Aidan Turner doesn’t want to talk about his love life. But there comes a point in our conversation when he simply can’t help himself. He has, he admits, grown very close to a Poldark co-star.
The two of them have just finished filming three series together and have developed an intimate bond. “Our relationship certainly has matured,” Turner says, before paying tribute to his co-star’s “sensitivity”. Truly, he can’t imagine his life without Seamus the horse.
Like the 33-year-old Turner, Seamus the horse hails from Ireland. The two of them have been together since filming their very first scene. “I talk to him all the time,” says Turner. “I rarely use any other horses unless Seamus isn’t around for some reason, [because] I understand how he works and I guess he understands how I work.”
In fact, Turner has a lot to thank Seamus for: he had never really ridden before auditioning for the role of the brooding, swarthy Ross Poldark. He blagged his way through with the producers in order to get the gig.
He did so with such aplomb that, these days, it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else in the part. As Poldark, the handsome captain who returned to his native Cornwall after fighting in the American War of Independence, Turner is moody and magnetic and has turned furrowing his brow into an art form.
He’s tricky to read and yet we root for him, even when he acts in unlikeable ways. The second series stoked controversy with a scene between Poldark and former fiancée Elizabeth Warleggan (Heida Reed) that some critics claimed was “legitimising rape”.
But by the end of the run, Poldark was happily reunited with his wife Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson), while the newly remarried Elizabeth discovered she was pregnant with a baby that might or might not be her husband’s. “He has ups and downs,” agrees Turner, “He’s difficult to be around.”
Turner is understandably sick of talking about his pectorals. When he stripped to the waist to do a spot of scything in the first series, a Radio Times readers’ poll voted it the best TV moment of 2015.
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