Thursday 22 August 2019

Shirtless scene gave me empathy for objectified women, says Aidan Turner

The Poldark actor said he has never felt unsafe but it made him understand how females felt.

Aidan Turner (Matt Crossick/PA)
Aidan Turner (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Poldark star Aidan Turner has said he never felt his safety was in question after his shirtless scything scene aired but it did make him appreciate how women feel to be objectified.

The actor, who shot to fame in the Cornish drama based on Winston Graham’s books, made headlines when the shirtless scene was televised.

Even though he has said he never felt objectified, it did give him more empathy towards women who have found themselves in the same boat.

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Turner with his scythe (BBC)

He told the Radio Times: “I’m a man. It’s just not the same. It’s a completely different world for me. I walk down the street, I don’t ever feel scared.

“There are women who feel scared every day. It’s a very different world for me.”

He added: “If I go to a BFI screening and 20 women come up and they want selfies, it can sometimes get a little hands-on.

“But I never feel like my safety is in question. I never feel like I need to get out of there. I don’t get scared, so it’s different.

“Whereas a woman might, if it happened with 20 guys crowding around her.”

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Turner is mobbed by fans (Steven Haywood/BBC/PA)

Turner said people are generally kind and he does not receive too much hassle.

“When the show is on television you get recognised a bit more,” he said.

“That’s the great thing about audiences – they’re brilliantly fickle. They’re gorgeously fickle – we all are.

“You’re popular when you’re on television but when you’re not no-one really cares about you. So that’s useful, I suppose.

“I certainly don’t get hassled. Maybe on a Friday or Saturday night in a pub at one o’clock in the morning – people have a few drinks, all it takes is for one person to see you and then tell their mates – but people are generally really kind. I’m grateful for it.”

The show will draw to a close when the upcoming series finishes and Turner said he was relieved to spend his last day of filming with his co-star Eleanor Tomlinson.

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Turner and Tomlinson (Robert Viglasky/BBC)

He said: “The very last scene I shot was just  myself and Eleanor in the bedroom.

“So we spent the day in bed together, which was really strange. No love scenes or anything – just having a chat.

“All day just talking in bed, which felt right. I don’t think we planned it to be that day, it just happened with scheduling.

“So that was really quite poignant. I think we were both thankful for that.”

After filming wrapped he said his first priority was securing souvenirs, revealing he asked one of the producers if he could take the kitchen table and the benches from Nampara.

“Now they’re in my house in London,” he said.

“I swiped them and I took a Poldark hat.”

Radio Times is on sale now.

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