CMZ

London

British actress Gemma Arterton is single again after finalising her divorce. The Quantum of Solace Bond girl wed Italian businessman Stefano Catelli in 2010, but they split after just two years of marriage in 2012. Arterton’s divorce case went to court in London on Friday (21Aug15), and District Judge Anne Aitken granted the actress a decree nisi, which will allow the marriage to be officially dissolved within six weeks. The judge ruled the former couple’s two-year separation proved the marriage had “irretrievably broken down”. Gemma Arterton, who was born in Kent and who, until this production, did not speak a word of French, takes the title role of naive young Londoner Gemma who, with her older husband Charles, moves to Normandy, just a few miles from where Flaubert’s book is set.

Since the novel’s publication in 1856, Emma Bovary has become one of literature’s classic heroines - a woman who brings about her own ruin by having adulterous affairs and getting deeply into debt while attempting to cope with the boredom of provincial life.

Arterton believes that modern twists on classic literature “can be deeply satisfying and very relevant, because they can still be the original characters, but you can see their motivations more clearly in the modern context. “You can see, for example, that Gemma Bovery isn’t bad,” she tells the BBC. “She’s just not ready to settle down yet, and she’s chosen the wrong man.” The 29-year-old, known for her roles in James Bond film Quantum of Solace and the West End musical Made in Dagenham, says she sees “plenty of real-life modern-day Madame Bovarys”.

“But I’m not sure if we can blame the man, the Charles Bovary figure, if a woman is bored in her relationship and life.” Directed by Coco Before Chanel’s Anne Fontaine, Gemma Bovery is an adaptation of a 2000 graphic novel of the same name by British author Posy Simmonds, that was first serialised in The Guardian.

Simmonds, 70, claims she was inspired to write it “by seeing a woman in a cafe overloaded with designer handbags and treating her boyfriend like a dog. He had no idea how to make her happy. I thought, ‘Emma Bovary, right there.’”

Simmonds is also the author of Tamara Drewe, another graphic novel that became a film in 2010 in which Arterton also starred. “I was initially reluctant to consider doing [Gemma Bovery],” the actress admits. “But I really wanted to experience learning French and working in French film. Anne Fontaine is the most French of French film directors - she’s scarily chic.”