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Aidan Turner Recalls How Poldark Landed on His Doorstep

After “Poldark” arrived on the airwaves in 2015, leading man Aidan Turner soon found himself receiving a much bigger spotlight than ever before. Yes, he had a recurring role in “The Hobbit” trilogy, but by no means was Turner as idolized by loyal fans as he is now.

In 2017, Turner has to regularly fend off questions about his sex appeal and the rumblings that he could be cast as the next James Bond. Unfortunately, these headline-grabbing subjects take away from something “Poldark” fans already know: Turner’s portrayal of the brooding man of the people, Ross Poldark, is a performance worth applauding.

While speaking with the Examiner back in 2016, Turner reflected on how the “Poldark” role literally landed on his doorstep.

“There was a knock on the door and a FedEx guy handed me four books and eight scripts with a note saying, we’d like you to play this role,” said Turner. “It’s a surreal moment. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. As I was taking this package off the FedEx guy, my agent called and she said, this might happen.”

With the scripts and books in-hand, Turner got to work on understanding everything “Poldark.” First up, he would pay careful attention to the writings of Winston Graham (author of the “Poldark” books) and Debbie Horsfield (writer of the “Poldark” TV series).

“I was reading the book simultaneously with the script as well, so I was keeping an eye on what was going on and how it was related to our screenplay,” explained Turner. “I wasn’t worried. It seemed to enhance it to be honest. From the first script, I thought, I trust this writer; she really has a sense of what’s going on. She’s not trying to make something that’s not there.”

Following a successful first season that led to “Poldark” becoming one of the U.K.’s most popular TV series, Turner and the cast were tasked with evolving their characters. For the Irish-born actor, moving forward with Ross became quite instinctual.

“I think [Ross has] become a better listener. Maybe better at delegating work. Delegating the load. The world doesn’t rest on his shoulders and he’s beginning to see that,” offered Turner when discussing Ross’ demeanor in season two. “He’s a family man now, and dealing with a deep sense of loss. I can’t imagine how difficult it might be, but I have to and I have to think of how this has affected him. Does he become more responsible or less responsible or what fits emotionally? What attributes does he shut off and what does he become more sensitive to?”

He concluded: “When you’re playing a character and you show up everyday and you’re on set everyday, I guess it’s just … by osmosis or something, it just seeps into you. If you’ve played stuff before, you subconsciously steer clear of playing it. So you try a different approach. It all just grows up together.”

This week on “Poldark” (Wednesday, February 22 at 9pm ET/10pm PT), Ross joins a smuggling trip in the Scilly Isles in order to meet Mark Daniel. This give George Warleggan an opportunity to move in on someone close to Ross.

Immediately following “Poldark,” join us at 10pm ET/7pm PT as we launch our season one encore presentation of the charming murder-mystery series, “Grantchester.”

-Adam Grant