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Lockdown Watchlist: Gemma Arterton shares what she’s streaming while stuck indoors

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

‘Escapism and uplifting stuff’ is what’s getting Gemma Arterton through these long lockdown days. That, and portraiture, polishing up her French and some serious embroidery. ‘It sounds a bit old-granny, really,’ she laughs, ‘but it just takes hours out of your day.’ But what’s on her watchlist? She shares her home entertainment tips.

Streaming series I’m catching up on
‘My husband tried to get me to watch “The Sopranos” last year but I kept falling asleep – I’m just a person who falls asleep watching things – so I’ll probably get into that. It’s been top of my list for a long time. I’m on season one of “The Americans” and there are six seasons of that. I might start on “Westworld” too. It’s the best thing when you get into a new series.’

Show to stream immediately 
‘I just finished “Tiger King” [on Netflix]. Joe Exotic and the other characters are completely unique and off-the-wall. If you’re an actor and you played one of them, everyone would think it was far-fetched. Aside from the madness of the whole thing, I was quite upset by the animal cruelty. But at the same time, [the series is] entertaining. Who would be the best director for a “Tiger King” movie? I think someone like Danny Boyle or maybe Andrea Arnold because she’s obsessed with Americana.’

Tiger King
‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness’

Favourite book about the movies 
‘One of the best acting books out there is “Respect for Acting” by Uta Hagen. It is the ultimate. Also, the David Mamet book “True and False” is brilliant. Peter Biskind’s “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” is an amazing book about the late-’60s and ’70s golden age of Hollywood. Such a great read about all the drugs that were taken and all the crazy shit that was going on.’ 

Uplifting music video 
‘I love the Michel Gondry one for The Chemical Brothers’ “Let Forever Be”. That’s an amazing music video. Also, the Jonathan Glazer video for Unkle’s “Rabbit in Your Headlights” – although that’s not a particularly uplifting one, because it’s just Denis Lavant being hit by a car. It’s so weird what happens when you’re in lockdown because usually I’m all over music, but it’s not been the thing. It’s been more doing practical things: embroidery and painting.’

Most missed thing about going to the cinema
‘Just the sensory overload of watching a film in a theatre and experiencing a film together and feeling things together. I love horror and that is so much better in the cinema. I really miss that communal feeling. This is going to be completely damaging for film and theatre but maybe it will be a blessing as well, because it might make people really appreciate the event of going to the cinema. Maybe there’ll be a resurgence in cinema-going. I really hope so.’

Movie to rewatch
‘I was really impressed by “Hereditary” when I saw it. It reminded me of ’70s horror that I love – like “Rosemary's Baby” – and Toni Colette is so brilliant in it.’ 

The Apartment
Jack Lemmon in ‘The Apartment’

Uplifting comedy
‘Billy Wilder's “The Apartment”, 100 percent. It’s my favourite film. I never get bored of watching it. Also, “Sister Act”. In times of desperate need, we need Whoopi Goldberg in a nun’s habit.’ 

Gemma Arterton will be introducing a special communal screening of ‘The Finest’ via Utopia Movie Night on April 11. Head to the official site for all the info.

Looking for more lockdown inspo? Check out Martin Freeman and Kristin Scott Thomas’s streaming picks. Or check out our mega list of the best things to do at home.

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