By Kate Ward
Updated May 20, 2010 at 10:04 PM EDT
Andrew Cooper

Image Credit: Andrew CooperSeveral weekends ago, I was walking around town with my boyfriend when we spotted a poster for Prince of Persia. “You know,” I told him, “I can never remember the name of that actress playing Jake Gyllenhaal’s love interest.” He took a glance and responded, “Oh, that’s Gemma something-or-other. She was in Clash of the Titans and Quantum of Solace. You know, she was the one they covered in oil.”

And that’s when I knew. If my boyfriend, someone who only has a passing interest in pop culture, could recognize Gemma Arterton, name two of her films, and describe a moment in which she was naked, then she was poised to become a favorite of fanboys across the nation — and could very well secure the coveted role of Hollywood’s next “It” girl. Weeks later, it seems the mercury is only rising when it comes to Arterton: Not only is the actress garnering positive buzz for her role as a princess in PrinceVariety calls her “best in show” — but The Wrap reports the actress is also under consideration to replace Megan Fox in Transformers 3. Oh, and it also doesn’t hurt that she’s incredibly attractive.

If roles in two high-profile 2010 movies — Clash and Prince — aren’t enough to catapult her to stardom, then Transformers would certainly do the trick, right? I’m fairly certain Transformers fans wouldn’t object to seeing her bent over the hood of a car in a jean skirt à la Fox. But is her appeal to young male moviegoers’ hormones the reason there’s so much heat circling Arterton right at this moment? We’ll see what people think of her in Prince, but most folks who saw Clash came away more enamored with the Kraken than any of the film’s stars. What do you think, PopWatchers? Is Arterton poised for stardom? And why is her star power burning brighter now?