Poldark Season 2: Aidan Turner on Ross and Demelza (2023)

VonChristina Radish

Plus, the challenges of the fight scenes, his commitment to the character "in the long run," and more.

Poldark Season 2: Aidan Turner on Ross and Demelza (1)

the thrilling dramaPoldarkis back for Season 2 of Masterpiece on PBS, starring former officer, class warrior, lover and mining entrepreneur Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) returns for nine new episodes. For starters, Ross is framed for murder and lured to the rocks by a freighter to loot and looks set to go to the gallows. And that's not the end of the drama as he's unsure where he stands with his current love Demelza (Leonor Tomlinson) and his first love Isabel (Heide Stock).

During this exclusive interview with Collider, actor Aidan Turner spoke about how amazing it is to be renewed for Season 3, how much he enjoys exploring this character over such a long period of time, how fun it is, all of it being able to explore character dynamics, playing with a man so flawed and layered, whether viewers' opinions of him could change this season, the challenge of playing all of the physical aspects of that role, and how he plans to continue with the series to continue as long as it remains successful. and of the same quality. Please note that some spoilers will be discussed.


Collider: How did it feel to be renewed for Season 3 even before Season 2 aired?

Poldark Season 2: Aidan Turner on Ross and Demelza (2)

AIDAN TURNER: It's quite nice. It's a relief and makes you very relaxed. It's pretty rare when that happens. I've known it for a few months but it's great. There's nothing quite like stepping into a second or third season of something and knowing that you've already got the green light for another one. You can just relax a little and enjoy it and focus a little more. You can burn calories in the right place instead of saying, "Oh my god, is that okay? Do I have to book another job? Do I have to go to America and audition again?" There's no stress or discomfort. So it's a huge relief. We've just been very lucky. The UK audience has been behind our show and championed us from the start. The same thing happened to meHuman being. Almost as we were about to finish filming, the comments from the producers and editors were, "Guys, block four more months because you're going to be leaving." Stepping onto the set of season two and knowing that season one is a success is a huge relief. Actors love this.

What's it like researching a character over such a long period of time?

TURNER: It's great! You're shooting a feature film and typically have a couple of hours to explore and get involved with the character. I've already spent 18 hours with Ross, immersing myself in what he does, exploring his character, experimenting and playing. There's nothing quite like it, really. Now it's kind of hard for me to make a feature film that has maybe eight or nine key scenes. That's how things work now. TV has taken over a bit. even withThe HobbitI had a lot of time with the character. I can't imagine what it's like to walk in and out of a movie. I did it with the Jim Sheridan movie (the secret script) and a few things last year where you have a few scenes in something and just get whipped. You are in and you are out. That's all. And you don't know what you've done until it's all over. So it's great to be in commandPoldarkand explores the character of Ross.

Do you read these books as they pertain to the season you are filming?

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TURNER: Yes, I tried reading ahead in the first year. I skipped to book 3 and then I got a little confused and didn't understand what I was thinking. It's great to have perspective and it's great to know they're there, but I'm just covering what's coming up in the [season]. I like to keep it in the back of my mind.

Ross Poldark looks like a transformative and life-changing role. Has it felt like this to you, or do you think you need to step back to have that perspective?

TURNER: When you're in the driver's seat, it feels gradual. I know it's a really big show and I've never been before anything like it, but I also felt like it was about time. If it had happened to something five years ago, I probably would have been scared and pressured in certain ways, which wouldn't have been helpful. But when that happened, I thought, 'Yeah, I'm ready for this. That feels good. I'm ready for number 1 on the call list. I'm ready to play that guy and fill those butts." It always feels good and when you're there it doesn't feel stratospheric. I've been at it for a while. Certainly I've worked with the BBC. I graduated from drama school 12 years ago so I've been cashing my acting check for about a decade It just felt good and I'm glad about it Every job I've done since the first play because I'm after "When I did drama school for like five years, it was just another rung on the ladder. It was a small step forward every time. It really felt like a natural progression, which is great. I would hate to be caught unprepared getting thrown in the ring because you can make big mistakes. When you're out there with a show like this, it's unforgivable. If it sinks, you're going down with that ship. You have to sc Start swimming quickly because it's killer out there.

There are so many different relationship dynamics in this series. As an actor, is that the fun part of getting involved in something like this?

TURNER: Yeah, there's a lot going on in this show, and I found that out in the second [season] as well. With Ross, there's the rivalry with George, there's the relationship with Elizabeth, there's Demelza and there's Francis, and they're all very different. It's always busy. It's a busy show. He's great, especially as an actor. You show up every day and it's a lot of fun to explore. We usually shoot on location so he can spend a week in Ross' kitchen in Paris, so lots of it with Jud, Prudie and Demelza. It is fun. And then it changes and you tackle something else. Sometimes it feels like ten different shows or six different movies running at the same time. But it's fun to explore. It never repeats itself. It's always busy, at least for me.

You talked about this being a very flawed character with a bit of an evil side. After season 1, will people's opinion of him change a lot with season 2?

