Thursday 31 May 2018

Writer Debbie Horsfield on What's in Store in 'Poldark' S4

Debbie Horsfield gives her insight into the new series of Poldark and what is store for the characters...
‘After the upheavals and threats to their marriage in series three, series four sees a major reconnection between Ross and Demelza as they realise how close they came to losing everything they hold dear. London calls for Ross, whilst Demelza holds the fort in Cornwall. We have a host of exciting new characters, some new rivalries and challenges – and some old rivalries which escalate to the point of catastrophe.
‘The world of Poldark is always expanding, and as we move to London we encounter a new social and political scene and a host of new characters.  Some of these are actual historical personages (Prime Minister Pitt, Attorney General John Mitford, William Wilberforce).  Others, such as Monk Adderley, are vibrant and exotic new additions, who have a major impact on the lives of Ross and Demelza.  As always though Ross and Demelza remain at the heart of the story.’

She explains how Ross becomes involved in politics…
‘Demelza said to Ross in series one “You cannot save all the world, you can only make your own small corner a fairer place”.   Ross has spent the last two series trying to do that. But towards the end of series three he begins to realise it’s not enough to operate at a local level. The factors which are impacting the lives of his tenants, workers and families – food shortages, rising prices, unemployment, the effects of suppressive new laws – are not things over which he has control. He realises that in order to have a say in creating genuine change, at a national level, he must do so in the corridors of power in Westminster.’ 

 And of the relationship between Ross and George...
‘The Ross/George rivalry continues through all 12 books of the Poldark saga and this series sees it intensify politically, commercially and personally.  Ross and George have always had opposing views of how to do business and how to treat their fellow men. Series four sees them diverge even further, whilst periodically going head to head in the personal and political arenas. Ultimately though they find themselves unexpectedly in the same boat in the face of unexpected tragedy.’

On the new characters...
‘Monk Adderley, an MP and former Army captain, is famed for his duelling and his scandalous affairs.  Reminiscent of Valmont (In Les Liaisons Dangereuses) he is utterly without conscience or loyalty and takes a twisted pleasure in wreaking havoc in the lives of others. Having said that, he does subscribe to a peculiar code of honour in relation to a particular incident which has catastrophic consequences. 
‘Back in Cornwall we also introduce the terrifying Lady Whitworth, mother of the repulsive Reverend Whitworth and scourge of her daughter-in-law Morwenna.  We’re thrilled that Rebecca Front has joined the cast and is needless to say magnificent in her creation of this monstrous and overbearing creature.
‘With the addition of new characters, new horizons and new conflicts, there’s plenty to get viewers talking.  However, I suspect the Monk Adderley storyline is one which they will particularly relish.  And as ever I hope the on going love story of Ross and Demelza will continue to engage.’

Did Debbie enjoy writing series four and what, for her, makes Poldark an enjoyable experience to return to each series?
‘This is a particularly turbulent period of British history - a time when we came close to having our own revolution (following those of American and France) and it’s been enjoyable to write about the unfolding dramas set against it.
‘For me the on going Poldark saga never ceases to excite, challenge and engage.  As a story with the portrait of a marriage at its heart, sometimes it’s made for uncomfortable viewing.  Winston Graham was writing about a real marriage, not a rose-tinted starry-eyed version of one - but that’s what makes it all the more rewarding to bring to the screen. The reconnection between Ross and Demelza, the renewed passion, the forgiveness and redemption of their marriage has been hard won, and is therefore all the more to be valued and enjoyed.’

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Poldark Returns 10 June and here's the Trailer!

It's confirmed!

Poldark returns to UK televisions on Sunday 10 June at 9pm!  Earlier today the BBC tweeted:

And just to add to the excitement the trailer dropped tonight.

Doesn't it look fabulous?

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Poldark S4: Ciara Charteris is Emma Tregirls

Ciara Charteris as Emma Tregirls  Photo: Official Poldark

For Ciara Charteris, filming in Cornwall provided her with the opportunity to engage in an outdoors activity few people would be brave enough to attempt.

‘I love to wild and cold-water swim so for me being in Cornwall was amazing as on any mornings off that I had I could be in that sea which was wonderful, even though it was September. My mum and my grandma both really love it and so we have been camping and wild swimming since I was really little. Everyone else on set thought I was mad, especially the night I turned up to dinner soaking wet, but it was really fun. Cornwall is such a beautiful place and there are so many incredible places to swim so for me, it was a real joy.’

Ciara tells us why she was originally drawn to the role of Emma Tregirls.

‘I had been in to audition for a few other roles when they first started casting the drama but the reason I wanted to play Emma was because she was so different to anyone else in the show. She is so rough and ready and even though we see a slightly more gentle side to her this series, she really holds her own and has a lot of strength. It has been great to play a character in a period drama who is not so scrubbed up. Just like her father, Tholly, Emma has a sense of rough and readiness as well as an incredible confidence and inner strength.

'She is also quite outrageous; I have some of the best lines. For the rest of my life I will always remember the fact that I got to say the line; ‘I have been with many men in the hayfields.’ Who wouldn’t want to play someone who loves life and men so unashamedly? She has this incredible zest for life and that is a real joy to play as an actress. She has this cheekiness and she takes on anyone that she meets so she has been really fun.’

Ciara reveals that she couldn’t be less like the character she plays in Poldark.

