Friday, 27 June 2014

Special Effects for Teeth!

It's all down to Jud Paynter that I find myself writing this post about teeth. You see, I kept thinking about him and his two teeth and wondering just how they'd do that on Poldark and then I saw Chris Lyons of Fangs FX was doing the special effects teeth and well, my curiosity was roused. Surely Fangs FX is more appropriate for shows with vampires in than period dramas? Well yes - and no.

Aidan Turner in Being Human Gif via True Science Fantasy

Fangs FX have done plenty of teeth for supernatural films and TV shows: in fact, they did the werewolf teeth for Being Human, the supernatural drama which starred Aidan Turner as the vampire Mitchell. But increasingly they're being asked to do period dramas and to hide the actor's perfect teeth, so as to give them a look more in keeping with the period in which the show is set. Recently, for example, they did the teeth for Austenland.

Actors need realistic and reliable TV teeth so they feel good in character and can speak their lines with confidence. Fangs FX teeth are thin plastic veneers that only cover the front of the teeth and are held in place with a thermoplastic that moulds to the shape of the mouth. Apparently this means they don't affect an actor's speech or fall out! Not only that, but Fangs FX do a realistic gumline which can be as rotten as the special effects teeth too!

While we wait to see Phil Davis as Jud, here's a picture of him with his special effects teeth in Being Human.

Phil Davis as captain Hatch in Being Human. Pic via TV Guide

First Look at Michael Culkin as Horace Treneglos

Michael Culkin as Horace Treneglos by Nick Kenyon

Yesterday we reported that Michael Culkin was rumoured to be cast as Horace Treneglos in Poldark and today we have the best confirmation in the form of a super photo of him by Nick Kenyon. Doesn't he just look the part?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Rumour: Michael Culkin Cast as Treneglos

Photo by Andy Griffin via IMDB
Michael Culkin has been cast as Horace Treneglos in the new BBC adaptation of Poldark according to IMDB.  Horace Treneglos is Ross's elderly neighbour who supports Ross in the re-opening of Wheal Leisure mine.

Michael has a long list of credits to his name including Dorian Gray, The Hours and Da Vinci's Demons. He is probably most familiar to us though, as Judge Buller in the BBC's period drama  Garrow's Law.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

First Look at Patrick Ryecart as Sir Hugh Bodrugan

Photo of Patrick Ryecart by Nick Kenyon

Here's a first look at Patrick Ryecart as Sir Hugh Bodrugan in the new BBC adaptation of Poldark. Many thanks to Nick Kenyon  for this terrific photo.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Happy Birthday, Aidan Turner!

photo via EmpireOnLine
Happy Birthday, Aidan Turner!

Aidan is 31 today and is spending the day on the set of Poldark, a new BBC period drama in which he plays the lead character Ross. Aidan is aware he's stepping into to a well loved role with Ross but says, 'He has been done before. I haven't watched it. So I get to start all over again.'  In what is proving to be a busy year, Aidan is filming Poldark from now until September followed by, possibly, making the film Inferno and all topped off with the press junkets and premieres for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Not bad for a boy who left school with no notion of what he wanted to do!

Aidan was born in Clondalkin, South Dublin, in a house in which he lived throughout his childhood with his mum, dad, and brother. He says, ‘I was born in that house in that living room. I spent 20 years in that house and it's very close to my heart, but I don't get to see it much now.’

He left school knowing he didn’t want to do anything ‘mundane’ and signed up for a six week ‘Acting for Camera’ course because he thought it looked ‘like a laugh.’ He says, ‘I did ballroom and Latin American dancing for about 10 years; I even represented Ireland. So I did have a flair for the creative.’ There may be more to it than that though for, when asked about any history of acting in his family he says, ‘I’m the break-out. Ours was an arts-friendly household,’ which may well be a reference to his grandmother, an amateur actress and stalwart of her local theatre group for many years. His grandmother also enjoys dancing and is no doubt pleased that Aidan lists Ballroom, Jive, Latin American, Salsa, and Tango among his dancing skills.

