Three years after completing her studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Gemma Arterton’s career is doing just fine — but she was prepared for the worst. “I never thought I was going to act, because at drama school they’re very cynical — especially a London one,” she says. “They say, ‘Just so you know, 80 percent of actors are out of work.’”

But she has, in fact, worked, first garnering attention in Guy Ritchie’s “RocknRolla” and as Bond girl Strawberry Fields in “Quantum of Solace.” And she admits that earlier mindset made her more than a little eager. “I was like, ‘Thank you very much, don’t want to turn that down, that would be rude,’” she says of her earlier film roles. “And then it got to a point where I sort of went, ‘Hang on. I think maybe I can trust that I might get another job.’”

For her title role in “Tamara Drewe,” the beautiful 24-year-old plays a self-styled London fashionista who returns to her hometown after quite the makeover — which of course meant some quality time in the makeup chair for the “before” scenes.

It turns out the prosthetic nose was plenty convincing.

“I remember the first day that I had the nose on, I went on set and tested it out to see what people’s reaction would be,” she says. “I went up to one of the actors in it and I said, ‘Morning!’ And they glared at me and walked off.”