‘Emma and I are completely different people. In fact, when friends realise that I play her they are completely taken aback and are pretty shocked. I am much more uptight and reserved, I need control whereas Emma is all about the fun and is totally free-wheeling and constantly skipping and dancing through the woods which I would never do without sussing out who is watching. However, playing this role has definitely forced me out of my own head more than ever before.’

Ciara tells us what is in store for the fun-loving Emma, this series, including the tumultuous romance with Demelza’s younger brother, Sam Carne (Tom York).

‘We see Emma fall further for Sam this series and all of the trouble that that brings. Emma has never met anyone like Sam before, so at first we see her want to take on the challenge in a fun way but there are genuine feelings there and it takes her by surprise that she is capable of feeling that much. Sam sees her in a way that she doesn’t even see herself and that is really tough for her but in a good way that happens to you when you are falling in love. However, she is also true to herself so their differences are very tricky. There is this really gentle, loving soul in Emma that is completely reflected through Sam and there is a really fun side of Sam who wants to experience life outside of his religion, which is brought out and reflect in Emma. So there is something beautiful that happens when they are together.’

Ciara has worked on period dramas a lot but she has never had to play a role like Emma whilst wearing a period corset. She tells us what that was like.

‘Last series Emma spent the whole time in her rags but this year, because of the time period, Emma gets a corset and dress. Corsets are not the easiest thing to live in day-to-day and it has given me a lot of respect for our former women. But it does also feel really great to know you can just be squished in every day. Wearing a corset suddenly enforces a posture and a different way of carrying yourself as it transforms the way you would regularly sit, stand or move. Corsets are a garment usually associated with ladies belonging to a higher societal class but Emma is wearing one whilst she sits in the pub and drinks beer so trying to find her very unique mannerisms whilst wearing the costume was very interesting and a lot of fun.’

Poldark S4: Tom York is Sam Carne

Tom York as Sam Carne  Photo: BBC
Demelza’s little brother, Sam Carne, gets into a few scrapes in this series of Poldark. Tom York reveals some of the drama we can expect to see, including a Cornish wrestling match.

‘Sam agrees to a Cornish wrestling match with the brutish Tom Harry (Turlough Convery) for the love of Emma Tregirls (Ciara Charteris), who has promised to attend church with him if he wins. Sam agrees to fight in the hope of finally providing her with the chance to fall in love with Methodism in a way that he has. Filming the match was so much fun. It is a real joy as an actor when you have something so physical to get your teeth into.

'We had to wear the traditional Cornish wrestling jackets, which were our only weapons against each other, as you grab on to each other’s jacket in order to pin your opponent down on the ground. The object is to lift and throw your opponent so that he falls flat onto his back. It was exhausting. It was choreographed but we really wanted to get an authentic feel for it so we had a lot of room to play around within that and get really involved. It is a really long fight so when you see us panting and sweating there is no acting and very little make-up. It was a really immersive experience and it was great fun. From the reactions of the people who were watching it is going to be very exciting.’

Tom reveals that this series kicks off to a very dramatic start.

‘This series covers the time period where crisis is at the highest level it has ever been in Cornwall. The miners and local community find out that grain is being shipped away from this starving population because they can get a better price for it abroad, and so people get very angry and want to do something about it. For Sam, violence is not the way to get something done but people are starving…
From the first moment, in classic Poldark style, Sam gets straight in the middle of something he really shouldn’t be in the middle of and drama takes hold straight away.’

Tom reveals what else is in store for Sam and his family this series.

‘Sam is slowly starting to integrate himself into Ross and Demelza’s lives, although still with trepidation because there is still friction there due to different beliefs and ways of living their lives. Whereas he was dogmatic last year he is much more malleable this year and is trying to find a more generous approach to living.

'He wants to love his family and be a good man and his way of navigating his beliefs previously was inhibiting his ability to do that. After the great shock of the first episode he relaxes and begins to accept his family for the good people that they are.’

Sam’s relationship with his younger brother, Drake, changes this year. Tom divulges a little about their bond and why that shift is necessary.

‘A lot has happened and continues to happen with Drake and he is in a much more difficult state this series. So because of that, the dynamic really changes between these brothers. Sam’s natural instinct is to protect but he realises that it is not working and whatever he seems to do Drake just seems to fall further into this dark place. Sam has to let Drake just be, more than ever and allow his brother to deal with things by himself more than he is used to.

'That in itself is a real lesson Sam is learning, he always wants to do what is best for other people but he has maybe seen last year that trying to control everything for everyone doesn’t work so this time he is trying to let Drake figure things out for himself.  He hopes that by giving him that space he will make the right decisions. It is a difficult lesson for a big brother to learn.’

Relaxing into his faith and into the notion of letting things be isn’t something Sam finds so easy when it comes to matters of the heart…

‘In a big way it comes down to fighting for love this series for Sam. He fights with himself a lot because Emma, as you have seen from previous series, is not necessarily who we would all say Sam is destined to be with but you can’t help whom you fall in love with and Sam falls in a really big way.

'The relationship with Emma is what I am most excited for audiences to see because it is a beautiful one but also a difficult one that I hope people will be able to relate to. Emma represents so many things he wishes he could be and some things he definitely doesn’t wish to be… but he can’t help loving her and even though he knows she is probably not right for him he can’t stop his heart. I think a lot of people can relate to that struggle.’

