Quinta, 05 Março 2015 14:29

Aidan Turner, ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Poldark’

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Aidan Turner is about to take to our TV screens on a Sunday night as the lead in the new BBC period drama Poldark. I was recently invited, on behalf of Middle-earth News, to a screening of the first episode and Q&A with Aidan[1] and I was really impressed with the show. It has romance, action, some laugh-out-loud moments, and plenty of shots of the beautiful Cornish countryside.

Aidan is in the press a lot this week, promoting Poldark but, in this extract from an interview with The Telegraph, he talks a little about filming The Hobbit:[2]

The Hobbit was his Hollywood big break, and working in New Zealand with Jackson’s epic-scale CGI was a culture shock after years of TV. “At first, you’re aware that you’re standing in front of a green screen talking to a tennis ball, but then you relax and it becomes very easy to act as if everything is really there. The problem then comes [in other, more conventional scenes] when the tennis ball is replaced with Sir Ian McKellen and you have to look into his eyes, and you’re like, f—! It’s Sir Ian McKellen!

“But I drank all this amazing New Zealand wine, and I didn’t have to worry about getting fat. I’d just be at the back of the shot in my muscle suit, so it didn’t matter if I put on a few pounds. It was brilliant.”

He had 12 weeks of training before donning his dwarf costume, which means he’s “alright riding a horse now, and I’m pretty decent with a sword. All actors put those things on their CV, but now I can actually do them.”

Turner is charming, self-deprecating and gossipy. Mid-interview, he leaps into an affectionate impression of Peter Jackson directing hordes of on-location actors from inside a tent, before jumping across the room to tell the story of an embarrassing incident from the filming of Poldark, which involved him pretending to ride a fake horse in front of a green screen, watched by his swish American agent.

“I was just humping this box in front of a load of people” – he demonstrates an inelegant horse-riding pose – “with this serious, romantic look on my face.” He puts his face in his hands. “And I had to be all professional about it.”

After spending years playing a dwarf and a vampire, was it tricky to adjust to playing the owner of a tin mine? “Do you mean was it a challenge playing a normal human being?” He laughs. “Yeah I suppose so, but it was exactly what I was looking for.”

Poldark airs in the UK on Sunday 8 March, 9:00 p.m., BBC One. It will be shown in the US on PBS Masterpiece on 14 June, 9:00 p.m. and will air in Australia on ABC some time this year.

For more news of Poldark follow me @Poldarked[3], Poldarked.com[4] and on Facebook[5].

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image Author: eviebowman[6] Evie was introduced to Tolkien's work by her boyfriend, over a beer in the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford. She went home, read the books and, a while later, married her boyfriend. She has only recently discovered fandom, after years of eye-rolling by her husband and children, and is delighted to find it warm and welcoming and not-at-all weird. As well as tracking down bits of news and sharing them with others, she leads ponies for Riding for the Disabled and loves the cinema and theatre and her wildlife garden.


  1. ^ Q&A with Aidan (middleearthnews.com)
  2. ^ The Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  3. ^ @Poldarked (twitter.com)
  4. ^ Poldarked.com (www.poldarked.com)
  5. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  6. ^ Posts by eviebowman (middleearthnews.com)

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