Wednesday 18 February 2015

Kyle Soller: 'Francis gets Himself into some Sticky Situations'

Photo: Official Poldark
Kyle Soller talks to the BBC about playing Francis, duelling, and how scary the filming could be,

Kyle was attracted to the role of Francis Poldark by the stark journey the character takes involving gambling, drinking, adultery and duelling! He explains:

"Francis has the starkest journey of all the characters in this series which was really attractive to me. I think he’s perhaps more flawed than most but he has this huge self confidence issue and is constantly living in the shadow of his cousin Ross," 

"He has this over bearing father who he can never please and he feels he doesn't have a place in life. He doesn’t want to go into mining as he’s not up to handling the business side, he can’t be the brave swashbuckling hero , his best quality is his kindness, generosity and his love for Elizabeth. 

"When Ross comes back, that just gets completely thrown out of kilter and this really interesting love triangle develops and that kick starts his decline. Playing this man who at the beginning is quite young and fresh faced, then gradually begins to decline into an alcoholic and gambler, who ruins the relationships around him in this cry for help." 

In spite of this Kyle had some hair raising action sequences to film. 

"Francis really gets himself into some sticky situations that would be a big test for anyone. The scene in the mineshaft was really scary on an acting level because this is when Frances and Ross are fighting it out over Elizabeth, right after Ross has come back from America. Being down in the mineshaft with open water, in a situation where someone is really angry at you and wanting to punch you in the face, it was scary.

"The duel, with a man threatening to take his sister away, was so much fun as well as we got to use the actual pistols they would have used at the time – there was a really amazing technical team that helped us out."

Family honour is hugely important to Francis Poldark... 

"Some people see Francis as a weak character, but I think he has so many strong qualities and one of them is his family honour. When the family status is at stake, he reacts extremely irrationally, almost like a child and that’s another one of his downfalls; he can be extremely brash and impetuous. But the seed of that emotion and reaction is correct – he always wants the best for everyone, especially for his sister – they have an extremely complex relationship and it is not always a very positive one so when it comes to her future, there’s no way he’s going to let someone whisk her away. Francis is always trying to find his place in public, so if he can make a big deal about his sister being slighted, or his family reputation being dragged through the mud then he can appear like a bigger man." 

And Kyle appreciated the Cornwall affect on the cast and crew while filming. 

"To film out at The Botallack mines and cliffs where these people actually mined was really special. It's other worldly but pristine and wild . You get a real feeling for the landscape the people were living in at the time; harsh but gorgeous. Filming all over Cornwall really helped influence how these characters behaved."

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