 Source: BBC Media Centre

Related Links:
Poldark S4: Rebecca Front is Lady Whitworth
Heida Reed is Elizabeth Warleggan
Jack Farthing Talks George Warleggan
Poldark S4: Gabriella Wilde is Caroline Enys
Poldark S4: Luke Norris is Dwight Enys
Poldark S4: Christian Brassington Talks Reverend Osborne Whitworth
 Poldark S4: Harry Richardson is Drake Carne
Poldark S4: Ellise Chappell is Morwenna Whitworth
Beatie Edney Talks Poldark S4
Poldark S4: Ciara Charteris is Emma Tregirls

Monday 28 May 2018

Beatie Edney Talks Poldark S4

Beatie Edney as Prudie Paynter   Photo: BBC
Beatie Edney loves being transformed into her character, Prudie Paynter, and not feeling the pressure of having to look beautiful on screen.

‘I love not having to look fantastic, it is so liberating. It is really quite fantastic as an actress not to care about what I look like on a job, which is even rarer in a period drama. When I am turned into Prudie I have coloured teeth, I wear an awful wig, my skin and fingernails are all dirtied up and my make-up artist paints scars on my skin so it really is far from glamorous. It doesn’t even matter if I eat lunch in my costume and get food on it – it’s really fun. It is also great to have a middle-aged woman in a popular drama; there are so many young actors in this show that it is nice to represent the older generation and to be part of a successful show.’

Beatie also talks about the perks of playing such a slovenly character.

‘The weather this year was really quite terrible at moments. We had a big party scene to shoot outside, at night and everyone had learned how to dance for it but because of the awful weather the mud was really thick. So when everyone was ready to dance I mentioned that I thought it was very likely that Prudie, being so lazy, would just sit down… so I got to sit down with a hot water bottle whilst everyone else was dancing in thick mud. Thanks Prudie.’

Beatie reveals that audiences will see a new side to Poldark’s troublesome and filthy housekeeper this series.

‘Normally Prudie provides a bit of comic relief in the drama but this series it is a more melancholy and slightly more serious Prudie that you will see. She feels terribly guilty about encouraging the liaison between Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) and Lt. Hugh Armitage (Josh Whitehouse). Prudie did not quite realise the gravitas of the situation and rather, she thought it was just a bit of light hearted flirtation so when she does realise, she is stricken with guilt.’

Beatie tells us about the bond between her character, Prudie, and Poldark’s leading lady, Demelza.

‘It has been a long journey for Prudie and Demelza. At the beginning she was absolutely furious about this young person coming into her household – another mouth to feed when they were very poor and hungry - but Demelza has won her over, unsurprisingly since Demelza does most of the work! She makes Prudie’s life much better and Prudie really loves her, she is the daughter she never had.’

Beatie with Eleanor Tomlinson
Photo: Beatie Edney 
Beatie and Eleanor share this wonderful friendship off screen as well.

‘The whole cast are very close – I can’t think of a bunch of people I would rather spend time with and I get to spend six months of the year with them all. We all got together because Tom (York) was going travelling around the world for a few months so we had dinner to bid him farewell. Over Christmas, Eleanor and I wanted to go to Frome market so I took my new rescue puppy, Buttons, and we went and did our Christmas shopping and we had the most wonderful time. Eleanor got recognised when we were on the bus but she had to tell them who I was, people rarely recognise me.’

Beatie tells us that this series starts off with a huge amount of drama and that these dramatic events force Ross and Prudie to grow closer.

‘In episode one we launch into a dramatic scenario whereby Demelza’s brothers get into trouble with the law. Ross wants to keep this from Demelza because he knows she will be completely and understandably upset about it. Prudie definitely struggles with this as she doesn’t like keeping things from Demelza but she knows that Ross is right, that this will upset her in a big way. Prudie becomes more of a confidant for Ross this series and I have had more scenes to shoot with Aidan (Turner), which has been really fun.

'Prudie really loves Demelza but she also loves Ross and is loyal to him which we see even more of this series. The thing she does for him which is quite brave is that she speaks the truth because whilst he is her boss and she is a little frightened of him and in awe of him, that doesn’t stop her from being disapproving and telling him not to do this or that.’

Having to film many scenes with multiple children, Beatie reveals some of her secret ways to keep them occupied on set. 

‘I have a lot more scenes to shoot with the lovely children this year. We had two wonderful sets of identical twins who play Clowance and who were really funny to work with. Prudie’s famously rubbish cooking gets a little bit better this year and she takes it upon herself to teach the children how to make pastry. One of the things about working with kids under a certain age is to give them an activity to do in a scene so as to prevent them from looking at the camera or getting bored and so making pastry was brilliant because you can do all sorts like building different models and shapes and you can get messy which is always funny. They also did these amazing portraits of the cast and crew, which were brilliant. My secret motivation is that Prudie is so lazy that she is even trying to get the children to do the work for her!’

Source: BBC Media Centre

Poldark S4: Rebecca Front is Lady Whitworth
Heida Reed is Elizabeth Warleggan
Jack Farthing Talks George Warleggan
Poldark S4: Gabriella Wilde is Caroline Enys
Poldark S4: Luke Norris is Dwight Enys
Poldark S4: Christian Brassington Talks Reverend Osborne Whitworth
 Poldark S4: Harry Richardson is Drake Carne
Poldark S4: Ellise Chappell is Morwenna Whitworth
Poldark S4: Tom York is Sam Carne
Poldark S4: Ciara Charteris is Emma Tregirls

'Poldark' Series 4 Coming to Australia Soon!

