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Black Narcissus star Gemma Arterton talks sickness on set

The actress stars alongside Alessandro Nivola and the late Diana Rigg

black narcisuss gemma
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior Features Writer
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Gemma Arterton is fronting the highly-anticipated new drama, Black Narcissus, which premieres on BBC on Sunday evening.

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The drama, airing over three consecutive nights, is a retelling of Rumer Godden's iconic 1939 tale of sexual repression and forbidden love in a nunnery in the remote mountains of Nepal.

Although the actress insisted she "loved" her time on set while filming in Nepal, Gemma did note that she and the cast suffered "sickness" as a result.

WATCH: Official trailer for Black Narcissus

She told the Guardian this month: "There wasn't really any phone signal or WIFI and, like the characters, there was a lot of altitude sickness."

However, the actress insisted: "I had a great time on the shoot, I love being in nature, in forests and mountains – I really shouldn't live in London – and it was so untouched up there." Gemma added: "You do feel different up there. I think the thin air did me well. It's so clear, there's no pollution. It was gorgeous."

Gemma takes on the central role of Sister Clodagh in the drama alongside other well-known names including Bodyguard star Gina McKee, Jim Broadbent and the late Dame Diane Rigg.

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gemma black narcissus© Photo: BBC

Gemma plays Sister Clodagh

The official synopsis reads: "Mopu, Himalayas, 1934. A remote clifftop palace once known as the House Of Women, holds many dark secrets. When the young nuns of St. Faiths attempt to establish a mission there, its haunting mysteries awaken forbidden desires that seem destined to repeat a terrible tragedy.

Ambitious young nun Sister Clodagh heads up a mission to the palace of Mopu, in a remote part of the Himalayas. General Toda Rai has donated The House Of Women in the hope that the sisters will be able to rid the palace of unhappy memories connected to his late sister, Srimati."

Discussing how the series will differ from the 1947 Oscar-winning movie adaptation, Gemma told the BBC: "As we have three episodes, so three hours, we can get deeper into the story of the characters than just the plot... We get under the skin of these characters and explore their relationships in a much deeper way than has been seen before."

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