up to the dreadful Hollywood remake of Clash of the Titans (2010) and another sword-and-sorcery action film, the serviceable summer blockbuster Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) in which she was cast opposite Jake Gyllenhaal. That year, she also landed the lead role in Stephen Frears‘ big-screen adaptation of Posy Simmonds comic strip, a sly contemporary satire of Thomas Hardy in which Arterton easily inhabited the heroine temptress’ vulnerable core.