UPDATED 4 June 2018:
There's now confirmation on the ABC schedule that Poldark is back on 16 June at 8.18 pm. Many thanks to Roz Bevis on facebook for this news and the screencap.

series four may be out in Australia less than a week after it airs in the UK!

TV Tonight are reporting Poldark will return to ABC on Saturday 16 June at 8.15 pm, although it is yet to appear in the ABC schedule. This is a change of day for the show as, in the past, Poldark has aired on Sundays.

Poldark series four is expected to air in the UK on BBC One at 9 pm on Sunday 10 June, although this is still to be confirmed by the BBC.  PBS Masterpiece are yet to announce a date for Poldark's return in the US.

Many thanks to @veras67 on Twitter and Roz Bevis on Facebook for the news from Australia.

Sunday 27 May 2018

Poldark S4: Ellise Chappell is Morwenna Whitworth

Ellise Chappell as Morwenna in Poldark S3  Photo: FarFarAwaySite

For Ellise Chappell returning to the role of Morwenna Whitworth, in the new series of Poldark felt completely different to joining the show last year.

‘Coming back in the disparate headspace Morwenna is in now and looking at everything with a new lens was entirely new because she is in such a very different place at the beginning of this series than she was when she entered the show in series three.

'It is interesting that certain locations mean different things to her now. Cornwall, for example, at the beginning of series three is about freedom and independence for Morwenna and it represents this idea of exploration and an enjoyment of life whereas in series four that open space comes to represent more of an escape for her. Coming back and coming at it all from a completely different angle was really interesting.’

With her character in a completely new and uneasy place in her life, Ellise explains how agreeable it was to return to the drama and to her friends.

‘This was the first time I had ever returned to the same show or to the same cast and crew. It felt so nice because I didn’t have the nerves I had at the beginning when I was the new girl. I was fortunate to form wonderful friendships on series three and to come back and be able to hang out with everyone again and go for dinner all the time was so great. It is like a family and so coming back has felt very comfortable.’

Ellise explains where we find Morwenna at the offset of the new series.

‘Morwenna has just found out about this relationship that her husband, Ossie (Christian Brassington), has had with her sister and she thought she could use this information against him and hoped it would keep him away from her but that doesn’t work. So in that moment where he is advancing towards her she is in complete desperation, which is why she makes this terrifying threat against her son, knowing that he is the most important thing to Ossie.

'She has reached such a point of despair that she needs to ensure that Ossie believes that she will do this. So when we find Morwenna at the start of the new series she is still on edge and is deeply unhappy but she has this threat which acts like a shield between her and Ossie, allowing her to be a little bit bolder. Having that there, even though it is an awful thing to do, provides Morwenna with a small sense of security and control over her own situation which is pretty upsetting when you realise she has to go to those lengths to feel that way.’

However, a terrifying new character joins the fold this series and takes away the small amount of control Morwenna had over her own life.

‘Ossie’s formidable mother, Lady Whitworth (Rebecca Front) arrives in Cornwall and she is a fearsome woman. She psychologically abuses Morwenna; she has this control over Morwenna in a way that is difficult to see. She is a very powerful, scary woman who ends up gaining control over aspects of Morwenna’s life that she has so desperately tried to keep for herself, her son being the main one.’

Ellise reveals what it was like to work alongside Rebecca and Christian and how they cope with some of the difficult moments.

‘It has been a dream to work with Rebecca Front, having watched her on TV for so long it was really exciting but also nerve wracking. She is so lovely and so kind. With Christian and Rebecca you could not find two people who are further from the characters they play. Christian is amazing, I could not have hoped for a better partner to work with on those types of scenes because he is so generous and sensitive, giving and open and those qualities made it so much easier. Filming those kinds of scenes was very uncomfortable and upsetting but to do it with Christian made everything so much easier. Apart from all of that, he is such a funny and nice person so at the end of the day we’ll go for a drink and get out of that headspace which is really useful.’

Watching Morwenna suffer at the hands of her husband, it is no wonder that audiences have fallen in love with the forbidden romance between Morwenna and Drake Carne (Harry Richardson).

‘What I have been hearing from series three is that people really like Morwenna and Drake together and are rooting for them to be together which is wonderful. They are so pure, it is as simple as they love each other and want to be together and the fact that they can’t is not down to them, it is down to other forces pulling them apart.

'At the end of series three we see that Drake has left Morwenna the winter primroses and she has said ‘wherever you are, know that I love you’, so in that moment you can’t help but believe that there is still hope for the two of them as it is clear they still care for each other and have not forgotten one another. However, in those times and in that circumstance Morwenna is a married woman and there is no way out of it. The light for her is the notion that Drake still thinks of her and that he may still love her and for her that is important enough to keep her going. But there is always room for hope.’

Ellise discloses the reasons why she enjoys playing this difficult role and what it has taught her as an actress.

‘Morwenna goes on such a transformative journey in such a short space of time. From the beginning of series three her situation is so different to how she ends up and that was an amazing arc to play as an actor, and so coming back to that and continuing her story has been challenging but really great. Through playing this role, I have learned that I can push myself further as an actress than I thought I could. There have been times when I have found it really demanding but pushing myself to get into these difficult headspaces has been a massive learning experience and I am so fond of her. It definitely helps when you love your character and so coming back and continuing her story is satisfying.’