Aidan says, 'The "Acting for Camera" class was a game changer for me. The buzz of walking "on stage" …was a rush I hadn’t quite achieved through anything else up to that point in my life. And so naturally, I loved it.’

That buzz led to Aidan training at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin. He graduated in 2004 and within a few weeks was jetting off to Portugal to shoot a couple of adverts for Irish television. Each ad took a day to film and must have been a great introduction to trying to look fresh and new take after take for, as the days progressed, the actors found it harder and harder to swallow the drink they were promoting, some spitting it out after each take!

Within his first year as an actor Aidan was performing at The Barbican, one of London’s top theatres, in The Plough and the Stars. There followed several years of acting both in fringe and mainstream theatre, as he went from the black vest and snakeskin trousers of the award winning Titus Andronicus (in which Sarah Greene, who is now his girlfriend, also appeared) to being suited and booted in Romeo and Juliet. In Cyrano, Aidan stole the show as Christian and was hailed by critics as 'The next James Bond'.

From 2007, Aidan began to get roles in television and film. He played the lead in the feature film Alarm which was released in 2008. Around this time Aidan was cast in the Irish television drama The Clinic and, playing the receptionist RuairĂ­ McGowan, found himself nominated for Favourite Newcomer to Irish TV in the Now TV Awards 2009.

Then, ‘without the safety net of an actual job,’ Aidan moved to London, where he soon found work playing a vampire Mitchell in what was to become the award-winning BBC drama, Being Human.
More television roles followed. He played the artist Rossetti in Desperate Romantics (his audition tape for which was filmed by his friend and fellow Being Human actor Russell Tovey) and the cad John Schofield in the critically acclaimed biopic Hattie, in which another The Hobbit actor John Bell was also cast.

Aidan and his LEGO figure Photo Credit: Nicoletta Steiger
Aidan says of working on The Hobbit, ‘It was amazing, being flown out to the other side of the world, being part of the Peter Jackson experience. As Kili I’ve got my own Lego figure and I’m on a caramel latte cup in Germany. How did that happen?’
In 2014, the public voted Aidan best male newcomer in the Jameson Empire awards. While the category of newcomer may seem slightly incongruous, there’s no doubting his delight at winning and being able to share the evening with fellow The Hobbit actors Richard Armitage, Adam Brown, James Nesbitt and Stephen Fry. Commenting on his win Aidan blushed, ‘I had no idea I had this kind of support. It’s deeply humbling.’

In his free time Aidan loves playing pool and says he's 'completely obsessed' with it. He's even built a pool hall at his parent's home which he says is 'a proper man-cave'. He also plays tennis, squash and badminton but, although he learned to ride for The Hobbit, is unlikely to take up horse riding just yet saying, 'I don't know if they'll let me. If I injure myself on the job I'm fine but in my own personal time, I'll be killed! I'd never get away with it!'

On this his birthday we know that Poldark producers Mammoth Screen, along with with Aidan Turner Forever, are throwing him a surprise party on the Poldark set, so we hope he has a lot of fun. Here’s wishing Aidan a fabulous birthday from Poldarked.

With thanks to BBC News, Article Magazine, Irish Weekend and Gaiety School of Acting.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Robert Daws in Cornwall

Robert Daws as Dr. Choake. Photo credit Mark Woodcraft

Robert Daws who plays Dr Choake in Poldark is busy filming in Cornwall at present.

In his latest newsletter he says, "Had a lovely time filming in Charlestown Harbour last week for Poldark. Production and design pulled out all the stops and it all looked very impressive. Back down this week to the far end of the Cornish peninsula for our first dealings with a mine. Never been further than Padstow, so am looking forward to Penzance and Land's End tremendously."

From September Robert will be touring as IT Manager Victor Smiley in the play The Perfect Murder.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Eleanor Tomlinson Might Have Played Elizabeth

Eleanor Tomlinson via Screen Daily

Eleanor Tomlinson plays Demelza in the new BBC adaptation of Poldark but things could well have turned out differently if Eleanor hadn't decided to make her own luck.

Eleanor was initially asked to read for the part of Elizabeth, Ross's love who marries his cousin Francis. But Eleanor asked if she could audition for Demelza.
In an interview with Screen Daily Eleanor says “This whole industry is about snapping up the opportunities as they come.
“Demelza was the part, so I asked could I try for her.” 

And the rest, as they say, is history. Eleanor got the role of Demelza and Heida Reed that of Elizabeth.

You can find out more about Eleanor here 

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Poldark Filming at Wheal Owles

Wheal Owles by Cornwall in Focus
It looks like Poldark filming is taking place at Wheal Owles at St Just in Cornwall.

Last week @RobertDawes tweeted 'Off to Cornwall to get bewigged and strut my semi-funky stuff again in Poldark. Charlestown Harbour on Monday. Next week St. Just.'

And now the Mine Exploration Forum of aditnow say that a replica horse whim seems to have been erected and the engine house appears to be having some temporary wooden bits added to it.

Wheal Owles has quite a history as it was the scene of a mining disaster in 1893 where 20 people died. According to West Penwith Resources this  was how it was reported by the Cornishman of Thursday, 12 Jan, 1893, “19 men and a boy died in the watery darkness of Wheal Owles, at St Just in Penwith. A terrible roar was heard by the 40 men and boys working deep underground at Wheal Owles mine”

You can read more about Wheal Owles (pronounced 'Oals) at Cornwall in Focus 

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Real Desperate Romantic's Paintings in New York

Aidan Turner as Rossetti

Good news for Aidan Turner fans in New York who, after watching the BBC drama Desperate Romantics, want to know more about the work of Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite artists. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently holding an exhibition called the Pre-Raphaelite Legacy. The exhibition focuses on the work of Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti and includes paintings, drawings, furniture, ceramics, stained glass, textiles, and book illustrations from the 1860s through the 1890s. The work by Rossetti includes Lady Lilith and Jane Morris: Study for 'Marianna'. 

Jane Morris:Study for 'Marianna' and Lady Lilith via the Metropolitan Museum of Art 

While Desperate Romantics took great liberties with the truth about the brotherhood, it has encouraged many people to go and enjoy their art. How many of us have gazed in wonder at Ophelia in Tate Britain who would not have done so without Desperate Romantics giving us the tale behind the painting? 

Aidan himself knew little of Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood before taking on the role, but when Last Broadcast suggested he could now probably use the group as his specialist subject on Mastermind he laughed: "Do you know what, I probably could – I know so much about this guy!"

"I'd heard of Rossetti and I recognised some of the Brotherhood paintings but I didn't even study art in secondary school. But that's the great thing about this job – you can completely immerse yourself in a character. There's so much information on these guys – endless amounts of books and a fantastic website which has everything he's ever done, every sketch he's ever made, every painting he's ever painted."

If you too have been bitten by the Pre-Raphaelite bug you can catch the Met exhibition from now until 26 October. 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Aidan Turner to Guest at Odessa International Film Festival

Aidan Turner is to be a guest at the Odessa International Film Festival in July according to Hollywood Reporter. The festival runs 11-19 July so comes towards the end of the location filming of Poldark which seems rather odd although, not knowing Aidan's schedule, not impossible.Other guests include Lord David Puttnam and director Stephen Frears.

The festival has an international competition of twelve films and a national one of seven. New this year is a prize for best actor.

With Ukraine being in a state of unrest, the festival is heartened by the support it has received worldwide. Festival president Viktoriya Tigipko said: "This year has been very difficult and at the same time momentous both for the country and every one of us. Our team is doing our very best for this festival to happen and be held on a top level."

Aidan is known to be a great supporter of international film, regularly attending the Subtitle European Film Festival in Ireland. Here is a picture of him having fun at last year's festival from Subtitle's facebook page.

Aidan Turner and Sarah Greene at Subtitle 2013

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Penzance Literary Festival Hosts 'Poldark' Session

Picture Mammoth Screen

Fab news for Poldark fans in Penzance!

Debbie Horsfield, writer of the new adaptation of Poldark for the BBC and Karen Thrussell, the executive producer, are guests at the Penzance Literary Festival in July. Their session  Bringing Poldark Back to TV is on Wednesday 16 July,  6.30- 8.00 pm.

There are lots of other goodies at the Festival as you can see from the programme. The Festival runs from 16 to 20 July and you can book events online or in person.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Jack Farthing as George Warleggan

Here's a terrific picture of Jack Farthing as George Warleggan in the new BBC adaptation of Poldark.
Many thanks to Nick Kenyon for the photo.

Winston Graham's Son Talks to BBC Radio Cornwall

As the son of Winston Graham author of Poldark, Andrew Graham has been involved in bringing the new BBC adaptation of Poldark to our screens.

In this interview with BBC Radio Cornwall Andrew says that Aidan Turner looks like Ross Poldark and talks of how the new adaptation will follow the books closely, and how he and his wife became extras in the filming in Charlestown.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Aidan Turner Filming Poldark in Charlestown

Here are a few of the super pictures of Aidan taken during the filming of Poldark in Charlestown 9 June, 2014

From littlesugarplumfairy tumblr

From Daily Mail

From @TimMPhoto


Sunday, 8 June 2014

More Pics from Corsham

Here are some super photos from the filming of Poldark in Corsham in May. There are pictures of Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark) and the cast and plenty of the set too.

The film lasts just over two minutes.  Many thanks to Wiltshire for sharing these.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Aidan Turner: Fighting Talk

Poldark: BBC
Ross Poldark sometimes gets himself into scrapes and Aidan Turner, who plays Ross, is no stranger to a fight scene. We've got used to seeing Aidan as Kili in The Hobbit battle his way through two films and know he's become pretty skilful with a sword and bow. Of course, fighting on screen is something that is planned and learned but just because it's on a set doesn't mean it's not scary.

Aidan Turner, The Hobbit, Poldark, Fight Training
The Hobbit
The fighting in The Hobbit required some quite intense training as Steven McMichael, fight choreographer told me, "Every actor went through rigorous training at our Stunt Hanger Training Facility. Tim Wong would take all of the lead actors through a designed circuit training to get them in shape. As for the fight and weapons training, I created muscle memory fight sets and specific footwork pattern to help the appearance of the same skill level for the actors throughout the shoot. The shoot was so physically demanding that even shooting on set was a workout within itself."  

Aidan Turner, Being Human, Poldark, Fight Training
Being Human Photo: Huw John
Aidan comes to Poldark with some excellent training behind him and plenty of experience of filming fights on one of the biggest sets in the world, but things haven't always been so for him. Being Human, in which he played the vampire Mitchell, was a low budget drama and Aidan was relatively inexperienced in filming fight sequences for television so you can almost hear the excitement in his voice when he describes  to TV Choice this fight scene from series 3, " I did a scene where one take brought us into the kitchen and I was kicking the life out of one of the characters. We were up the stairs, in the kitchen, back upstairs, buttons were breaking, people getting pushed. It was like The Bourne Ultimatum! We were on wires and everything!"

All this is quite different from the Aidan of some 18 months earlier and a fight scene in Desperate Romantics. Asked about that Aidan told BBC Newsbeat, "Yeah, that was scary. I remember we only had one shot at the take, or two for some bizarre reason. He scared the life out of me, you can see it in the take. Thank God the camera doesn't go down a bit lower, I'd be absolutely shivering. That was scary. Stuff like that happens all the time...That fight in particular, it was mad."

Five years on and with a wealth of fight training and experience behind him I wonder how Aidan feels coming in to the fight scenes in Poldark?

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Sabrina Bartlett Cast as Keren Daniel

Sabrina Bartlett has been cast as Keren Daniel in the BBC remake of Poldark.

Pic via Shepherd Management
Sabrina is having quite a year as she has also been cast in the BBC's First World War drama The Passing Bells which will air later in 2014. Her other credits include Doctor Who, Holby City and Suspects.

Sabrina's music and dancing skills include ballet and period dancing, choral and classical singing. As Keren, Sabrina will appear in three episodes of Poldark but for now you can see her in this clip from Suspects.

 Suspects from Shepherd Management on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Meet Ross Poldark's Horse, Seamus!

