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Gemma Arterton's 'Prince of Persia' Beauty Transformation

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Splash News Online

Never mind that actress Gemma Arterton has starred in three blockbusters — as the MI6 redhead Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace, Greek mythology’s Io in Clash of the Titans, and as Persian princess Tamina in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Despite her many roles, you still may not recognize her. But the truth is even the 24-year-old English rose admits that she can sometimes barely place her own face — and she’s happy about it. “One of the thrilling things for me is looking very different in films and not recognizing myself,” the newly married actress explained to PEOPLE of her chameleon-like looks. “My makeup artist always says that you can do many things with my face, which is really good when you’re an actress.” To get Persia-nized, she spent hours in the hair and makeup chair–an elaborate process, according to Arterton, whose hair was dyed jet black and lengthened with clip-in extensions. She also endured lengthy, meticulous henna tattoo applications and a head-to-toe fake tan achieved using a special face and body makeup by M.A.C. “The most tanned I’ve ever been in my life,” says the star of her Prince of Persia look. “When I watch the movie, I’m like ‘oh, God!’ Usually, I’m a very pale person.” To hear more about Gemma’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time transformation and the actress’s real-life beauty routine, be sure to pick up the current issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.–Marissa Patlingrao Cooley; reporting by Jackie Fields