Source: BBC Media Centre

Poldark S4: Rebecca Front is Lady Whitworth
Heida Reed is Elizabeth Warleggan
Jack Farthing Talks George Warleggan
Poldark S4: Gabriella Wilde is Caroline Enys
Poldark S4: Luke Norris is Dwight Enys
Poldark S4: Christian Brassington Talks Reverend Osborne Whitworth
Poldark S4: Harry Richardson is Drake Carne
Beatie Edney Talks Poldark S4
Poldark S4: Tom York is Sam Carne
Poldark S4: Ciara Charteris is Emma Tregirls

Poldark S4: Harry Richardson is Drake Carne

Harry Richardson as Drake Carne  Photo: BBC

Harry Richardson returns this year to play the romantic and free-spirited Drake Carne, but reveals a dramatic change in his character this series.

‘When we meet him in the new series Drake is pretty deflated; he is grappling with serious heartache and pain over losing Morwenna (Ellise Chappell). He struggles with a choice of whether to put his true love behind him or to stay strong and chase after her. It is a very interesting struggle; one I believe people will relate to. Drake is trying to find where he fits in the world whilst attempting to find some momentum to help propel him out of this slump; he is desolate and unhappy.’

Harry explains how Drake’s siblings try to help him through this difficult time in their own ways.

‘Seeing her little brother so heartbroken, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) does all she can to cheer him up. Drake is trying to put his feelings for Morwenna to bed because it is making it impossible for his life to go on. To that effort, Demelza persuades Drake into courting another girl, Rosina Hoblyn. (Amelia Clarkson), who plays Rosina, is incredible and it is very subtle and special writing from Debbie Horsfield because everyone in the town, including Rosina, knows what has happened with Drake and Morwenna, so navigating the start of a potential relationship through all of that is very interesting.

‘Drake’s brother, Sam (Tom York), takes a bit more of a back step back because whilst Drake is very sad he is also starting to make an independent man of himself, as is Sam and they are starting to grow up into men and  realise that they can’t be glued at the hip as much. There is a real bond between them but there is a whole new respect that comes into their relationship this series. Sam understands that no amount of brother’s words can solve heartbreak.

‘With Ross (Aidan Turner) spending time in London this series, the Carne siblings spend time together in Cornwall which creates a sense of closeness between them. They try to take care of each other but there is a sadness that stops them from really enjoying it. There isn’t much time for them to revel in each other because they are each grappling with quite complex problems.’

Although his outlook seems desolate, Harry explains what keeps Drake going.

‘There is always hope for love, that is the thing that keeps Drake going, staying in town and chugging on and what is encouraging him to get his life together. He is hoping and praying that there might, one day, be some way he can be with Morwenna again. It is a very small town in which they all live so there are moments this series when their paths do cross, some of which are very painful and some of which are quite beautiful.’

There were some very difficult scenes to film for Harry and Ellise this year.

‘Morwenna is stuck in a very abusive relationship and seeing how Ellise embodied that and brought that experience to the table this series was harrowing. Scenes that involved that element were both my favourite scenes to shoot and definitely the hardest. I love being opposite someone or behind the camera and finding it difficult to watch or finding myself brought to tears when not even on screen, it’s amazing. Ellise has done something really special this year and she is going to shine.

‘Everyone has really stepped things up this series; there is an incredible dramatic energy to series four. The characters are each dealing with much deeper complexities, there is a lot of very murky territory in love, especially for Drake and Morwenna because previously it was so beautiful and very much an innocent love and now it is so complicated. She sacrificed her life to save his so he can’t lose all hope or give up.’

Harry has a lot of love for Drake and he tells us why.

‘Debbie has written this character who is very sweet and beautiful but in his innocence and open heart he is not simple, he is not immature or childish, he is just quite pure. It is incredible to see, now that there are a lot more complications, how he handles himself in horrible situations. What you are like at the bottom of the barrel says a lot about who someone is and Drake continues to surprise me in the way he loves.’

Harry took on a brand new skill this series. He talks to us about that eventful experience.

‘I rode a horse on a cliff this series which was terrifying. I had ridden horses a little bit before but horse riding is a whole different thing in the Poldark world. There is a scene where I am riding with Eleanor, who is a very experienced rider, and my horse just knew that she knew what she was doing so he followed her which seemed to work. Before we start shooting there is an incredible horse camp where we go and learn and I had that before series three but we didn’t end up shooting on a horse. I don’t know what it is going to look like; I am just praying I don’t look terrified.’

Harry reveals what he thinks makes Poldark popular amongst a modern day audience.

‘It is timeless. The expression of love and trying to figure out relationships are relatable. In the contemporary world we try to calm everything down but we all feel these intense, period drama like emotions, so having that very heightened experience with waves crashing and violins playing conveyed on screen makes us feel like someone understands it all.’

Source: BBC Media Centre

Poldark S4: Rebecca Front is Lady Whitworth
Heida Reed is Elizabeth Warleggan
Jack Farthing Talks George Warleggan
Poldark S4: Gabriella Wilde is Caroline Enys
Poldark S4: Luke Norris is Dwight Enys
Poldark S4: Christian Brassington Talks Reverend Osborne Whitworth
Poldark S4: Ellise Chappell is Morwenna Whitworth
Beatie Edney Talks Poldark S4
Poldark S4: Tom York is Sam Carne
Poldark S4: Ciara Charteris is Emma Tregirls

Poldark S4: Christian Brassington Talks Reverend Osborne Whitworth

Christian Brassington as Ossie Whitworth in Poldark S3  Photo: BBC

Christian Brassington, who plays the despicable Reverend Ossie Whitworth, tried his hand at some tricky horse stunts whilst filming series four of Poldark.

