‘I was as poor as a church mouse’: Gemma Arteton reveals she took on 007 role aged 21 to pay off her student loan but looking back admits ‘there was so much wrong with Bond women’
Gemma Arterton has revealed she starred in the 2008 James Bond film, aged 21, to pay off her student loan because she was ‘as poor as a church mouse’.
The actress, 34, said she now sees ‘so much wrong’ with 007 female characters as she alluded to sexist stereotypes perpetuated in film about women.
In Quantum of Solace, she beat 1,500 other hopefuls to the role of intelligence operative, Strawberry Fields, who becomes romantically involved with the MI6 agent, played by Daniel Craig.
Changed minds: Gemma Arterton confessed on Saturday that she starred in the 2008 James Bond film, aged 21, to pay off her student loan because she was ‘as poor as a church mouse’
Reflecting on the acting opportunity, she said in an interview with The Sun: ‘At the beginning of my career, I was poor as a church mouse and I was happy just to be able to work and earn a living.
‘I still get criticism for accepting Quantum Of Solace, but I was 21, I had a student loan, and you, know, it was a Bond film.
‘But as I got older I realised there was so much wrong with Bond women. Strawberry should have just said no, really, and worn flat shoes.’
Gemma reportedly prefers her most recent acting gig where she plays a nun in the TV drama, Black Narcissus, which aired on Saturday evening.
Disillusioned: The actress, 34, said she now sees ‘so much wrong’ with 007 female characters as she alluded to sexist stereotypes perpetuated in film about women (pictured in February)
The BBC One miniseries follows a religious sisterhood in the 1930s as they set up a school and hospital in an abandoned Himalayan palace.
As her career goes from strength to strength, Gemma revealed she has also set up her own production company to provide women with equal opportunity in film.
In terms of equality, the actress said the industry is improving but ‘definitely isn’t there yet.’
Before making her mark in film, Gemma grew up in Gravesend, Kent, alongside her younger sister, Hannah, 31, who is also an actress.
Starring role: In Quantum of Solace, she played intelligence operative, Strawberry Fields, who becomes romantically involved with the iconic MI6 agent, played by Daniel Craig
Their parents separated when they were young, but she remains close to her mother Sally-Anne, who runs a cleaning business, and her father, Barry, who works as a welder.
The actress got her career off to a flying start when she was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at 18-years-old.
She went on to star in a number of productions including St Trinian’s, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Clash Of The Titans.
She is now happily married to Irish partner Rory Keenan after they tied the knot in 2019.
Four years earlier, she divorced from Italian businessman Stefano Catelli, who she wed in 2010.
Love is in the air: The actress got married for a second time in 2019 with Irish partner Rory Keenan (pictured in 2018)
First husband: Gemma tied the knot with Italian businessman Stefano Catelli in 2010 but they divorced in 2015 (pictured in 2010)