Gemma Arterton

On the set of St. Trinians...

 

So you play the head girl in St Trinians. What’s she like?
She’s the coolest one out of everyone. She’s 17 going on 30; she’s got control over everyone and everything. All the teachers, she makes sure that they’re not misbehaving. She’s the baddest one but she doesn’t have to prove it to anyone. She’s like a gangster in that respect. She’s the one that you don’t mess with!

It’s only your second role out of drama school. How did you find it?
I didn’t know what to expect and I turned up on set and it was a bit of a whirlwind. It was quite daunting, especially having scenes with Rupert Everett and Russell Brand, which was quite scary cos he’s such a big character. But all the girls were in the same boat. It was really nice having the other girls around because it made it less scary.

Were you competitive with each other?
We were just giggly girls; we’d just chat and mess around. It was like being at school. At the time I sort of didn’t know what was happening, it was all such a whirlwind. And now I look back and think, “God, it was so much fun.” There’s not going to be many times where I’ll be able to work with so many people my own age.

What’s the worst thing your character gets up to?
Well, we steal the Girl With A Pearl Earring painting from the National Gallery. I’m the leader of the heist and then I actually take the painting and run off with it so we can get it copied and sell the copy. And there’s a hockey match where we smack people around the head with our hockey sticks, and I get one of the girls to make sure that the goody two shoes loses all her clothes in the shower and runs around the school naked.

Sounds like you should be slapped with an ASBO…
It is a bit-ASBO-y. But obviously with the sort of audience we’re targeting, we have to be careful.

Will you be wearing your short-skirted uniforms to the premiere?
We’ll be arriving in unison but I think we’re going to steer clear of wearing the uniform. Although I heard Rupert saying that he’s fully intending on turning up as Miss Fritton!