‘I got much more involved in the stunts than I thought I was going to this year. I have done some horse riding for the show and this series I got to ride this beautiful big black stallion, which was wonderful. There was a point where our horse trainer, Mark Atkinson, turned to me and said ‘now fall backwards off the horse so you are hanging down by the horses legs and feet…’ I did exactly as I was told! It was very exciting.’

Stunts aside, Christian explains what is in store for him this series.

‘At the end of series three Morwenna (Ellise Chappell) stood up to Ossie and so the first time we see him this series he is slightly wrong footed and maybe not quite so sure of himself. He still exerts lots of over-confidence but he is slightly wary. His tryst with his wife’s sister, Rowella (Esmee Coy), has been discovered so it is not a happy household that he is living in. I wish I could say he has turned over a new leaf but he is just as despicable unfortunately, I don’t know if he has it within him to discover the error of his ways… we shall see.’

With Heida Reed  Photo: Christian Brassington
Christian explains how he copes with playing such a loathsome character and what he enjoys the most about playing Ossie.

‘Ossie is quite funny at points as he is rather flamboyant and ridiculous and so you have to try and enjoy that flamboyance and garishness. Actors tend to look for something they like about their character but there is not much about Ossie’s personality that you could like so instead I have to enjoy his theatricalities and that side of him, as that is what is fun to play and that also offsets the things which aren’t so fun about playing him.

‘The parts I enjoy filming the most are certain scenes with Ellise where it feels like verbal sparring as that is a real joy to play out. However the flip side of that is, because I have so much respect for her as an actor and am incredibly fond of her as a person, it makes the difficult scenes slightly more difficult. It can be quite unpleasant to see someone whom you care for being upset. There are a few scenes this year which were tricky to film as Ossie causes Morwenna genuine stress and is just horrific towards her. If he repulses people then I have done my job. You have to show the character truthfully.’

Christian was fortunate to work alongside another wonderful actress this year as Rebecca Front stepped into the shoes of his fearsome mother, Lady Whitworth.

‘I was really excited when I heard Rebecca was going to do it because she is an incredibly talented actor and I am a big fan of hers. She is a lovely person although she is so mean and so scary in the show. Rebecca and I did some work on speech patters and how the two of us talk in a similar way and I hope when you meet Lady Whitworth people might start to understand why Ossie is the way he is. It is not an excuse, of course, but maybe it is a bit of an explanation. She is formidable and very defensive of the family name and maybe would have imbued in him this sense of entitlement.’

Another aspect of the role that Christian enjoys is having to physically transform himself into Ossie...

‘I have always enjoyed playing different roles and having to go through physical changes to fit the part even if it is a huge undertaking like Ossie has been. For series three gaining all of that weight was a lot of fun, I just ate what I wanted and it wasn’t particularly healthy. This year I had a clever nutritionist who wanted me to eat lots of quinoa and oily fish but 4000 calories of that every day is quite a lot of food. I also had a personal trainer who got me doing big weights so I have done it much more healthily this time but it was much harder putting it on in a healthy way. When you see series four of Poldark you will see that I am as far away from a professional athlete as anyone could be but I have got a new found admiration for people who have to eat that amount of food every day, it is really difficult.’

Physically transforming into Ossie didn’t stop Christian from having the rarest of fan encounters.

Saturday 26 May 2018

Poldark S4: Luke Norris is Dr. Dwight Enys

Luke Norris as Dwight Enys in Poldark S3. Photo: FarFarAwaySite

Despite his character, Dr. Dwight Enys, being a prisoner of war last series, Luke Norris reveals that shooting scenes for this series was even more gruelling.

‘This series has been arguably harder to film than the last and probably the toughest so far. A lot of that is because the tragedy which Dwight and Caroline (Gabriella Wilde) suffer this series is one that is easier to personally imagine than being a prisoner of war and for that reason they were really tough scenes to film. Also because it is something which is likely that more viewers of the show have been through it felt like there was a greater pressure to get it right and not to misrepresent that experience.’

Luke hints at what is in store for his character and his wife, Caroline, this series.

‘At the end of the last series there is an uneasy truce between them. Things have improved for Dwight and Caroline this series and they embark on something together which is a real joy for Dwight but slightly more conflicting for Caroline. He has been through a lot and has always wanted a quiet life but it hasn’t exactly worked out that way so far. This finally represents an opportunity for that.

‘However, the worst possible thing befalls Caroline and Dwight and they deal with it in very different ways which creates this cavern between them and a distance, both literally and metaphorically as Caroline decamps to London. Dwight arrived in the first series in the hope of making a difference to the community in Cornwall. After some bad decisions along the way he is now in a position where he actually is making a difference. Therefore, to just cut and run now isn’t in his nature and so they spend a while this series trying to work all of that out.’

Luke tells us how Dwight’s friends Ross (Aidan Turner) and Demelza Poldark (Eleanor Tomlinson) help him through this difficult time.

 ‘Part of the reason Ross conceded in the end in going for Westminster is because of the pressure that Dwight, as a friend, put on him as he believes it to be the right thing, to go and be the representative of those constituents. So Ross is helping but from afar. He is there for Caroline, in London. Demelza is effectively keeping the home fires burning for both Ross and Dwight, once Caroline is gone. She has been through similar experiences to what Dwight is going through and knows what it is to be apart from your partner so they get each other through that.’

