Find out about the making of Poldark as star Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark) talks filming, fans, and favorite scenes in an exclusive interview with MASTERPIECE. Saddle up and swoon and let Aidan Turner take you behind the scenes!
On Location…with Faithful Fans
“I did have a couple of Hobbit and Being Human fans showing up. One girl found me at the side of a cliff—I don’t know how she did this—she flew from Holland that morning and, in like the remotest part of the UK on the side of a cliff, she found me, and I was like how on earth did you get here?! It was insane! There were a lot of those mental moments, where fans would find us.”
High Horse: Riding
“I love riding. Those days were some of my favorite because it felt like the whole story came together when you’re out on the moors just galloping around and you’re doing what Ross does. And it all makes sense and it all feels very earthy and grounded and real and active.
The horse tends to respond, too. They’re such smart animals, incredibly sensitive and emotional, so it’s funny how that would play out a lot of the time. Sometimes you’re in a scene and you might be shouting at somebody and the horse [Seamus] will get quite tetchy and he’ll feel it and won’t calm down. The horse would get worked up with you. We had to use different words, different code words for “action” on set, because Seamus knew “action” meant “go,” so he would just take off when he heard it, all the time. Sometimes it might be “action” and I’d have to take ten beats and then come into the scene for whatever reason, a panning camera move or something, but if he heard that, he’d be off, so we’d have to change words up.
Sometimes it would be my name, sometimes it would be my character’s name. And we couldn’t show him the clapper board, because if he heard the clapper board clap loud, he’d take off. That was a nightmare at the beginning, because I was getting used to Seamus. And then it very quickly became something I absolutely loved because he is so sensitive. You just needed to think something, and he would think the same thing and react the same way, so it became a really strong relationship.”
Seamus Rides Again? Season 2
“There was a rumor that they might be retiring him, but I don’t know, because he’s quite a legend and he’s been on TV shows for years, and he’s a proper movie horse, and he’s a bit of a movie star in the stables. I think, because he worked so hard on this shoot, they were going to retire him, but maybe there’s another season left. I’d be sad if it wasn’t him again.”
Remembering Warren Clarke
“There’s a day I remember very well—of course Warren Clarke [Charles Poldark, Ross’s uncle] passed very soon before the show ends—and there’s a scene I remember where we’re both sitting on the horse. I had food poisoning that day. And I remember Warren felt so sorry for me, but he just kept cracking jokes all day and doing impersonations of [beloved British comedian] Tommy Cooper and I couldn’t help but laugh the whole way through. He knew exactly what would make me feel better. And there’s a sense of sadness when I think about that day, as well, and that scene for obvious reasons. It was a really special few months, making Poldark.”
Paradise Found: Cornwall
“It was an amazing experience, we were so lucky. We spent about 10 weeks there and we were all over Cornwall. There was a week we had a private, family owned beach to ourselves, in St. Alstal. They just gave it to us for the week while we got the best of the British summer. It was just so idyllic, the entire shoot, everything was just so stunning. We were saying on set, when this goes out, people aren’t going to believe we shot it in the UK, they’ll think we went to Florence or the South of France or something, because it was actually just too beautiful. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. You don’t have to leave the British mainland to find that sort of Paradise.”
Source: PBS Masterpiece