Gemma Arterton and Eva Green to star in Virginia Woolf lesbian romance
Gemma Arterton and Eva Green will star in a new film about writer Virginia Woolf’s love affair with Vita Sackville-West.
Arterton will portray the famous Bloomsbury Group intellectual Woolf in the film Vita & Virginia, while Green will play her partner, writer-gardener Sackville-West.
Woolf is best known for her best-selling novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), as well as the book-length essay A Room of One’s Own (1929).
Woolf and Sackville-West met in 1922, while Sackville-West was married to Harold Nicolson. They began a sexual relationship that lasted into the early 1930s. Their affair ended sometime in the 1930s but the women remained close friends until Woolf’s early death in 1941.
In 1928, Woolf finished writing Orlando – a fantasy biography about a hero spanning three centuries and both sexes. Sackville-West’s son Nigel Nicolson has commented that Orlando was “the longest and most charming love-letter in literature” from Woolf to Sackville-West and “the effect of Vita on Virginia is all contained in Orlando”.
Vita & Virginia is based on Eileen Atkins’ two-person play of the same name, which originally premiered in 1994 starring Atkins as Woolf and Vanessa Redgrave as Sackville-West. The play chronicles the relationship between the two women over the twenty years from their first meeting to Woolf’s death.
Gemma Arterton is best known for her film appearances in St Trinian’s (2007), Quantum of Solace (2008), Clash of the Titans (2010) and Byzantium (2013). She is currently appearing as the titular role in Saint Joan, a play centred on Joan of Arc, at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
Eva Green is best known for her film appearances in Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and Casino Royale (2006). Between 2014-16, she played the regular role of Vanessa Ives in horror drama series Penny Dreadful.