“I can’t lie, he’s a very handsome chap!” – Poldark’s Rebecca Front on starring opposite Aidan Turner and her period drama obsession

The Thick of It star Rebecca Front reveals the joys the dressing up in costume dramas - and whether it's OK to ogle Aidan Turner

Rebecca Front

Poldark star Rebecca Front talks playing “tough cookies”, period dramas, her good-looking co-starsand cults

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What are you watching?

Mainly our six-month-old cockapoo puppy, which is bringing me lots of joy at the moment and has great entertainment value. Otherwise I inevitably watch lots of drama and comedy. Lots of my friends work in it, so I need to be up to speed – though it is a bit of a busman’s holiday.

And for fun?

I really like watching costume drama. It’s what I always dreamt of doing when I was seven – being an actor and dressing up in fancy clothes. So it’s always a thrill when I get the chance to be in one.

So you’ve been primed for Poldark all your life?

I watched one episode of the first series and thought, “That’s great, and it looks fantastic.” Though actually I ended up watching just that one episode! But then I watched the recent series and got hooked on the Osborne Whitworth storyline. And that, of course, was the story I was brought into. A strange coincidence!

Is it OK to ogle Aidan Turner?

I’m aware of Mariella Frostrup’s take on it. I don’t think she was saying we shouldn’t be admiring Aidan Turner’s tremendous beauty, but if you don’t want men judging a woman solely on her looks then we shouldn’t be judging a man solely on his looks. It would be ridiculous for us to assume that people are not going to notice that Aidan Turner or Eleanor Tomlinson are extremely beautiful – it’s one of the great delights of the show – but it shouldn’t diminish their acting ability. If that’s the only thing that you can see, then it is problematic.

And after all, he’s not that good-looking…

Aidan Turner? I can’t lie, he’s a very handsome chap!

Aidan Turner in Poldark, BBC Pictures, SL
Aidan Turner in Poldark, BBC Pictures

Were you worried about going into Poldark?

The Thick of It was a big thing, and I was nervous that I might come in and bring the whole thing crashing down. But with Poldark, I could immediately picture how I wanted to do it. I thought it could be really good.

Do you follow the reaction on social media?

I don’t like criticism, I’m quite sensitive to it. I play tough cookies but I’m absolutely not a tough cookie myself. I don’t check what people say on Twitter. No one likes people slagging them off!

What else do you watch from your dog hair-covered sofa?

Cockapoos don’t shed. I’m ashamed to say that influenced my choice of dog – I love shopping and I didn’t want dog hair on my new clothes… I watch documentaries to relax. There is a brilliant series on Netflix, Wild Wild Country, about the Rajneeshpuram cult in Oregon.

Programme Name: Poldark - Series 4 - TX: n/a - Episode: Poldark S4 - Portraits (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Lady Whitworth (REBECCA FRONT) - (C) Mammoth Screen - Photographer: Mike Hogan

Were you in any cults?

No, I was an immensely strait-laced teenager. Even punk passed me by, I was such a goody two-shoes, the school swot. I was the head girl, a homework queen. I said I liked Adam and the Ants but actually I was going home and working out three-part harmonies for choir practice.

Do you still sing at home?

Now it’s Broadway stuff, Wicked or Rent. I do all the parts in America or Maria from West Side Story. I walk round the house belting them out at full volume. I think my neighbours are very tolerant!

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Rebecca Front stars in Poldark, which airs on Sundays at 9pm on BBC1

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