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How Aidan Turner Turned a 70s Masterpiece Theatre Reboot into a Mini-Revolution

posted: June 19th, 2015 in Career

From Vanity Fair
Photographs by JASON BELL

Vanity Fair 1
Photographer: Jason Bell
The Dublin-born actor Aidan Turner melts the screen as Ross Poldark, the title character in BBC’s reboot of Poldark, airing this month on the PBS anthology Masterpiece. Adapted from Winston Graham’s novels (set in Cornwall, England, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries), the series revolves around a rebellious young army officer who returns from the American Revolutionary War to find his estate in disarray and his fiancée engaged to another man. (Robin Ellis, who starred in the 1970s version, has a cameo.) “There is a lot going on with this guy,” Turner says. “He’s a bit badass. He has a healthy disregard for the law. He’s a bit of a drinker and he’s complex.”

The 32-year-old actor began his career as a dancer. “I was six when I started. I represented Ireland in ballroom and Latin-American dancing for 10 years.” He has the trophies to prove it, but, he admits, “I sort of hated it. Then suddenly you start winning, and, well, I’m quite a competitive person.” (He later attended Ireland’s Gaiety School of Acting.) His dance training helped shape the now famous physique that has fans of the show, which became a Sunday-night phenomenon in Great Britain last spring, drooling and taking to social media to complain whenever he doesn’t take his shirt off in an episode. “It is slightly awkward,” Turner admits. “I will never be fully at ease with it.”

Later this year Turner will be seen alongside Rooney Mara in Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture, but for the time being, Ross Poldark is the official Mr. Darcy of the 2015 summer season.

Vanity Fair 2
Photographer: Jason Bell

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