Gemma Arterton claims she has lost out on acting roles because of her working-class background.
The award-winning actress, 31 – who shot to fame thanks to her role in big-budget 2008 Bond movie Quantum Of Solace – believes her career has suffered in the past because she is ‘not posh enough’ to play certain roles.
Speaking in an interview with the Irish Times newspaper, Gemma explained: ‘I can only speak from my personal experience. There have definitely been times when I have not got jobs because it was thought I was not posh enough. I know that.’
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‘I was not posh enough, I know that’: Gemma Arterton claims she has lost out on acting roles because of her working-class background
The Their Finest star acknowledged the idea can be overplayed at times, pointing out that some actors from working-class backgrounds simply wish to steer clear of playing ‘posh’ characters.
‘I think maybe it is a bit of a myth’, she added. ‘Don’t forget that actors choose. Not all actors want to play posh.’
The thespian said she prefers theatre to film work, despite the eye-watering salaries on offer for high-profile movie roles.
‘The theatre has always been my first love,’ Gemma explained. ‘I just love it. I love to be able to go out and just do a play. I like to be able to tell a whole story and have it be a little different every night. That’s why I became an actor.’
‘Working class’: The award-winning actress, 31, (pictured at the BBC Radio 2 studios in central London on Friday) believes her career has suffered in the past because of her background
Bond girl: The star rocketed to fame at the tender age of 21 when she appeared as Bond girl Strawberry Fields in 2008’s big-budget The Quantum Of Solace
Elocution: The beauty was put through Eliza Doolittle-style elocution lessons to rid her of her Kent twang after studying acting at the prestigious RADA
The Tamara Drewe star grew up on a council estate in Gravesend, Kent, and attended the local grammar school.
Gemma’s father is a welder and her mum worked as a cleaner to support Gemma and her younger sister Hannah.
The talented actress won a place at prestigious acting school RADA – alumni include the likes of Tom Hiddleston and Alan Rickman.
Gemma previously told The Guardian newspaper that she found Rada ‘intimidating’ because many of the students were Oxbridge graduates.
She said: ‘I didn’t know about Shakespeare or Stanislavski, and when I went to RADA there were lots of Oxbridge graduates there, and I found that really intimidating.’
English Rose: The actress, pictured in 2014’s Gemma Bovery, admitted in the past that she felt intimidated by the Oxbridge graduates at exclusive drama school Rada
Her acting coaches recommended elocution lessons to rid her of her Kent twang.
Gemma added: ‘When I was at Rada they did say I should change it – it wasn’t going to do me any favours, is what one particular teacher told me.
‘It’s funny because people do judge you by how you talk,’ she added.
Gemma worked with an elocution coach and made her film debut in 2007’s St Trinian’s movie.
As well as appearing in big-budget Hollywood movies like Quantum Of Solace and Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, she has also tread the boards in Ibsen and Shakespeare productions.
She recently hinted she only took the daring part of Bond Girl MI6 Agent Strawberry Fields at the tender age of 21 because of her working-class background.
Pin up: Gemma won legions of fans when she starred in Tamara Drewe, a film based on Thomas Hardy’s novel Far From The Madding Crowd
Sticking to the stage: The actress revealed that despite the eye-watering salaries she is offered for Hollywood movie roles, she has decided to pursue her passion for theatre
Gemma said her drama school teachers told her as an actress she’d probably be out of work for most of working life.
She told ES Magazine earlier this month: ‘I am grateful – it set me up. It sits really badly with me when I make something I’m not proud of, or doesn’t say what I want to say.
‘I don’t want to slag off that film, because I really enjoyed it – I was 21, and it was a trip. But would I do it now? No.
‘Coming from a working-class background – we were poor – then going to a drama school where they tell you, and rightly so, that you’re probably not going to work most of the time, and suddenly being given all these opportunities when I left.
‘For the first seven or eight years of my career, I was doing stuff because I thought I should, or I thought I was lucky to get that part.’
Talented: The star of stage and screen grew up on a council estate in Gravesend, Kent, and attended the local grammar school
Despite the generational view that acting is for rich kids, she has always found her parents have been very supportive of her pursuing a career in acting.
She explained: ‘They’ve always been really supportive of me and just let me get on with it. I think, for my parents’ generation, there was the idea that being an artist was a posh person’s thing to do, and a bit w***y.
‘I’ve got other actor friends who still struggle with that — they come from working-class families and feel like it’s not a proper job.’
Gemma’s latest movie is The Finest – alongside Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy – where she plays a bookish woman who is given the chance to write film scripts to boost morale during the Second World War.
Keeping it casual: The actress looked lovely in a simple ensemble of jeans, a white tee, a navy belted mac and black leather boots as she stepped out in London on Friday
Ordinary: Gemma’s father is a welder and her mum worked as a cleaner to support Gemma and her younger sister Hannah