Meet Harry Marcus – the young actor behind Poldark’s Geoffrey Charles

George Warleggan's sassy stepson is stealing the limelight in series three of the BBC1 drama

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You might think series three of Poldark is all about Aidan Turner – but you’d be wrong. As we’ve noted on our Radio Times Poldark podcast, there’s a young pretender to his throne as the limelight is stolen time and time again by Geoffrey Charles – son of the late Francis – played by 13-year-old actor Harry Marcus.

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As Geoffrey Charles, Marcus has found himself in the firing line of George Warleggan (Jack Farthing) and has won praise from viewers for his portrayal of the young Poldark who relishes his role antagonising his new stepfather.

We caught up with Harry to hear all about his role as the most junior member of the Poldark clan…

So, how did you find out you’d got the part? 

To start off I auditioned in London and my nan took me down on the day. I was at school at the minute when my parents came in and delivered the news that I got the role of Geoffrey Charles in Poldark and that was something very special indeed. It felt like a fantasy almost, it was so cool finding out that you’ve got a role in a major BBC1 TV series.

Were you nervous on your first day on set?

Extremely nervous. I met all the cast at the read-through day for the script so I sort of knew everyone but getting on set was a different vibe because you’ve got everyone there – all these amazing actors around you and a wonderful director, camera crew and catering stuff. It was really fun to film because something like that doesn’t come up every day and I’m blessed to have Poldark in my life.

Did you get starstruck? 

The first time meeting Aidan, Eleanor, Heida, I did get a bit starstruck because these are massive actors you’re working with and I feel quite humbled and blessed to have worked with them – it’s something I can say: “I’ve worked with Aidan turner, Eleanor Tomlinson and Heida Reed.”

Which cast members do you get on with best?

I did a lot of scenes with Ellise Chappell and Harry Richardson and Tom York so them, and Eleanor was really lovely.

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Ellise Chappell and Harry Marcus as Morwenna and Geoffrey Charles

What’s it like working with Aidan? 

He’s a really lovely guy. Nice and chatty, all that stuff, I had a lot of fun working and filming with him.

And is Jack Farthing the polar opposite of George Warleggan?

I don’t know how he is so mean in Poldark because in real life he is the loveliest guy – how good an actor he is to be so mean to Geoffrey Charles. In the series George Warleggan and Geoffrey Charles don’t have a particularly good relationship but he’s so nice in real life.

Geoffrey Charles has plenty of allies in Ross, Agatha and his mother Elizabeth – but should he be more wary of George? 

Geoffrey Charles has got his way as long as his mum Elizabeth is there and aunt Agatha is still there and Morwenna as well – he’s got that support and he feels like he can be cheeky. He knows for sure that Agatha will back him up. They are both Poldarks so that sets a tone.

He has some of the sassiest lines – are they fun to deliver?

Yeah, definitely. Geoffrey Charles and aunt Agatha have some great scenes where Geoffrey Charles delivers a cheeky line and aunt Agatha backs him up. That was fun to do because me and Caroline [Blackiston, who plays aunt Agatha] could really play with those lines.

Do you have a favourite?

It’s got to be: “So you wish it, I will change my name to Geoffrey Charles Francis Poldark.” That’s got to be it. it’s such a sassy line. Geoffrey Charles is such an amazing character to portray because there’s so much you can do with him – he’s so adventurous and there’s so many places you can discover.

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Harry Marcus with actors Harry Richardson (Drake) and Ellise Chappell (Morwenna)

And you dyed your hair to play him…

I was blonde for quite a while – I had brown hair before and then from September, when we started filming, I had blonde hair and that was probably up until last week because basically all my roots underneath were brown and I had a haircut. It looks like I have blonde highlights at the minute but apart from that I’m pretty much brown again.

How did you fit your schoolwork in?

On set I had a tutor where I had to tutor three hours a day – but let’s say I had a busy day on Monday, I’d only do an hour. And then the next day if I had a lighter day on set I’d make up the hours so I’d do five.

And have you been watching the show since it’s been airing? 

Yes, it’s a small family affair – we just sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit. It’s so cool to just sit on the settee and watch a TV show and see your family proud and dad being proud and mum being proud. I’d definitely heard of [Poldark] before I got the role but when series one came out – it was several years ago now – I was younger and 9pm was usually a bit past my bedtime.

Do you know if you’re going to be back for series four? 

Series four has been commissioned but my position is all up in the air at the minute – I’m just finding out if I’m doing it or not because obviously that’s down to the writing, how it’s getting written. Debbie Horsfield is such an amazing writer but if I do it that would be great and if I don’t do it, it will be awesome to see how Poldark pans out.

Listen to Harry introducing the Radio Times Poldark Podcast below. If you can’t see the podcast just click here.

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 Poldark airs on Sundays, 9/8c, PBS Masterpiece