Eleanor Tomlinson and the stars of Loving Vincent reveal their own painting talents

The Poldark actor stars alongside Jerome Flynn and Douglas Booth in the painted movie – but how do they like their art?

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Loving Vincent brings Van Gogh’s art to life frame by hand-painted frame… RT quizzes the film’s stars about their own creative talents

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Eleanor Tomlinson (plays Van Gogh’s muse Adeline Ravoux)

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I like to think that I’m quite artistic – I like pencil drawing more than actually painting and love sculpting and silhouettes. I got bored recently on a job and started making papier-mâché heads, which was great fun.

I grew up seeing the Peak District on Pride and Prejudice, so if I could, I’d paint a landscape of somewhere around Matlock in Derbyshire. It’s a beautiful part of the world. But if you’re asking me if I’d ever be the next Van Gogh, the answer is absolutely not! I express my creativity in other ways – like decorating my house. It’s a mismatch of different vintage things from the 1930s.

If I saw a piece of art that I really liked, I’d look into buying it, but art is so expensive and there’s always the debate of “What is art?”. I think it’s something that inspires you, that you get joy from seeing, that makes you feel a certain way.

At home, I’ve got a drawing that Josh Whitehouse [Hugh Armitage in Poldark] did of me as Demelza, which is a really lovely memento of working with him. And I bought one of the paintings that was left over at the end of filming Loving Vincent as a reminder of how special it was working on such a unique film.

I’d love to own one of Sally Mann’s photos, or one of Simon Annand’s – he does incredible portraits. I saw a Damien Hirst exhibition recently and thought it was absolutely phenomenal. That bizarre artform is so brilliant – the cow sawed in half, it’s barbaric but very interesting.

When I travel for work, I try to go to art galleries, but my favourite museum is still the V&A. I’d love to get locked in there for a night. The Hollywood Costume exhibition was the best I’ve ever seen – they had Scarlett O’Hara’s dresses from Gone with the Wind – I was beside myself with glee!


Douglas Booth (plays local postman’s son Armand Roulin)

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My family stole all the artistic talent – my mother’s an artist and paints beautifully, and my sister went to Chelsea College of Art – but I’ve never been able to draw very well. My thing was music – I played the trumpet to Grade 7, but acting pushed it aside.

If I could paint, I’d do a landscape of Hampstead Heath. Not the view of London from there, but the Heath itself – it’s one of my favourite places… I try to walk there a couple of times a week. I like art that comments on the world around us, or pushes us into an emotional place rather than just being beautiful.

I love artists like Grayson Perry and Gilbert and George. I’ve got their prints up in my house, along with a lot of Hayden Kays’s stuff, Jeff Koons, and a Hockney print, but I’d love originals. My mum bought a very small Grayson Perry tapestry for my dad’s 50th birthday.

Although I’ve always been more into modern art, since doing the film I’ve bought some Van Gogh prints to hang alongside my contemporary ones. I never appreciated Van Gogh the way I do now I’ve looked at his work in depth and found out more about him as a man. The fact he never picked up a paintbrush until the age of 28 is remarkable. He painted with his emotion, as well as his paints.

I live close to the Tate Modern so I drop in fairly frequently. That’s the brilliant thing about London – it’s so full of culture. A few weeks ago I was at home for four days and managed to go to the theatre to catch Girl from the North Country, Road and Yerma – which hit me the hardest. Billie Piper’s performance was remarkable.


Jerome Flynn (plays Van Gogh’s physician Dr Gachet)

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I never had an education in classical artists like Van Gogh at school, but I’ve always enjoyed modern artists like Rothko – he paints unconventional things with lots of deep colours. I like art that deepens one’s experience, that takes one into a mysterious place.

I’m just beginning to covet original art. I think it’s since living in Pembrokeshire, where we’re blessed with wonderful local artists who paint the sea, and landscapes that encourage an appreciation of the natural world. Jackie Morris paints people with animals, and mixes magic with humans’ deep connection to nature, and it grabs me, it speaks to my tribal heritage. We’re distracted from nature and desperately need to reconnect.

As for me – I used to draw big monster faces when I was a child, and I loved it, but I never got going with proper art. I once tried to paint a love letter instead of writing it, and really lost myself in it at the time but never carried on painting afterwards.

I quite like woodwork, but there’s never any time to take it up for fun. Writing, though – I know there’s something there. I wouldn’t have to work as hard to find my creative flow when writing a song or a short play. I’ve got a couple of stories in me that I’ll be ready to tell when we’ve finished filming the final series of Game of Thrones

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Loving Vincent opens in cinemas on Friday 13 October