‘THERE’S SOME TOPLESS SLEEPING…’ Poldark’s Aidan Turner sets pulses racing as he teases about new series
Babies, infidelity, jail breaks… it’s all kicking off in Cornwall once more as the smash-hit drama returns for a third series
BY ELEANOR RELF
3rd June 2017, 12:05 am
Visit this link for original article and MORE PHOTOS: The Sun
There is a big question hanging in the Cornish air, as the third series of Poldark looms: who is the father of Elizabeth Warleggan’s baby – her husband George, or Ross Poldark?
Fans have only had to wait six months since the end of the second series for the answer, as a new nine-part run arrives, unusually, in summer.
But when TV Magazine grills star Aidan Turner on the burning paternity question, he laughs.
“We don’t know!” he chuckles. “If the baby comes out with a scar on his face…”
Ross’ transgression with old flame Elizabeth in series two sparked an outcry from viewers – and the mum-to-be’s new baby could serve as a permanent reminder. But writer and executive producer Debbie Horsfield interrupts our chat to quash any further speculation.
“Nobody knows for certain,” she says. “Elizabeth never says what she thinks either.
I have my opinions and the book [by Winston Graham] has its suspicions – but during the period we’re covering, it’s never overtly stated.”
“But you know…” adds Aidan. So even if nobody’s going to say for sure, we’d put money on the child being Ross’.
But that’s not to say that things are strained between Ross and his wife Demelza. Far from it.
“You really feel like Ross and Demelza are growing through their relationship, it’s exciting to play,” says Aidan, 33.
“It doesn’t seem like that long ago really when Ross took in this street urchin to work in his kitchen, and now to see where they are – it’s great to grow up with the characters a bit.
“It nearly didn’t work out, Demelza had her bags packed, but Ross managed to pull everything together at the last second. I don’t think he ever imagined she was going to leave and when she did, that’s when it hit home, the severity of what he did. He was very lucky that she hung on, most women wouldn’t.”
He’s actually nicer to her this series, then?
“I think he does listen to her more,” smiles Aidan.
“She tends to be right, you know, most of the time; far more often than he is. And he’s recognising that a bit more. Sometimes I play a scene and I think I’m being… fine. And then I’ll see it and think: ‘Jesus, what a p***k.’”
While Ross’ wife may have forgiven him for his indiscretions, his loyal fans aren’t quite so ready to let him off the hook.
“It’s come up in conversation,” laughs Aidan.
“But it’s tongue-in-cheek, they know it’s not really me, it’s fictitious.
“If it was me and I was in the papers for something like that, there would be a different tone. But no, they just go: ‘You b*****d, why did you do that?’ They don’t smack you one.”
Long-suffering Demelza has, of course, never been short of admirers herself. And one of series three’s new characters, the dashing Hugh Armitage, certainly takes a shine to her – as actress Eleanor Tomlinson, 25, hints.
“He pays Demelza some attention, which is nice,” she says, with a pointed look across at her co-star Aidan.
“That is what is lovely about their friendship. But I’m not going to give anything away as to what happens. I’m intrigued to see how the fans respond to it.”
“Ross might suspect that something’s going on,” adds Aidan. “It’s hard not to notice things like that. He can certainly sense an energy… but what grounds does Ross have to complain? He can’t really say a lot!”
As well as blossoming romance, there’s a lot of action coming up over the nine new episodes. It’s now 1794 and across the Channel, the French Revolution is in full swing.
Which is bad news for Ross’ friend Dr Dwight Enys, who joined the Navy at the end of the last series.
He’s captured and imprisoned in France – but although the scenes were made to look as French as possible, using French actors, they were all shot in the UK.
And with Ross being the reckless type, he of course hatches a plan to break Dwight out of jail and bring him back to England.
“Ross is growing up a little bit – he’s not getting into the same tussles that he was with George Warleggan,” explains Aidan.
“He’s becoming more mature and his decisions have more measure to them… sometimes. But then he does things that are outrageous and that’s what we love about him. Like, insane things!”
Since Poldark burst on to our screens in 2015, Aidan has become a bona fide star. The Cornwall-set drama has propelled him to a new level of celebrity, but in person he’s as affable as ever and is keen to play down his pivotal role in the show.
“I’ve never felt like the lead,” he shrugs. “I never really felt the pressure of it. I keep
my head out of that bit. It’s great that the show is popular and it’s nice coming back
on the first day of season two and three knowing that you’ve had good ratings. But I never really feel the pressure.”
And there is a fresh crop of actors joining the series (see right) that also have their fair share of juicy storylines to enjoy.
Is Aidan full of worldly advice for the youngsters?
“Just don’t look me in the eyes,” he jokes. “And I tell them how I like my coffee! No, they are all fairly experienced anyway. This isn’t anyone’s first job.”
Since the world got extremely hot under the collar over Aidan’s bare torso back in the first series, that’s become the one topic he’s clearly reluctant to talk about.
He always remains chatty and good natured, but he’s not forthcoming when asked about which scenes he thinks will set viewers’ pulses racing this time around.
“I think there’s some topless sleeping,” he quips. “I don’t know, I honestly can’t remember. Do we get sexy this year? I don’t have an answer to that question.”
Aidan admits that he spends so much of his life playing Ross Poldark – and he’s confirmed he’s signed up for a fourth series, which will start shooting in September – he can actually feel the gap between him and the character narrowing sometimes.
“It’s funny, I had two lines to say yesterday. The scene was a party, and Ross isn’t a very sociable person. I couldn’t get the dialogue and I just wanted to go home, and I couldn’t quite twig why,” he explains.
“Later I thought about why it wasn’t really working for me, and I think it’s because in my head, Ross didn’t want to be there. Everything was bugging me – looking at people and delivering the lines, but it wasn’t really me. It does linger.
“Playing this character, you hold on to a lot of it. There’s residual Ross all the time with me.”
One way we won’t see life imitating art, however, is when Ross considers entering the world of politics. Towards the end of this series he starts to get ideas about going to Parliament – and politics is not something Aidan is keen on at all.
“I think I’ll stick with what I’m doing,” he laughs. “Ross is a hero, and people like a hero, so it’s working out all right for me. I just try not to fall off a horse!”