Gemma Arterton has revealed that she did not want to play the lead role in her latest film, Tamara Drewe, when she was first offered the part.
The 24-year-old British actress did eventually agree to take the title role in the film, a comedy based on Posy Simmonds' graphic novel.
Set in the English countryside, it is a comedy about a young newspaper journalist torn between two lovers.
Speaking at the UK premiere of the film in London's Leicester Square, Gemma said: "I didn't actually want to play Tamara when I first read it because I didn't like her.
"She's a femme fatale but she's really lost, she's desperate, she's a very modern woman. I know a lot of women like Tamara Drewe.
"It's good to play people that you don't understand originally because you have to work out why they do the things that they do."
Former Bond girl Gemma, who was dressed in a floor-length cream Gucci dress, was joined on the red carpet by a host of British talent including Dominic Cooper and Tamsin Greig, who both star in the film, and director Stephen Frears.
She added: "I remember Stephen Frears saying to me, 'I just don't know why Tamara does that', and I said, 'It's because she's a woman, she doesn't really know why she's doing it either'.
"I don't think he ever begged me to do it or anything like that but he just said, 'I won't do it unless you do it' which was quite scary."
Frears agreed that he was lucky to secure Arterton for the role. He said: "She is a very witty woman, Gemma. She's gorgeous, witty and a very good actress. She just had everything I needed, really."