Gemma Arterton has said that playing Tess of the D’Urbervilles has been the ‘highlight of her career’.

The actress, who stars in the new James Bond film Quantum Of Solace, is playing the part of Tess in the new BBC One period drama.

“When I found out I’d got the part, I was ecstatic. I never thought I’d get to play a leading role in a period drama at the BBC,” she told the Daily Mirror.

The drama is a four-part adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s complex, profound and heart-breaking novel, Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

Gemma filmed one of her scenes at the famous Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

“We were overcome just thinking, wow, this is where Thomas Hardy imagined the scene to take place,” she said.

Despite filming disturbing scenes all day, Gemma says she it didn’t affect her mood: “I’m not the sort who takes it with them. I’d be in a bleak scene all day and come out talking about shoes!”

Tess Of The D’Urbervilles premieres on Sunday, September 14 at 9pm on BBC One.