Gemma Arterton: “I punched a tramp in the face because he grabbed my bum”

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters star made use of action movie training after a run in with a homeless man at a cash machine

Bond girl Gemma Arterton was able to put the action training for her latest film Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters to good use recently, when she got into a real-life altercation with a homeless man.


The 27-year-old St. Trinian’s star punched “a tramp” in the face after he grabbed her behind while she was using a cash machine.

“I was in one of those ATM cash machine rooms and there was a tramp in there,” she told Graham Norton, in an interview to be broadcast tonight.

“He kept looking at me and then he grabbed my bum really hard. I turned round and properly punched him in the face. I then realised I’d punched a tramp in the face so I ran. Thank god he didn’t punch me back. I actually felt quite bad about it.”

Arterton revealed that she’s quite the fan of fisticuffs, however, and the opportunity to sharpen her combat skills was one of the reasons she accepted the role of Gretel in the new film.

She said: “One of the reasons I wanted to do the film [is] because I’ve always wanted to punch people!  It was fun. I had to do lots of training because I had never done anything like it before and I loved it, absolutely loved it.”

But the actress also confessed that she’d been threatened with violence many times before finding fame.

“I worked in a South London karaoke gangster bar,” said Arterton.  “It was a bit dodgy and occasionally I would get threatened.  I would get asked for ‘My Way’ 10 times a night and when I said no, this guy pulled out a crowbar and went for me.  ‘Honest Dave’ the owner saved me and said that if that happened again I should sing ‘My Heart Will Go On, by Celine Dion.

“It was like a soothing balm over all the drunken gangsters and from then on when it got a bit fraught he would say, ‘Gemm, do Titanic.’”


The Graham Norton Show will air tonight at 10:35pm on BBC1