Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson: ‘I’m forever telling Aidan where to put his hands!’

(Image credit: BBC/Ellis Parrinder)

As Ross Poldark goes on trial in Sunday's Poldark, Eleanor Tomlinson reveals how Demelza is doing all she can to help her husband who’s on his trial for life this week…

Ross Poldark is facing charges of insurrection, theft and riot, which could see him put to death. So desperate Demelza pays a visit to Justice Lister who’s in charge of Ross’s trial to try to sway him, but the Poldarks’ conniving enemy George Warleggan scuppers her plans…

Here, star Eleanor Tomlinson tells us what’s in store for the troubled Cornish couple as this second series of Poldark continues…

Ross could be facing execution in this week’s dramatic trial? How is Demelza coping? “It’s such a nerve-wracking time for them both. Ross is on trial and is going to be hanged if found guilty, so she’s very emotional. She’s also pregnant, which she finds out during the trial. She’s very much his rock and she’s going to be helping him anyway she can. It’s an honour to play such an exciting and strong female character.”

Was it easy to click back in to portraying a married couple with your co-star Aidan Turner? “Yes, very easy. We’re great mates so it’s exciting when you’ve got a relationship like that to create. I’d describe doing Ross and Demelza’s passionate scenes as like ‘dancing’ together – I’m forever telling Aidan where to put his hands!”

Is she over the trauma of losing baby Julia at the end of the last series? “I don’t know if you ever get over the trauma of something like that, but Demelza has a fantastic way of looking at life, she’s realistic about things and she’s thankful for the time that she had with Julia. She’s certainly not morbid and she doesn’t go into a depression. She’s a very positive, forward-thinking person.”

They go on to have another baby alter this series though which is nice… “Yes, they do. It’s fun, although I’m not the greatest with babies - I’m quite scared of them. When someone hands you their pride and joy it’s always quite nerve-wracking. I think if they can pick up on your nerves its worse.”

Does she give Ross grief when he starts smuggling later in the series? “It’s very annoying for her as he’s constantly putting himself at risk, and her. She’d do absolutely anything for him, but he is very reckless and will not be tied down. He does what he wants. They have a lot of arguments about that, but that’s real life.”

Is she more settled into society now? “Yes definitely, but I don’t think she ever loses sight of where she’s come from. We’ve done little things like tweak the accent ever so slightly so that she becomes more the lady of the house and in control.”

Are you used to wearing Demelza's corsets yet? “It doesn’t really bother me although it’s really annoying when you can’t have that other piece of chocolate cake for desert! But it’s all part of it.”

Were you surprised at how successful the first series was? “Yeah, I was very surprised and also honoured to be a part of it. It’s great because you can read the Poldark books and find out what happens to your character. Ross and Demelza have such wonderful journeys to go on.”

Do you feel pressure to match the first series or even top it? “Yeah, there's a huge amount of pressure for this second series, but it's a different series, time has moved on, and the characters are changing. It’s still just as exciting, but in a different way.

"I do feel scared! But I was terrified about the first series as well! I think I’d be a fool to relax. You never know how things are going to be received. As time goes on and you wait for another series to come out people’s interest change, and other dramas become popular. So it's important we stay at the top of our game. We want Poldark to be as successful as it can be.”

Because Poldark is watched internationally, has this given you a wide fan base? "I’m not really sure, I don’t have any social media so I hear things through my mum and dad which is quite sweet. I hear that it’s done well overseas which is brilliant, that’s the main thing."

 How do Poldark fans react when they see you in the street? “I think it’s my red hair that gives me away! People are very respectful, which is nice, it’s always lovely when someone tells you that they love your work.”

Poldark continues on BBC1 every Sunday at 9pm

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Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.