“Getting to make speeches in this setting fills you with a sense of empowerment”: Aidan Turner on Poldark’s move to Parliament

Poldark star Aidan Turner on swapping sandy Cornwall for the cobbled streets of Westminster

(BBC)

BBC’s Poldark has been a hit for a plethora of reasons, but it’s scenic setting of Cornwall has always been a draw for audiences. In it’s fourth series, it’s time for a change of scenery and now Ross is off to London. Radio Times spoke to the Aidan Turner who plays the titular man about the voyage up to the capital and its impact on Poldark’s marriage…

Why does Ross go to Parliament?

He realises going to London is the only way he can make change happen. Cornwall is too far away from where the decisions are made and although Ross has a lot of influence there, change doesn’t happen fast enough. People listen to him because he is this bridge between the working class and the gentry; he is well educated but he understands the plight of the working man.

What was it like speaking in the House of Commons?

I loved it. I have always found the political history of this period interesting. As an actor, getting to make speeches about important matters in this setting fills you with a sense of empowerment. You get an idea of what it would have been like at the time. It is surreal to be up there talking about backing William Wilberforce in his bill to abolish slavery. It makes you realise that this all happened only a little over 200 years ago.

Aidan Turner in Poldark

Do you admire the way Ross stands up for what he believes in? 

He’s a real hero, isn’t he? I’ve done my fair share of research because when you are giving these political speeches as Ross Poldark, you want to know what’s going on. It seems odd to make those speeches and have people opposing what you’re saying. You just think, how could this not be the way forward, but that is what happened.

What does this new career mean for Ross’s marriage?

Ross and Demelza spend weeks apart while Ross is in London. There were huge gaps during filming where Eleanor [Tomlinson] and I didn’t see each other so it felt like it played out for real. When we did get back together – Ross invites Demelza to London and they spend a week there – it was lovely to reunite.

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

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