Luke tells us that it is always exciting, returning to Poldark and discovering what is in store for his character.

‘It is lovely to come back and it is always exciting to see where Debbie (Horsfield) has taken it series on series. I stopped reading the books after the second series because I felt like Debbie was pushing certain characters in different directions and I didn’t want to be influenced by the books so it is always really interesting to find out what she has in mind every year. When you return to a role and you go through so much with that role you definitely become closer to them and them to you and so you start to react naturally in the way they would react to situations.’

Finding out the trajectory of his character isn’t the only thing Luke enjoys about returning to Poldark. He also likes coming back to work alongside his on screen wife, Gabriella Wilde.

‘I love Gabriella - she is great. I am going to visit her and her family out in the country with my family, which will be fun. I have been lucky enough to work with people I get on with and having a connection with someone can only help and it certainly makes going to work nicer. I look forward to filming days where we have a lot of scenes on the call sheet together.’

Poldark S4: Gabriella Wilde is Caroline Enys

Gabriella Wilde as Caroline in Poldark S3  Photo: FarFarAwaySite

Gabriella Wilde admits that this series of Poldark is the most challenging so far for her character, Caroline Enys.

‘This series is a dramatic rollercoaster for Caroline. Her relationship with Dwight goes through a lot of ups and downs. After suffering PTSD upon his return from France last series Dwight is now back to being himself again, so they are finally settled and happy. They start off by deciding to do something that Caroline is quite frightened of, but she takes the plunge and they take a huge step together. However, this ends in tragedy and it tears Caroline and Dwight apart. They have very different reactions and ways of coping with it. Caroline can’t be in Cornwall or around Dwight, she can’t face what has happened. She runs away to London and spends a large amount of the series trying to avoid her feelings but eventually she does begin to come to terms with everything, as heart breaking as it is.’

Gabriella has enjoyed playing out the evolvement of her character.

‘Caroline is ever changing; there are so many layers to her - what you see is not necessarily what you get with her. She is funny and witty and there was very much a light heartedness around her when we first met her in series two but as time has gone on she has revealed a compassion and kindness below it all and that is where her and Dwight connect. He is a deeply compassionate man but for him it is much more on the surface, he is a doctor and devotes himself to helping the poor which she certainly doesn’t do but he does see that side to her, behind all of the smoke and mirrors she puts up. If she remained solely sharp and controversial it wouldn’t be as truthful because people are not one-dimensional. As an actor it is a wonderful gift to be given a character who has a compelling storyline which allows for all of these layers of Caroline to be revealed in a very organic way.’

Gabriella divulges more on the difficulties facing Caroline and Dwight this series.

‘They overcome the worst tragedy a couple can but it is not a fairy-tale version, they struggle through it in their own ways. Dwight and Caroline have a real magnetism towards each other but they are very different creatures and when this happens they react completely differently. Caroline reacts in the only way she knows how to which is by running away and shutting down. That is not his practice at all. She is lucky because he is an incredibly good man and he doesn’t blame her, he sees behind what she is doing and why she has to do it and he waits for her, allowing her to go through her own process. Dwight is a man with great compassion and there is a deep understanding between them. Although they go through this incredibly difficult experience and she pretty much abandons him, he is still there for her.’

Gabriella explains why Caroline takes refuge in London.

‘London is probably where she has spent most of her life so one side of her is very much at home there, more so than in Cornwall. She is a dynamic woman with multiple sides to her and London represents the side of Caroline we haven’t seen since the second series, before she meets Dwight. She slips back into that rather guarded person very naturally. It is her default setting and her survival mode.’

However, a familiar face in London attempts to convince Caroline to face her pain rather than ignore it.

‘Ross (Aidan Turner) is almost slightly haunting Caroline whilst she is in London, he isn’t allowing her to escape this thing she has to face and go through. Underneath it all there is affection and an appreciation for Ross and what he is trying to do but at the same time, on the surface, whilst she does not want to deal with it, he is incredibly annoying and is a constant reminder of home and of what she is running from. The last thing she wants is to be reminded by someone like Ross who is quite direct. Caroline would usually manipulate people and talk around things but Ross doesn’t allow that, he knows her too well.’

Whilst in London, Caroline meets an unscrupulous character who is a new to Poldark this year and is intent on stirring up trouble.

‘Monk Adderley (Max Bennett) is a pretty interesting character who comes in and causes a big stir and quite a lot of problems amongst the characters. Caroline enjoys a bit of controversy going on around her so she enjoys a character being rather contentious and causing some drama. But of course, if anyone was to cross someone she is loyal to she would stand up for her friends and is there for them. He is antagonistic towards everyone and he is a man without morals.’

With the men in London causing trouble, Caroline’s friendship with Demelza is stronger than ever.

‘Caroline and Demelza’s friendship really goes from strength to strength and whilst they come from entirely different backgrounds there is a recognition between these two as self-sufficient, strong women who share a sense of humour. They are incredibly bright women in a world run by men so they like to show off their intelligence and play the people around them and get involved where they are probably not expected to.’

Gabriella tells us she enjoys playing a strong female role, written by a brilliant female writer, Debbie Horsfield.