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Turner: I don't know. Hopefully. It would be nice to annoy people. It's funny because I never saw it as a world changer, but a lot of people brought it up, almost a little irritated. They said, "When will we see the other side?" The lines are what they are and you have to play them, but feeling something is different and I've always seen him as a very layered character. He's pretty selfish I think, but I don't think he knows it. He's not vindictive. It's not a conscious thought. But I think he would be a modern day control freak and I think he needs the spotlight. I don't think he likes being left out. This rivalry with George is so petty. As an adult, I could never get involved in something like that. It's crazy to have fistfights in bars. He's a man, he needs to grow. It's interesting to play. He's emotionally immature in a lot of ways, but he enjoys it. It's loose canon. You have the feeling that it can start at any time. If you catch him on a bad day and he's a bit hungover, he can go insane. He can be pretty mean to Jud and Prudie. I don't think he's ever smiled at her and he avoids eye contact. It's almost a gangster mentality. So will people be surprised? Maybe a little. Maybe there will be more in the second [season]. I always thought there was more to it in the first [season], but maybe people just don't agree with me.

How is Ross and Demelza's relationship right now and how does his relationship with Elizabeth compare?

TURNER: They're very different. I think the relationship with Demelza has changed. You seem to be going through this meandering relationship journey all the time. By the end of [season] 2, they have been together for years. It's probably been six years, or something like that. I think he really loves Demelza if he can think about it for himself or even start to understand what love is. It is so complicated. When he met her, he didn't even know she was a girl, and then he offered her a job. What is that impulse? If the thing is benevolent, where does it want to help? Is it that people hero thing where you want to reach out to someone who can do it with one hand? Do you like her? He knows? what does he know about it It was always interesting to play because often in life you don't know. It's just instinct. There is something inherently there. There is a tie, but where does that come from? I don't think we always need answers to that. Well, I think he loves her, but it's also hard for him. he doesn't understand it well. And then when you lose a child, I can't imagine what that's like. When the relationship gets difficult, you misinterpret these signs and think, “We're losing this. This isn't what it used to be. Maybe you don't like it anymore. Maybe we can go back to something more platonic.” So he finds solace and solace in Elizabeth, who perhaps exudes something more obviously beautiful or feminine. There's a lot of love in it, but it's confusing. It's not easy, and I don't think it should be. There's a huge amount of gray there.

You have to do a lot of physical things while acting on this show and make it all flow seamlessly. Does it get easier the more you do it, or is it just as challenging?

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TURNER: It's a challenge. Even inThe Hobbit, you appear with a sword and you will fight a guy. It's not natural at all. I used to run with guns when I was a kid, but it's hard. I am not a naturally trained fighter. You do it by pretending to be a pro all the time. As an actor, you really live that character. It's not an exam. It's not an exam. You know all the choreography, but you have to play those rhythms because if you mess it up, you'll break someone's nose. And then there's the performance aspect. The camera reads a story, you just do the dance moves, and there's no room for error, all while it's Monday morning. It can be quite challenging, but that's the rush. You become addicted to this high. It is exciting when you have the feeling that you have achieved something and that it was worth it. You always want to do a good job and you don't have that many options, especially with BBC budgets. There are breakables. If you crash into a cabinet during rehearsal and knock out three bottles of wine, the prop masters will come and say, "Just so you know, we only had six of these, so you only have two chances." And that's what goes through your mind when you meet him. Sometimes you're in the middle of a fight scene and stop to start another one because you missed something.

For me, every time we do something physical like this, your heart races. The same applies to riding gear. You really are that far from a cliff. I remember when I first started riding horses and I spoke to the stuntmen and the trainers and said, "Is he going to jump off the side of the cliff?" And they said, "No, he doesn't want to die either, comrade. He doesn't want to go there either. If he slips, we might have a good run." You just have to hope that doesn't happen. But if you're looking for a thrill, it can be pretty exciting.

As you went into it, you knew you might play Ross Poldark for a while. Now that you're going into Season 3, what time will you be there?

TURNER: I think 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 fail, maybe it wouldn't be so fun to be a part of. But as long as people like the show, we're successful, we're all having fun and it's still going, I'd love to be on it. I'm very proud of it and it's a fan show to be a part of. It's hard work, but it's nice to be something different. There aren't many shows like this right now. Love it or hate it, it's nice to do something a little different. That's the element I enjoy. So yeah, I think I'm in it for the long haul.

Are you looking forward to discovering something contemporary again outside of this series?

TURNER: When you're traveling the world, it doesn't feel dated. It feels present to me. It feels real It doesn't look like we're going to do a dusty costume for the BBC. It seems that this is our world. It feels very modern and very present. When you start wearing these clothes every day, it feels natural to wear a tricorne, a vest and these boots. Until I'm on Skype or Facetime or something, I forget how ridiculous the whole setup is. To me it looks very real and it's modern. I'm pretty happy in this world right now. I love it.

Poldarkwill air Sunday nights on Masterpiece on PBS.

Poldark Season 2: Aidan Turner on Ross and Demelza (6)
Poldark Season 2: Aidan Turner on Ross and Demelza (7)
Poldark Season 2: Aidan Turner on Ross and Demelza (8)
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