WCW: Gemma Arterton


This is a reader request that I had to look up because I didn’t recognize the name — and then I was pleased because, while Gemma Arterton hasn’t been in a ton of frock flicks, she’s been in a few that I quite liked. She definitely has a range, having played a Bond Girl in Quantum of Solace (2008) and starring in the action-horror movie Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013). Her historical costume movie and TV roles have been just as interesting, from Austen to Shakespeare and some odd things in between.



Elizabeth Bennet in Lost in Austen (2008)

Gemma Arterton, Lost in Austen (2008)

Playing the real Lizzie, while a modern chick gets sucked into the fictional story in her place.


Tess Durbeyfield in Tess of the D’Urbervilles (2008)

Gemma Arterton, Tess of the D'Urbervilles (2008)

OK, yes, someday I need to give this miniseries a proper review. The costumes are a bit meh, but otherwise, it’s a solid Thomas Hardy adaption.


Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost (2010)

Gemma Arterton, Love's Labour's Lost (2010)

This is one of those ‘Globe Theatre on video’ deals, but I’m including it. You’re welcome.


The Duchess of Malfi in The Duchess of Malfi (2014)

Gemma Arterton, The Duchess of Malfi (2014)

Another Globe Theatre production, where Arterton got great reviews.


Catrin Cole in Their Finest (2016)

Gemma Arterton, Their Finest (2016)

This was a cute movie, quite enjoyable, just not much costume content being set during WWII.


Marilyn Monroe, “Marilyn Monroe and Billy Wilder,” Urban Myths (2018)

Gemma Arterton, Urban Myths (2018)

Some kind of docu-drama & I’m not really buying her as Marilyn, but hey, IMDB had a photo, so here ya go!


Vita Sackville-West in Vita & Virginia (2018)

Gemma Arterton, Vita & Virginia (2018)

Gemma Arterton looked STUN-NING in this film. I have quibbles with the plot/pacing, but the costumes, esp. hers, are so freakin’ gorgeous, it’s worth watching for that alone.


Alice in Summerland (July 31, 2020)

Gemma Arterton, Summerland (2020)

Per IMDB: “A woman during World War II opens her heart to an evacuee after initially resolving to be rid of him.”


Polly in The King’s Man (September 18, 2020)

Gemma Arterton, The King's Man (2020)

She has a part in this Edwardian installment (a prequel) of the Marvel action series.



What’s your favorite of Gemma Arterton’s historical costume movie and TV roles?

8 Responses

  1. Lily Lotus Rose

    I love Gemma Arterton and wish she were more well known. She has a real presence. Of the titles you’ve listed here, I’ve only seen Lost in Austen, and I loved it! This post sent me to her IMDB page and made realize that I have a lot of catching up to do regarding her filmography, including some titles listed here that have interested me for a while–Vita & Virginia and Their Finest. The King’s Man has been on my radar ever since the trailer was released last year. Can’t wait to see that one! On a contemporary note, I highly recommend the satirical short film that Gemma co-produced called Leading Lady Parts (watch it on YouTube). It’s a very biting critique of the way women are cast in film productions. As an added plus, it features several actresses discussed on this site and Man Can Monday heartthrob Tom Hiddleston. Gemma A was a great choice! Bravo for recognizing her!

  2. Kelly Wilkinson

    I am a brit and there is definitely a tendency for well spoken middle class british actors to get roles which perhaps wouldnt go to a cockney for example. Tom Hiddleston and Eddie Redmayne spring to mind. But I am a fan of Gemma Aterton because I think she isn’t of that ilk, her stage career may be more suited to her? I also agree that some actresses shouldn’t do certain roles, Gwyneth Paltrow doing Emma and Renee doing Beatrix Potter. Works both ways! I certainly don’t think British are over represented in Hollywood though 🤔 but it also rankles that Kiera does so well when I think she is less talented than others!!

  3. Lachrima

    I completely agree. I have been observing the rise of these and many other young British actressess in the past decade with a mix of confusion and disbelief. They are all mediocre at best, yet they are hailed as amazingly talented. It seems being young, pretty and British truly is enough.

    • misat0

      I love Byzantium, I was going to suggest it too. And she’s fabulous in it. The Regency costumes are very nice and not only white nighties :D