I won’t lie to you, I started watching season one of Poldark solely because I thought Aidan Turner was hot as hell. I continued watching it because I enjoyed the historical context and let’s face it, Aidan didn’t get any less hot (despite how hard he fights it when not filming). So, after a terribly traumatic finale and a prolonged break between seasons, season two finally graced our shores last Sunday. For the US premiere on PBS’ Masterpiece, Collider interviewed Aidan on all things Poldark. We don’t get many lengthy interviews from Aidan so this is quite exciting. I had to really parse his responses down for both spoilers and space but you can read the whole article here. Again, there are mild spoilers. Please, British friends, be mindful in your comments as the US is far behind you (← that is my little gift to you all for no spoilers).
How did it feel to be renewed for Season 3, before Season 2 even aired?: It’s quite nice. It’s a relief and it makes you chill out an awful lot. Walking onto set on the second season, knowing the first season is a hit, is huge relief. Actors love that.
What’s it like exploring a character over such a large span of time?: It’s great! You do a feature film and you usually have a couple of hours, in real terms, to explore the character and get involved. With Ross, already, I’ve had 18 hours with him, getting involved in what he’s about, exploring his character, and experimenting and playing.
Are you reading this books as they correspond to the season you’re shooting?: Yeah. I attempted to read ahead the first year. I jumped into Book 3, and then I started to get a bit confused and I wasn’t gaining what I thought.
Ross Poldark seems like a role that’s transformative and life-changing. Has it felt that way for you, or do you think you’ll need to step back to get that perspective?: I’ve been around awhile. I graduated drama school 12 years ago. Every job I’ve ever done since the first play – ‘cause I was strictly doing theater for about five years after drama school – has just been another rung on the ladder. It’s been a little step up, every time. This just felt like a natural progression, really, which is great.
You’ve talked about how this is a very flawed character with a bit of a nasty side. Will the opinion that people had of him after Season 1 change a lot with Season 2?: I don’t know. I kind of hope so. It would be nice to piss people off. He is quite selfish, I think, but I don’t think he knows it. He’s emotionally quite immature, in a lot of ways, but that’s what makes him fun.
You have to do a lot of physical things on this show while you’re acting and making it all seamlessly blend. Has it gotten any easier, the more that you do it, or is it equally as challenging?: It’s challenging. For me, anyway, every time we do anything physical like that, your heart is racing. I remember when I started doing the horse-riding stuff and I was talking to the stunt guys and trainers, and I said, “Is he going to jump of the side of the cliff?” And they said, “No, he doesn’t want to die either, mate.”
At the start of this, you knew you could be playing Ross Poldark for awhile. Now that you’re going into Season 3, are you in it until however long that may be?: I suppose so, as long as it’s successful and we keep the standard where it is and the bar stays where it is. If it starts to slip off, in any way, it maybe wouldn’t be so much fun to be a part of it.
Are you also itching to explore something contemporary again, outside of this series?: When you’re in the world, it doesn’t feel dated. It feels like this is our world. It does feel very modern and very present. Until I’m on Skype or Facetime or something, I forget how ridiculous the whole set-up is. I love it.
Aidan really is quite chatty in the article. As he can occasionally seem uncomfortable in interviews, I want to believe his garrulousness is due to his enthusiasm for the show. In his last answer, he said specifically “It doesn’t feel like we’re doing some dusty costume thing for BBC,” acknowledging that Poldark has somehow avoided the conventional network trappings. I’ve not seen the 1975 Poldark series but to me, this version has found the right balance of period piece, melodrama and human interest to move the story along. I just wish they would find some consistency with their timeline per show – one episode covers two years while the next one covers three hours on a Sunday afternoon.
Mild spoilers for future Poldark episode follow
There seems to be as much drama off camera as there is on. Like recently when the Cornish Sea tried to kill Aidan! Apparently, the scene called for Polhunk to wade into the sea to retrieve Demelza, because that woman can’t help but get in over her head in everything. The ocean got jealous of his holding another and smashed a boat into his head. According to Aidan, his reaction was very un-Poldarkian as he just dropped his co-star Eleanor Tomlinson into the water. He also had to suck it up and tend to his own wounds because some poor underwater cameraman received a concussion during the incident. Ah, come on over here, Polhunk – I’ll caress your wounds. You can about read the whole incident here but be warned that link has major spoilers.
Now let’s sit back and salivate over some choice Polhunk pics.
