Aidan Turner

Photo via IMDB

Aidan Turner plays Ross Poldark in the new BBC adaptation of the Winston Graham novels Poldark. Aidan is aware he's stepping into to a well loved role with Ross but says, 'He has been done before. I haven't watched it. So I get to start all over again.'  In what is proving to be a busy year, Aidan is filming Poldark from now until September followed by, possibly, making the film Inferno and all topped off with the press junkets and premieres for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Not bad for a boy who left school with no notion of what he wanted to do!

Photo via Caroline Lowsley-Williams

Aidan was born 19 June, 1983 in Clondalkin, South Dublin, in a house in which he lived throughout his childhood with his mum, dad, and brother, Colin. He says, ‘I was born in that house in that living room. I spent 20 years in that house and it's very close to my heart, but I don't get to see it much now.’

He left school knowing he didn’t want to do anything ‘mundane’ and signed up for a six week ‘Acting for Camera’ course because he thought it looked ‘like a laugh.’ 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.’ There may be more to it than that though for, when asked about any history of acting in his family he says, ‘I’m the break-out. Ours was an arts-friendly household,’ which may well be a reference to his grandmother Bridget, an amateur actress and stalwart of her local theatre group for many years. His grandmother also enjoys dancing and is no doubt pleased that Aidan lists Ballroom, Jive, Latin American, Salsa, and Tango among his dancing skills.

Aidan says, 'The "Acting for Camera" 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 a few weeks was jetting off to Portugal to shoot a couple of adverts for Irish television. Each ad took a day to film and must have been a great introduction to trying to look fresh and new take after take for, as the days progressed, the actors found it harder and harder to swallow the drink they were promoting, some spitting it out after each take!


Titus Andronicus. Photo Ros Kavanagh 
Within his first year as an actor Aidan was performing at The Barbican, one of London’s top theatres, in The Plough and the Stars. There followed several years of acting both in fringe and mainstream theatre, as he went from the black vest and snakeskin trousers of the award winning Titus Andronicus (in which Sarah Greene, who is now his girlfriend, also appeared) to being suited and booted in Romeo and Juliet. In Cyrano, Aidan stole the show as Christian and was hailed by critics as 'The next James Bond'.

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 Ruairí 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 a 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, in which another The Hobbit actor John Bell was also cast.

Aidan and his LEGO figure Photo Credit: Nicoletta Steiger
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 and I’m on a caramel latte cup in Germany. How did that happen?’
  
Photo: Getty Images
In 2014, the public voted Aidan best male newcomer in the Jameson Empire awards. While the category of newcomer may seem slightly incongruous, there’s no doubting his delight at winning and being able to share the evening with fellow The Hobbit actors Richard Armitage, Adam Brown, James Nesbitt and Stephen Fry. Commenting on his win Aidan blushed, ‘I had no idea I had this kind of support. It’s deeply humbling.’

In his free time Aidan loves playing pool and says he's 'completely obsessed' with it. He's even built a pool hall at his parent's home which he says is 'a proper man-cave'. He also plays tennis, squash and badminton but, although he has ridden a lot for Poldark, is unlikely to take up horse riding just yet saying, 'I don't know if they'll let me. If I injure myself on the job I'm fine but in my own personal time, I'll be killed! I'd never get away with it!'



With thanks to BBC News, Article Magazine, Irish Weekend and Gaiety School of Acting.

18 comments:

  1. This is a great article. He was such a skinny kid when he started out. LOL

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  2. Really enjoyed this article! Learned a lot about Aidan (especially his talent for dancing!

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  3. Aidan the current emphasis on your physical attributes are now beyond a joke. It must be so galling for you to feel that your skill as an actor is almost being lost in all this stuff about your physique. Halfway through this series and you are doing a brilliant job at bringing this many-faceted character to life. I am a huge fan of the novels and you have absolutely brought Ross alive. I wrote to Winston Graham many years ago. He kindly replied saying how much his characters meant to him. I am certain he would have been delighted with the Ross Poldark you have brought to the screen: his moods, his passion about everything in which he believed, his determination in the face of adversity and his self-belief. Try to ignore the hype and know that your skill as an actor is being hugely appreciated.

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    1. Well said. Fantastic portrayal of Ross but these silly older ladies drooling all over hiim on social media must be so embarrassing for him. Yes he is handsome, but let's just stick with complementing him on his acting!

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    2. you have captured my words about this actor he truly is a genius at his craft

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  4. I agree. Aidan is doing a really good job along with all the other actors. Well done to everyone. It's great to have something so consuming to watch on TV. This Poldark is a real page-turner. Maybe all those people commissioning dramas and documentaries will take note: audiences aren't all stupid - you simply can't beat a good story, told well. x

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  5. well said anonymous......I agree with your every word.....brilliant acting and a beautiful story brought to life again......loved it.......hurry up series 2........

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  6. OMG I love this man!

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  7. Aidan is an artist of a high calibre, providing a sense of the freedom in acting for the viewer and courageous letting go of ego.

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  8. I agree with all the posters above. Mr. Turner's acting brings depth to the character. Ross is so popular because of this portrayal. Kudos also to Eleanor and all the rest of the cast. It's a real pleasure to watch. They have also directed me to the books.

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  9. Absolutely adored him since the first moment I saw him onscreen in Being Human. He is a delight and so appreciative and humble about his success. Thrilled he is experiencing so much success.

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  10. He has a gift! The camera captures his every emotion and he brings any character to life. His prior work was superior and he keeps exceeding to be better and better.

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  11. I agree wholeheartedly, moonlight824! I love the intensity he projects. I must admit my inner casting director has been having a field day with projects for Aidan! Wouldn't he make a wonderful Petrucio? Also in an adaptation of one of Paul C. Doherty's historical novels as Brother Athelstan (with Stephen Fry as Sir John Cranston). :-) And wouldn't you love to see him take a crack at a romantic comedy? That mischievous streak he shows sometimes is so enticing! I'm looking forward to seeing all the work he's done this year.

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  12. ¡Me parece un magnifico y estupendo actor Aidan Turner , muy guapo , atractivo y varonil , una persona excelente , me gusta su forma de ser y como se rie , tiene un caracter alegre y vivaracho , me encanta como persona y ser humano !!

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  13. Poldark a fabulously romantic part for Aidan who shines his way through each episode. As a viewer, it is gripping to watch and no sooner has an episode started than it's over.. and you have been glued to the tv the entire time. He brings the role alive and his interactions and reactions to other cast members on screen is astounding. He is gripping to watch. A very fine performance indeed. Kudos Mr Turner.

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    1. I totally agree. The way he reacts to the others, you feel he is Ross Poldark, not Aidan Turner pretending to be Ross Poldark. The little subtle things he does are just wonderful! One of my favorites is when Margaret told him, "You always was my weakness, my lord." He got the most lovely look on his face that conveyed embarrassment, pride, pleasure, and humility all at once!

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  14. I want to see how far he goes in his career. He has brought The Captain to life for us.

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