British actress Gemma Arterton plays the beautiful Princess Tamina in Jerry Bruckheimer’s new, massive production, “Prince of Persia.” After roles in blockbusters “Quantum of Solace” and “Clash of the Titans” — and smaller but more dramatically intense films like “Tamara Drewe” — the 24-year-old now feels she’s able to be more choosy in the roles she takes. We caught up with her in London before the premiere.
With a string of blockbusters under your belt, it looks like Hollywood is knocking at your door. How does it feel?
Very strange and surreal. I feel like I’m a very normal girl and all of a sudden I’m with Jake [Gyllenhaal] and running around on horses. ... It’s very strange for me. I’ve always seen myself doing theater and little jobs. I never thought of doing something like this, and now these jobs are coming and I still find it very strange.
How do you pick what films you’re going to do?
I didn’t really have the opportunity to choose, because it’s hard to get work, especially as an actress. For me, I just do it. Now I’m in a situation where I’m starting to be able to choose. I think it’s important with those films to be selective — because these films [like “Prince of Persia”], they are what they are — they’re popcorn movies and entertainment. But creatively for me, I’m very interested in challenges and [films that play] in small theaters.
Did you have a Plan B in case acting didn’t work out for you?
I never put pressure on myself, mostly because of the way I was brought up. My mom always told me, “Oh, just do whatever makes you happy.” And acting always made me happy. I thought if it doesn’t work it’s not the end of the world. There are a million other things that you can do.