She loves her Poldark co-stars and delights in returning to Cornwall to film the BBC drama series but when it comes to playing Elizabeth Warleggan (previously Poldark) Heida Reed does have one small issue – the fact that everyone lays the blame at her door for any indiscretions.
“Everyone thinks Ross Poldark is so perfect and nothing is his fault,” the actress explains in an interview in this week’s Radio Times magazine. “When it comes to Ross and Elizabeth, everybody blames the woman.”
Reed, who plays Aidan Turner’s on-screen childhood sweetheart, is half joking, but she has experienced first-hand just how protective some of the show’s most active online fans can be of their leading man.
“It ebbs and flows I guess”, she says. “I said to my manager one time, ‘I want to be an actress in the 90s before broadband.’”
One episode into series three and Elizabeth has already very likely given birth to Poldark’s child under the nose of her new husband, George Warleggan, following a controversial scene in series two that many have labelled rape. Yet Reed says she’s not expecting the backlash against her character to die down.
“If people felt bad about me before, I predict they’re going to feel even worse about me this season,” the actress says, citing Elizabeth’s upcoming struggles with motherhood, and her loss of empathy as she attempts to regain control of her own life while key plot points shape her future.
“I really don’t see Ross’s fans warming up to her, but I hope that, once she’s gone through her journey, they see the beautiful sadness in her life.”
Poldark season three airs on Sundays, 9/8c, PBS Masterpiece