"I left drama school last year," says 22-year-old actress Gemma Arterton. "And since then it's been insane." Arterton's definition of insanity is the numerous roles she's landed since graduation. One of them happens to be playing MI6 operative Agent Fields-a.k.a. the next Bond beauty-in November's
Quantum of Solace. Back in January, when it was announced Arterton had been chosen, the papers and legions of fans went bananas: Who was this unknown British starlet with a squeaky-clean, anti-vamp aesthetic? "You know what's really funny?" Arterton says. "Agent Fields isn't really action-y. She's more got the gift-of-gab. I think she's quite classic in that respect. She's very English. And my training was very classically English." Raised in a working-class community in Gravesend (think Pittsburgh without the charm), Arterton speaks with more humor and awareness than most young women thrown into the spotlight so quick. And she's even got breakthrough roles beyond Quantum, like her turn as a comic criminal in Guy Ritchie's upcoming gangster flick, RocknRolla. "I actually had a cockney accent before I went to drama school," she admits, in a refined, London chirp. "It's softened up a bit."