On 'cheeky' fib, Gemma Arterton told late co-star Diana Rigg about the role of Black Narcissus
On 'cheeky' fib, Gemma Arterton told late co-star Diana Rigg about the role of Black Narcissus

Gemma Arterton, 34, rose to fame in the comedy St Trinians and has played a variety of characters since then, from a Bond girl in the 2008 film Quantum of Solace to Daniel Craig to a famous witch hunter in the 2013 film Hansel and Gretel. Most recently, in the TV series adaptation of Black Narcissus, a 1939 novel by Rumer Godden, she played the role of rebel nun Sister Clodagh, but she revealed that she actually told her soon-to-be co-star, the late Dame Diana Rigg, that she had secured the part before it was actually offered.

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This month’s three-part series follows a group of nuns facing mysterious challenges in the hostile atmosphere of a remote old Himalayan palace who wish to build a convent.

Mother Dorothea, which was her final TV appearance before she died on September 10, aged 82, plays Dame Diana.

Already friends with the veteran actress through her own husband and the daughter of Dame Diana, Rachel Stirling, Gemma revealed she was saying a “cheeky” fib.

“In a recent interview, she said, “My husband was doing a play with Rachael, and I was waiting to hear if I was going to do Black Narcissus.

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“And so, I brought some Prosecco and Cointreau on her last day, and we had them. And she’d got two.

“Actually, we were… It goes to your head, and I remember that. But it was great and what an absolute honour it was to work with her on this and what an amazing legend she was.

She added that she only worked with her for “the best memories” and paid the actress a loving tribute.

Her daughter confirmed that Dame Diana had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and died peacefully at home.