Few knew her name when she was cast as James Bond's latest female foil in the 2008 film "Quantum of Solace", but the role of Strawberry Fields was about to launch Gemma Arterton's career in to the stratosphere.
A graduate of RADA and a regular with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gemma had only just made her first big screen appearance in "St. Trinian's" when she was beckoned by director Marc Forster for a screen test. The rest, as they say, is history. After bedding Bond and coming to a sticky end, Gemma's character won the hearts of fans as a throw-back to the classic style of Ian Fleming's heroines.
In an interview published by MI6 Confidential magazine, Gemma explained how she wanted to bring a bit of edge to her character. "We wanted to make her really retro and a bit of a throwback. It's typically Fleming and a little bit tongue in cheek," she said. "She wore a typical raincoat and yet in one scene she didn't have anything on underneath. We tried to make her straight laced but with a real naughty edge to her."
"I'm not sure whether she'll be the Bond girl who the boys pin up on their walls but they might say 'I don't know what it is about that Agent Fields, but I quite fancy her!' She's the thinking man's crumpet."
But what of the 'Bond Girl Curse' that has supposedly killed the career of many an actress? That may have been true for some in decades past, but every leading Bond Girl in the 21st century has used her time with 007 to great effect, and perhaps there is no better example than Gemma. When "Quantum" hit screens around the world, she immediately landed a succession of high-profile Hollywood productions, including "Clash of the Titans" and the lead female role of Tamina in "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time". You could not go in to any multiplex anywhere in the world and fail to see her on a poster. These three films alone raked in a staggering $1,414m at the global box-office, making Gemma Arterton a 'Billion Dollar Bond Girl' within just 18 months of her encounter with 007.
"We share that same very British sense of humour and wit and that was really nice when we were on set. I took the piss out of him all the time and he loved it and he took the piss out of me (laughs)." - Arterton on Daniel Craig
You can read the entire Gemma Arterton interview in the 'Bond Girl Special' issue of MI6 Confidential magazine, now shipping worldwide from mi6confidential.com