Arterton goes back to roots for "Made in Dagenham" musical

Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:29am EDT
 
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By Rollo Ross

LONDON (Reuters) - British actress Gemma Arterton is best known as a Bond girl in "Quantum of Solace" and as a princess in "Prince of Persia", but she's back to her working-class roots for a musical version of the film "Made in Dagenham" about a strike at a car plant.

The West End adaptation of the 2010 British film about women workers at a Ford plant near London going on strike for equal pay with men and against sexual harassment will mark the stage singing debut for the 28-year-old Arterton, who was born not far from Dagenham where the 1968 strike took place.

"I hope that...the story itself, which is completely relevant, and the fact that it's about women - and I think most of the people that go to musical theatre are women - but I think it's just one of those shows that you can't help but be moved by it," Arterton told Reuters in an interview this week.

"That's something that I felt when I watched the film. It makes you want to get up on your feet, it makes you want to sing," said Arterton, whose mother worked as a cleaner and whose father is a welder.

For the musical, which opens on London's West End in October, Arterton takes the role of strike leader Rita O'Grady, played by Sally Hawkins in the critically acclaimed film that was a modest box-office hit in Britain.

She'll be unleashing her singing voice for the first time.

Speaking after a press launch on Tuesday, Arterton told Reuters: "I was a bit nervous, I have to say. As much as I had a good feeling about the show, I just thought, 'I'm not a musical theatre actor, I don't sing, I mean I only sing in karaoke when I'm really drunk'. So I was like, 'Am I going to be able to do this?'

"And they said just do it, so I did a couple of workshops and then...I just fell in love with the whole project."   Continued...

 
Gemma Arterton poses for photographers at the British Academy of Film and Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London February 10, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett