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?

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