The tumultuous relationship between Ross and Demelza Poldark has been the core of the BBC’s flagship drama since it first aired three years ago.
But ahead of Poldark’s fourth series, likely to air in early summer 2018, Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) has challenged the gender pay gap between herself and her on-screen husband, Aidan Turner (Poldark).
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Speaking to Red magazine, Tomlinson said that the pair never discussed pay, but that she guessed their salaries weren’t equal.
“While at the beginning that might have been OK – he was a bigger star than me – now I don’t think so,” she said. “We’re equal leads of the show, so I’d be pretty upset if the gap hadn’t closed.”
The salaries for Poldark cast members are set by Mammoth Screen, the independent production company behind the costume drama.
Following Tomlinson’s interview, a spokesperson for the company confirmed that she is paid less than Turner, explaining that the disparity is based on screen time.
“Whilst we can’t and won’t disclose the details, we do pay Aidan Turner more for playing Ross Poldark as throughout all series Ross has significantly more screen time than any other character,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier this year Netflix reportedly paid Claire Foy £200,000 in backpay after it was revealed that she had been paid less than her male co-star, Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip opposite her as the Queen in The Crown.