Friday, 19 June 2015

Happy Birthday, Aidan Turner!

BBC One 2014

Aidan is 32 today and what a busy year this last one has been for him. Not only has he made a phenomenal success of playing Ross Poldark but he's also been busy with other projects such as playing Jack McNulty in The Secret Scripture and boat man in the animated feature film Loving Vincent.  His birthday finds him in New York promoting Poldark and filming the movie Look Away. Not bad for a lad who left school not knowing what he wanted to do.

Aidan was born in 1983 in Clondalkin, Dublin, in a house in which he lived for the next 20 years with his mum, dad and older brother Colin.  He left Firhouse Community College at eighteen, not knowing what to do next. Perhaps influenced by his grandmother, Bridget,who was a stalwart of her amateur drama group, he signed up for a part-time acting course. 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…” and, “My first acting experience was an ‘Acting for Camera’ class … That 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 for the next few years worked steadily in the theatre. One early appearance was in The Plough and the Stars at The Barbican, one of London's top theatres. 

Mitchell in Being Human
From 2007 Aidan began to get roles in television and, on moving to London in 2008, was cast as Mitchell, a vampire, in the award-winning cult TV show Being Human.  There followed Desperate Romantics, his audition tape for which was filmed by his friend and fellow Being Human actor Russell Tovey. A year later there was the critically acclaimed Hattie, in which he was cast with John Bell, who would later join him in The Hobbit as Bain, Bard’s son.  Aidan heard he had the part of Kili in Peter Jackson's trilogy The Hobbit  whilst he was filming the third series of Being Human. He says, “There was a fair bit of screaming on my balcony at half-eight in the morning in Cardiff: 'Yes! Yes! Oh yes!'”

Then, after years of playing supernatural characters, Aidan was offered the role of Ross Poldark. For the writer Debbie Horsfield and producer Damien Timmer, there was no other choice.  But was Aidan ready to play a humanHe says, "Was it a challenge playing a normal human being? Yeah I suppose so, but it was exactly what I was looking for." 
We're all so glad of that!

Here are a few bits of trivia about Aidan:

  • Back in 2006 Aidan claimed that one thing he would never be able to do is, "...a one-arm press-up. I've smashed my face so many times trying this one."  From the look of Aidan in Poldark we're guessing this is no longer true!
  • Aidan likes to paint and, according to fellow The Hobbit actor Jed Brophy, he's brilliant at it, "Although" Jed says, "he would hate me saying that, because he doesn’t rate it. But I saw some of the art that he did when he had days off , and I think that he’s got a lot of talent."
Cornwall Today
  • Aidan likes photography and can often be seen on set camera in hand.
  • Aidan enjoys his food. In fact, one of his few complaints about Poldark was that he had to watch what he ate so as not to put on weight. From Brussel sprouts, "I'm a big fan of those," to ToffyPops of which he once admitted, "I'm totally addicted"  he says, "I eat everything. There is no food I don’t like." 
Aidan Sleeping Filming Poldark
via Daily Mail
  • Aidan is great at sleeping! Jed Brophy says, "The one [dwarf] who slept the most was Aidan Turner. Always asleep. Had to wake-him up, and between takes all the time. He manages to sleep in awful lot. I think it’s cause he really likes the nightlife."
  • Aidan is terrified of sky diving. While out in New Zealand, James Nesbitt persuaded Aidan to try it. And did he man-up for it? “Oh! When you say man-up – I screamed all the way down. I had a panic attack on the way down. I couldn’t breathe. Yeah. Yeah. It’s all on tape… I didn’t man-up at all!"
I can't help admiring Aidan for giving the sky diving a go but I think I admire him all the more for admitting it was terrifying!

Here's wishing Aidan a very Happy Birthday from all of us at Poldarked!

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