Monday 23 September 2019

Aidan Turner says Poldark cast 'scared' of being accused of mumbling like actors in Jamaica Inn

Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) and Elizabeth (Heida Reed)
Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) and Elizabeth (Heida Reed)

The star of new BBC period drama Poldark has revealed that the cast were terrified about mumbling following the controversy surrounding Jamaica Inn.

Hundreds of viewers complained about the recent BBC adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's classic gothic novel, set in 1821 against the windswept Cornish moors, after struggling to make out the dialogue.

Now Irish actor Aidan Turner, 31, who plays the leading role in the BBC One remake of Poldark, told Radio Times magazine that the actors were worried about causing another furore.

"I didn't see the show (Jamaica Inn) but the fuss about it spooked us all a lot," Turner, who plays Ross Poldark said.

"We started shooting a few weeks later and I can tell you all the actors were aiming for 10 out of 10 on enunciation. I'm doing posh RP (Received Pronunciation) anyway so it didn't really affect me directly but I was scared," he said of filming the drama, set in 18th century Cornwall.

Poldark, which attracted audiences of 15 million when it was first broadcast by the BBC in the 1970s, features a romance between Ross Poldark, originally played by Robin Ellis, and servant girl Demelza (Angharad Rees).

Actress Eleanor Tomlinson, 22, who plays love interest Demelza in the post-watershed remake, admitted the new series is raunchier.

"It's probably sexier than the original series, but it's certainly not (director) Lars von Trier. And I don't like the term 'bodice-ripper'. Poldark is classier than that," she said.

But she admitted that "certain things have to be changed for a modern audience," adding: "In the original Poldark novel, for example, Demelza is much younger when Poldark first takes her into his house - she's just 13 - that would jar in people's minds today."

Leading man Turner , who previously played a dwarf in the Hobbit films, said of his own "brooding" role. "I guess there are a few Timotei shampoo-advert moments with me shaking my wet hair."

Meanwhile Ellis, 73, said of starring in the original TV series, based on the novels by Winston Graham: "Angharad and I had some sessions, I suppose.

"But we more or less kept our clothes on. Winston Graham used to hate the term 'bodice ripper' and I think that by modern standards we were quite decorous. I only took my shirt off once, that I remember.

"The next day I took my washing into the launderette and the woman who did service washes wagged her finger at me and said, 'Big mistake'. So I never took it off again."

READ: 'Being a sex symbol is a little awkward' - Aidan Turner on his rise to fame, and redefining Poldark

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