In Poldark, airing on Masterpiece on PBS, Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) is a redcoat who returns to Cornwall after the American Revolutionary War, only to discover that his life is nothing like he remembered, as his father is dead, his lands are ruined, and his true love is about to marry his first cousin. Based on a beloved series of novels by Winston Graham and first introduced to television audiences almost 40 years ago, the gallant captain rides again, with even more spectacular action, adventure and romance than ever before.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, actress Eleanor Tomlinson (who plays the fiery servant Demelza, a strong-willed woman who runs away from home and finds refuge with Poldark) talked about how she got involved with Poldark, what drew her to the character of Demelza, how exciting it is to be compared to Downton Abbey, her hope of doing future seasons, whether she watched any of the original series, working with Aidan Turner, and why this has been her favorite job of her career.
Collider: How did this come about for you?
ELEANOR TOMLINSON: Well, I heard that they were casting for it. I just happened to mention it to my parents, and they just went mental. They were like, “Oh, my god, [the original] was amazing! It was an enormous success!” They raved about it, so I looked into it and read the scripts, and I just fell in love with the role of Demelza. I just thought, “Wow, these roles just don’t come along!” For me, it was the Scarlett O’Hara of roles. So, I auditioned for it and eventually I was offered it. From then, it’s been this amazing roller coaster of emotion. It’s been a really, really great job.
Was Demelza a character you were drawn to because you were connected to her, or did you see a challenge there because you are so different from her?
TOMLINSON: I think I definitely connected to her. I’ve also done a lot of period drama, and I’ve often been on the posh side of it, and I wanted to be on the other side of it. I wanted to try something that was really going to challenge me, as a performer. It’s a really exciting role that just captured my attention.