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Gemma Arterton opens up about grandmother's dramatic death

Find out what the actress had to say about her grandmother

gemma arterton grandmother
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
2 May 2018
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Gemma Arterton has opened up about her grandmother, who tragically committed suicide at the age of 69. She had suffered from bipolar disorder from a young age. Speaking about her grandma, Helen Sarfas, the Quantum of Solace actress told the Mirror: "She was a remarkable woman. She was bipolar and committed suicide... after living a very tough, difficult life. Who she was had a deep effect on me and stayed with me and will continue to inspire me… She had these dreams and hopes that were put on hold to raise five children whom she loved dearly but it wasn't enough. Family life, domesticity suffocated her and she gave up a lot for them."

gemma arterton helen

Helen took her own life in 2010

Helen took her own life back in 2010, and her husband, Rodney Peacock, spoke at the inquest, revealing that she was unhappy with the care she had received. He said: "She was unhappy with the psychiatric system. It was on her mind. The system was bad and it must be exposed, it's as simple as that." Gemma spoke about the tragedy which she drew upon for her new role in The Escape, which follows a stay at home mother who begins to fall out of love with her husband and their children. She explained: "My mother would be on set with me and say, 'You know this is your ­grandmother's story'. But it's a universal story about a woman who's fighting to breathe while being choked and escaping from her happy life."

READ: Gemma Arterton granted divorce from husband Stefano Catelli

gemma arterton© Photo: Getty Images

Gemma has opened up about her grandmother's death

Gemma's grandmother spoke about how proud she was of the actress two years before her death, saying: "I’m so very pleased and proud. Success hasn’t come easy for Gemma. She never had a silver spoon in her mouth. The nearest she came to Hollywood was on holiday."

READ: Gemma Arterton says Hollywood bosses filmed her at the gym to prove she was losing weight

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