Black Narcissus star Gemma Arterton has admitted that she's "a bit terrified" by the prospect of playing legendary singer Dusty Springfield in an upcoming biopic.

The film will focus on a particular period of Dusty's life, when she fled to Memphis to escape public scrutiny of her private life and sexuality, and damaged her voice with drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

Gemma Arterton admitted it was a really "bleak" time in the singer's life. She told the Daily Mirror: "It won’t be sort of like Bohemian Rhapsody or Rocket Man - it’s not that kind of film.

Dusty Springfield

"It’s much more intimate. I am kind of a bit terrified by it but at the same time really excited.

"It’s about a specific moment in her life when she made Dusty in Memphis and went to America for the first time and did that amazing incredible album and defied everybody’s expectations."

And Arterton also confirmed that she's been working hard at improving her singing for her role. Not surprising, given that Dusty Springfield had one of the most celebrated voices of the 20th Century.

Gemma Arterton in Black Narcissus

She added: "Her voice . . . you know. We will see! I have done a little bit of practicing. I am not ready to publicly out her yet. I really hope I get to do it justice."

 "Her career just slid away from her in the 70s and didn’t come back until the 80s when she worked with The Pet Shop Boys.

"There was a really bleak time - she used to go into drag clubs and do Dusty Springfield acts and pretend to be Dusty in order to win $100 or $50. And sometimes she didn’t win!"