Aidan Turner


Growing up in Dublin, he didn’t have a clue he was going to be an actor. “There were a lot of things I didn’t want to do. I wasn’t very academic so I didn’t want to go to college and study anything. I worked as an apprentice with my dad [an electrician] and knew manual labour wasn’t where it was at either. I play guitar but I’m not a great singer so I couldn’t front a band. I played a lot of snooker [but] the thought of turning professional seemed way more far-fetched than trying to be an actor. Then I saw a notice up in Dublin’s Gaiety School of Acting. I didn’t know anything about this world at all. I felt intimidated from the get-go and thought: that’s just right for me. The sense of potential failure is a buzz.”

Since graduating acting school, he’s played a vampire (Being Human), a werewolf (The Mortal Instruments) and, um, a dwarf (The Hobbit Trilogy.) “ I’m finally playing a human again. Which is nice.”

Poldark Schmoldark. He’d never heard of the show before landing the iconic role. “I had no idea what Poldark was before I received the offer. But 40 years is enough time to give it another go. Everyone from my mum and dad’s generation knew about it, but that kind of pressure is exciting.”

Bad news, ladies. The actor has been dating Irish model and actress Sarah Greene for the past three years. Still, he’s no stranger to heartache. “ Yes, it’s happened to me. I’ve been upset, my heart’s been broken. I don’t know anyone on the planet who hasn’t. Love is love. It’s the purest and rawest thing we have in life and everyone experiences it.”

He’s ripped (noticed?) but admits to putting the work in.  “ Yes, I worked out [for Poldark] and there were some deliberate attempts at weight loss too, plenty of calorie counting. I also got food poisoning at one point during filming. That knocked a few pounds off. How much weight did I lose overall? Well I was going to say enough to look good with my top off but maybe I shouldn’t say that.”

He’s got a secret hang out. “Mum has this huge garage out the back, it fits about 10 cars in it, so over the last six months I took it over and I built a pool hall. I have a couple of pool tables, a bar, a big sound system and a big screen, and I play a lot of pool, that’s what I’m doing when I should be focusing on my career. ”

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Watch Poldark at 9pm, BBC One, Sunday night