Photo credit: PBS/BBC and WENN Photos
He looks terrible in half the photo’s I see him in, so different from when you see him in motion. A bit like Matthias Schoenaerts who looks terrible in pictures but my goodness that man is sex on legs.
It may be that their hairlines just don’t translate well to print if that makes sense?
Loudly agreeing that Mathias in motion is sex on legs.
Matthias is a gift from Belgium, I’m glad he seems to be low key, although he isn’t very famous outside Europe.
Ha! Ditto on Mattias. I thought it was just me!
My new drinking game is trying to predict when Aiden will take his shirt off – there are usually one or two scenes per episode where it is required, and one or two scenes where it could happen, so I’m quite tipsy by the end of the show (I play the same game during Outlander!)
We have an in-house lottery on the number of rides across the cliffs per episode!
Don’t forget someone’s torso walking through tall grass. That should earn a shot, too.
@ t.fanty What, on its own?
Unpopular opinion, I don’t see the hotness nor the Bond in him, although he’s a great actor and good looking.
How could you think we Britishers would spoil it for you, Kaiser?
T’aint right, t’aint fit, t’aint fair, t’aint proper.
And that’s all I have to say about that. Oh, except Rich Bitch is the best S2 character.
I was intrigued by her in the few minutes she had in episode 1. Probably because there weren’t any shirtless Poldark scenes. I know of no reason for him to have worn a shirt and coat in the courtroom scene.
She has a good plot arc, is all I will say!
There was a shirtless scene in the mine! I loved rich bitch too, I sense a romance with the good doctor coming our way.
Sorry Poldark, dangerous stunts and all, this year I watched Victoria. Rufus Sewell made me swoon as Lord M.
They showed a promo for that at the end of Poldark the other night. I sat up and screamed RUFUS! I will be watching when it airs.
The show isn’t realistic at all but damn if Rufus doesn’t look hot. He even made me cheer for a relationship that never was. The direction and the music are great too.
Sunday night tellyboxing in the UK is ALL about what the women want! Luckily, we now all have recording/streaming/catch up capabilities.
I did plan on catching up later when I had time but I don’t know…somewhere in the season hiatus, I lost interest in Poldark. Even Turner’s excellent abs don’t attract me anymore. 😉
Love Poldark and love Aiden Turner, very few actors have sizzle these days, Aiden has serious sizzle.
Why is he wearing a shirt in all these pictures?
Ha! He should just make it a rule to never wear a shirt.
Aidan is soooo awesome. From Being Human to the Hobbit movies to his bit turn in The Tudors. I swear he comes on the screen and his charisma jumps out. If more Irish men looked like him I’d move to Dublin in a heart beat. *sigh*
I can’t believe we let him leave Dublin!
He fights the hot so so hard when he is not on set. It’s almost painful to see. I want to get him in the shower, but for all the wrong reasons.
This is true,T.fanty…and yet I think the hot always wins.He reminds me a bit of Michael Hitchens. I do love his acting.Being Human was lovely..
I don’t watch this show but I recognize the actress in the picture, Eleanor Tomlinson, from the movie Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging. It always makes me laugh.
He was so great in Being Human- well, the whole cast was. And am really enjoying Poldark- tho the pacing for this episode stateside was pretty SLOOW! So excited there will be a season 3!
OT- why no discussion ever of Indian Summer? Julie Waters is amazing-and the scenery is incredible.
I know someone who works at the BBC and met him – says he is very shy and sweet but tiny (as in build and height).
I absolutely love him – he’s just the best! More more more please 🙂
I LOVE THIS SHOW!
He looks a lot better without the manbun.
Don’t watch Poldark but I did like him in And Then There Were None.
And did somone mention Rufus Sewell? 🙂
My heart still racing for this guy after seeing him in BBC “Being Human.” *swoon*
Aidan Turner caught me by surprise the first time I laid eyes on him at the beginning of the first episode of Poldark. As a fan of the 70s adaptation, I did look forward to this new one (though I hadn’t seen any previews), so I was inclined to like it just because I had before, but I didn’t bank on being completely blown away by the guy who plays Ross. I liked Robin Ellis, but I never went bananas over him. Aidan has everything. Besides his dark and smouldering looks, he’s got a wonderful voice, and his seat on a horse is a terrific, as is how he leaps on and off one. Plus, the man can act completely convincingly! And in fact, everyone in it is a fine actor as well. I’m just so glad the series is continuing after the second season as I know nothing about what happens after that, and it’ll all be new. What a complete thrill.