Gemma Arterton: Starlet's saving grace

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TORONTO -- Even though Gemma Arterton's accountant assures her that she has handled her money wisely, the British starlet told WalletPop that she still balks at splurging.

She's done well for herself as a Bond girl in Quantum of Solace, a demigoddess in Clash of the Titans and now as the titular temptress of Tamara Drewe, opening Oct. 8.


But childhood spending habits die hard. Arterton grew up in Gravesend, Kent, with her mother and sister in what the Brits call a council estate and what we call the projects. Personal finance, she said in an exclusive with WalletPop at the Toronto International Film Festival, was a concept for other people.

"We didn't have any money, really," she said. "We just didn't spend."

Despite the hardship, Arterton, 24, looks back fondly.

"My mother, she had a very good attitude toward money," Arterton said. "I'm very grateful for the fact that we had to learn to save. I used to get like 50 pence a week, and I'd save it for like five months. And then I'd spend it on Christmas presents. I'd save up like eight pounds. It's nothing, but we did that."

In Tamara Drewe, directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen) from an adaptation of a graphic novel, she plays the center of attention who creates sexual chaos at a writers' colony next to her childhood home. Tamara is of humble rural roots and had a big nose until she got it fixed.

While the real-life Arterton is naturally gifted with screen-ready bone structure, she can identify with the humble part. And then some.

Said the actress: "I'm very aware of saving and not blowing money."
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