Monday 19 June 2017

Happy Birthday, Aidan Turner!

Photo: Evie Bowman

Happy birthday, Aidan Turner! Aidan is 34 today and, as he celebrates his birthday, the show that made him a household name is delighting audiences up and down the country with it's third series on British TV! It is, of course, Poldark in which Aidan plays the lead character Ross.

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. He left school knowing he didn’t want to do anything ‘mundane’ and eventually signed up for a six week ‘Acting for Camera’ course because he thought it looked ‘like a laugh.’ Aidan says the 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 months, was performing in The Plough and the Stars at The Barbican, one of London’s top theatres. There followed several years of acting both in fringe and mainstream theatre.

Desperate Romantics
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 the 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. 

Spotted in Being Human by Peter Jackson, Aidan won the role of the dwarf Kili in The Hobbit. 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. How did that happen?’

And Then There Were None
In February 2014 the BBC announced Aidan was to play Ross in a new television adaptation of Poldark and the rest, as they say, is history!

In between filming three series of Poldark Aidan has starred in the films The Secret Scripture, Loving Vincent and Look Away. He was praised for his stand out performance in the BBC's Agatha Christie thriller And Then There Were None with Variety saying, 'Turner does the best work of his career.'

Here are some bits of Turner Trivia you may, or may not, know!
  • As an actor Aidan has had lots of fight training and, for Poldark, says, ‘I really enjoy the fight scenes, they are so much fun,but it wasn't always so.  Talking about the fight in Desperate Romantics in 2009 he said, 'Yeah, that was scary. 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 fight in particular, it was mad.'
  • Aidan was first mooted as '...the next James Bond' by reviewers of the play Cyrano back in 2006
  • He 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.’
  • Aidan enjoys his food. In fact, one of his few complaints about Poldark is that he has to watch what he eats 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.'
  • 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 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!'
Here's wishing Aidan a very Happy Birthday and another successful year!

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