Aidan Turner and Seamus as Ross Poldark and Darkie. Photo by ArikishirleyTumbler

Say hello to Seamus, Ross Poldark's horse in the new BBC drama Poldark. Seamus will be playing Darkie. And if you think he looks familiar then you could well be right because Seamus was Matthew McNulty's horse in the recent production of Jamaica Inn. He's also appeared on TV in Wuthering Heights and 1066.

Seamus is owned and trained by  Atkinson Action Horses who are supplying all the ridden horses for Poldark, so I asked boss Mark Atkinson how Seamus got the role. He told me, "Aidan (Turner) came to us for a few days to practice. We had five horses to choose from really. It took a while to decide which horse to give him: to see how he got on with them. At the moment he seems to be getting on really well with his horse."

Mark told me that Seamus is a good choice because he is the type of horse a person like Ross would have. He explained, "He's compact and strong, a lovely looking horse but he hasn't too much quality.If he had too much quality he wouldn't be right for Ross's character."  Not only that, but he looks like he's built for the Cornish terrain being short-legged which gives him the strength to cope with the moors.

Ross Poldark photo by @Dorina335

Seamus is 14 years old and has been with Atkinson Action Horses for eight years. He takes part in horse stunt shows and  full contact metal jousting in Britain and on the Continent and is a principal horse at the Horse of the Year Show. He's very good with pyrotechnics and special effects like lightening and smoke, and can pull a cannon with five other horses.

So when we're watching Poldark and Darkie is on our screens we'll know that it's Seamus that Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) is riding - unless they're galloping across the moors. For Seamus, like all stars, has a double and when Ross and Darkie are doing fast work like galloping, it will be Seamus's double ridden by Aidan's stunt rider, Ben Atkinson, that we'll be watching.

Ben Atkinson and Seamus via

Monday, 2 June 2014

Poldark's Horses

Aidan Turner and Seamus. Photo by ArikishirleyTumblr

It's all go for the horses in Poldark as the filming moves to Cornwall this week. The horses travel there on the 3 June, have rehearsals on 4 June and start filming with Warren Clarke (Charles Poldark) and Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark) on 5 June. 

The ridden horses are owned and trained by Atkinson Action Horses and I spoke to boss Mark Atkinson about getting ready for Poldark. Mark told me, "Each character is allocated a horse and has been assessed and, where necessary, they've had lessons. The ladies have had either side saddle lessons or refresher courses in riding side saddle. Both Ruby Bentall (Verity) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) are very good riders so it's been quite easy.
"Aidan came to us for a few days to practice...He seems to be getting on really well with his horse."

Over the years quite a few actors have been taught to ride by Atkinson Action Horses including Matthew McNulty for Jamaica Inn. The actors not only have to ride but they have to look like they've ridden for years. Fortunately, none of the Poldark cast are nervous of horses. Mark said, "Last week we had three actors that came for a day each. They haven't got lots of riding [in Poldark] it's walking and dialogue with the horse standing still and a bit of a trot. Within four hours they could walk, trot, mount, dismount and had been matched to particular horses."

Photo by Fran Stothard

A lot of thought goes in to choosing the right horse for each character. Ross's horse is "...lovely looking but hasn't too much quality,"  the Warleggan horses are finer to reflect their new money status, Verity's is the elegant horse of a lady whereas Demelza's is a " brave, fast, strong little horse."  There will be separate post on Ross's horse, Seamus, later this week.

Ben Atkinson in Jamaica Inn via Ben Atkinson facebook
The stunt riders for Poldark also come from Atkinson Action Horses. Mark's son Ben Atkinson is Aidan's stuntie for Poldark. He was Matthew McNulty's in Jamaica Inn too. Ben's other credits include War Horse, Wrath of the Titans, The King's Speech and Wuthering Heights.

Atkinson Action Horses will be in Cornwall for the next seven weeks, filming at many different locations. When they aren't busy filming, the horses and stunt riders can be seen at jousting and stunt riding events in the UK and Europe. This year, for example, they have 11 weekends of events at Bolsover Castle. Why not go take a look?

Ben Atkinson and Seamus. Pic via