‘It is very refreshing to play a feisty female character and although Poldark is the male lead, the women are doing all of the work behind the scenes and we get to see that. They are not pushovers by any means; they are the backbones. It is especially nice to be playing a female character who is written by a woman because she understands women so the detail to which the female characters in this show are written is spot on and so are the relationships between the women. Whilst this is a period drama, it is relevant to modern day life and modern women and the way those women operate within their marriages is all very relevant and that is down to Debbie being an incredibly smart woman and having the insight for that.’

Gabriella reveals what she is most eager for audiences to see this series.

‘On a visual level, I am excited for audiences to see London and the incredible sets for that. Due to the time period, there is also a change in the costumes and so the whole look of the drama has shifted this series. Even whilst we were filming it felt and looked different, so it is going to be quite thrilling to watch. On a more personal level I am excited for people to watch the journey of Caroline and that incredibly poignant story.’

Jack Farthing Talks George Warleggan

Jack Farthing reveals that we will see his character, George Warleggan, rise the highest and fall the farthest he ever has in this series of Poldark.

‘It is peaks and troughs for George this series. There are definitely moments that are too much to deal with, whether they are setbacks that Ross has instigated or personal losses; George is put through the ultimate human tests. When we meet him in series four a little time has passed and he has recovered and got his bearings again. He and Elizabeth are starting this new, secure partnership and he has promised to cherish and love Valentine in a way that he always should have and Elizabeth has accepted it. They are a team, more so than ever. George is almost submissive because he cares so deeply about this relationship and he needs it to work. He was shown a world in which he didn’t have Elizabeth at the end of last series and it was too much to bear so he has started again with a clean slate.

‘However, George faces a humongous, professional loss early in the series. He prides his political power right up there with his relationship with Elizabeth and to have that in jeopardy is terrifying so that motivates and energises a whole new spark in George. Having been knocked really far off his perch, he climbs up and up until everything seems to be going well for him and he is commanding a huge amount of authority in Cornwall. Then Geoffrey Charles puts his foot in it in an appalling way that causes all of George’s old feelings of suspicion to come flooding back. But it is George’s set-backs which propel him into his next adventure and so we see him recover, he gets everything he has ever dreamed of, he reaches the absolute pinnacle of success and happiness and then a heartbeat later his entire world collapses.’

After the climactic moment between George and his wife, Elizabeth (Heida Reed), last series Jack tells us that we see these two are working together to start fresh.

‘We see them as close as we have ever seen them this series. They figure out how it works, their marriage and partnership. Elizabeth is a hugely intelligent, forward thinking, bold, energetic character who is confined by her context and George really sees that. He sees how exceptional she is and how knowledgeable she is about the world he is so desperately trying to be a part of and so they work together. From growing up in that world Elizabeth has gained all of this free experience, which George has not and because of that doors open to her in a way they don’t to him and so he is very happy to be on her arm as much as she is his. They are a unit, the three of them and they come as close and rise as high as we have ever seen in this series.

‘So many of the scenes that Heida and I have shot in previous series have been antagonistic and tense whereas this series we had some really nice moments where we could be happy together which was unusual and really great to play. There were scenes where were laughing and smiling and were looking at each other thinking ‘what is going on?!’
Whilst his relationship with Elizabeth may be a source of happiness, Jack discloses that George’s rivalry with Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) is as present as ever this series.

‘As much as George wants to have Ross completely out of his life there is an inevitability to them coming back together. This series they come back together in different spheres and in a different context, which is interesting. The ways in which they meet and butt heads is different to anything we have seen before. But it is a biological thing, they just can’t fit together, we all have those people and sometimes you can’t even explain it.’

The first day of filming Photo: Official Poldark
Jack does tell us however, that fans can expect to see more of George’s humane and emotional side that we were given a glimpse of at the end of last series.

‘George has to face some of his toughest moments this series so we definitely get to see more of his emotional side. For me, that is the work I love the most, as it is the most challenging. With the more time we spend with these characters, the more of them we see and it is nice to surprise people, including myself, and to remind everyone that people constantly behave out of character. We all behave in unpredictable ways all of the time depending on our context and so that is fun to play as an actor and it is liberating because it feels human. Those are my favourite moments, when you feel George is acting out of character but you understand it because he is human and human beings are multi-dimensional.’

This series we see George out of Cornwall more than usual as he embarks on his political journey in London.

‘Politics represents the opportunity to exert power and influence, and George obviously loves that and needs that to boost himself, massage his ego and to remind himself that despite his lowly roots he is a force to be reckoned with. Politics is the ultimate playground for people who want power like that so it is the logical next step for George. He fits in in London, maybe more so than on the Cornish cliffs, because he can mix with the type of person he pretends to be and is so desperately trying to be.

'He loves being in the city and having those double doors swing open for him. He can waltz into these parties he is finally getting invited to and by the end of the series he even has a line to the Prime Minister, which is unthinkable. He feels like he has come home, he would much rather spend time in his London house than in Cornwall, he resents going to the provincial back quarter that he thinks Trenwith is and he wants to be where he big buildings and important people are.’

Jack tells us that with political storylines unfolding in London, this series feels like the biggest one yet.

‘The show really bursts its seams this series. We filmed in London, surrounded by these incredible white marble buildings and it felt unusual for Poldark, which was fun. This series will feel bigger and it will be unusual for audiences to see the characters they are familiar with in places such as the House of Commons. Our House of Commons set is amazing and is part of why this series feels more national than ever. George gets this beautiful new London house. It feels like his world and the show have grown because of it, especially when you think back to where it all started, in the countryside of Cornwall.’