Poldark star Aidan Turner on how hard it's been to say goodbye to Ross and how he's got the kitchen table!
It’s the end of an era as we say an emotional farewell to Poldark and its star Aidan Turner after five wonderful series.
Fans of BBC1’s Cornish costume saga won’t be disappointed with the thrilling finale, however – the show goes out with a bang (literally!) with explosions, shots fired, nail-biting sword fights and the threat of a French invasion in the final two episodes this Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.
There are also wedding bells, a birth and the possibility that Ross Poldark and his old nemesis George Warleggan could put their bitter feud behind them when George saves Ross’s life!
Here, Aidan Turner, 36, who has played swashbuckling hero Ross Poldark since the show first hit our screens in 2015, tells us about his emotional final scene, why he’s forever indebted to his co-star Eleanor Tomlinson and how he took Ross and Demelza’s enormous oak kitchen table as a souvenir…
We can’t believe we’ve arrived at the last ever episode of Poldark! Can you?
Aidan Turner: “No! It was the last time I got up on a horse, the last time I put on the tricorn hat and all these kind of things. There were poignant moments that you just mark. I think I’ll really miss playing Ross. You sort of miss every character in time, but right now it’s just nice to have a sense of completion about it – and nice not to have to get up at 5am every morning!”
Were you emotional filming your final scene?
AT: “Yeah, I don’t know how it worked out, but my last scene was just me and Eleanor Tomlinson in the bedroom of Nampara! It was a great way to finish, it was just us together having fun, so it was quite sweet actually, although it was also quite sad – you could harness the emotion in the room. Then the clapperboard comes down and it’s ‘that’s a wrap’ and you’re so overcome with the moment that it doesn’t feel real. It’s only when you go home and you look back at it that can get quite emotional and nostalgic over it.”
Aidan Turner has kept the Poldark kitchen table!
Did you take any souvenirs from the set as a reminder of your time on the show?
AT: “The hat came with me definitely. I also took the kitchen table and the benches from Nampara, so I went big! It’s now pride of place in my house in London. It’s a beautiful table and it means a lot because it’s at the centre of all those important scenes we’ve shot in Cornwall – and that was also my favourite location out of anywhere!”
If you could go back to the very first day of filming what advice would give yourself?
AT: “That’s a good question. What would I do differently? Do you know what, probably nothing! It did feel wild in the early days, it was quite a big deal for me. Looking back I did feel quite young to be anchoring the show and there was a lot of pressure and it felt like a risk at the time. You know, would people buy it? Would people want an Irish guy doing it? I just had all these questions. So yeah, I was very nervous and nerves aren’t always your best friend in this game, so that was something I had to deal with. But you just plough through it in that Ross Poldark kind of way – you just grab the reins and go!”
Is there anything in particular that stands out for you from your time on Poldark?
AT: “Working with Eleanor has been something that I’ve really loved. She’s such a brilliant, talented actress and I can’t imagine anyone else playing the role. She’s really made it for me. I think without her I wouldn’t have been able to do half the job I did, so I’m indebted to her forever for that.”
Will you watch the last ever episode at home?
AT: “No, I find it really hard watching myself! I’ve probably only ever seen half a dozen episodes from all five series put together. I’m not proud of that, I think I’d learn a lot from watching it. It’s like, ‘get over yourself’ – so maybe now is the time!”
Now Poldark has finally finished, what would you like to do next?
AT: “I’m still figuring stuff out. I don’t know what I want to do. Maybe some theatre – theatre’s always a good balance and I enjoy it. But for now I’m just weighing up options and figuring stuff out, although I wouldn’t mind having a crack at some Oscar Wilde!”
Interview by Hannah Davies
* The final two episodes of Poldark are on BBC1 this Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday at the earlier times of 8pm and 8.30pm.