Obsession with topless Aidan Turner is 'sexist and undermines the show' says Heida Reed
Poldark star Heida Reed has said the national obsession with her co-star Aidian Turner is an example of reverse sexism.
Turner, who plays Ross Poldark, has attracted millions of viewers to the hit BBC drama every Sunday night and his regular topless appearances on the programme have made headlines.
But Icelandic actress Reed, who appears as Poldark’s former flame Elizabeth, told Telegraph Wonder Women: “I think there should be the same standard for both sexes when it comes to things like this.
“Of course it’s nice for everyone involved that he’s viewed as a sex symbol or very attractive man. But it’s getting a little bit ridiculous. I think it just undermines the rest of the show.
“I don’t think it should be any more allowed than if a woman was in the same situation. And if she was, the media would have a field day that she’s being objectified.”
Reed said she knew "for a fact that [Turner is] completely baffled by the amount of interest” in the popularity of images that show him scything in a field.
“The producers had no idea that was going to happen either,” she explained. “They never said 'let’s have his shirt taken off and everyone will go nuts'. It wasn’t a strategy.
“We [the cast] haven’t really discussed it much. We know Aidan and think he’s a great actor, and he put his heart and soul into this part.”
Other than Turner’s topless appearance, she said the drama was “all very tame” with “no kind of Hollywood glamour, except for obviously Aidan’s body.”
Reed, who is currently starring in play Scarlet, which tackles the issue of revenge porn and requires the 27-year-old actress to appear on stage in her underwear, said that she would consider doing nudity in the second series of Poldark.
“I don’t really want to have limits for myself as an actor. That’s just restrictive. If you put too many rules down for yourself you can’t go to the places you could. I come from a very liberal country and it’s not as big a deal as maybe here or in America.”
The actress went on to lament gender inequality when it comes to nudity in the acting profession.
“There’s more nudity expected for women but that’s because breasts are still these forbidden things.
“When we have our tops off it’s nudity, but it's not with boys. I don’t think women having their top off should be such a big deal.”
Reed added that she's a supporter of international movement ‘Free The Nipple’, which sees women baring their breasts on social media to prove that men and women should both be allowed to be walk around topless. Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's daughter, Scout, tweeted herself walking topless around New York last year, in solidarity with the campaign.
Said Reed: “It was weird because I kind of wanted to participate [by sharing a topless photo on social media] but at the same time I was like, 'I don’t know if I could handle the publicity.'”
“I was in the public eye a lot during that time because of Poldark and I thought about it, but I couldn’t. I’m not there yet but I wish I was. I’d like to be a part of it.”