“No Irish Need Apply.”
Thankfully that way of thinking has been done away with, or Aidan Turner would almost certainly have never auditioned for the lead in Poldark.
But as he recently revealed, he was already worried that audiences wouldn’t take to his portrayal of Winston Graham’s famous British literary character—down to the fact that he’s Irish.
Aidan Turner has played the mine owner Ross Poldark in five seasons of the incredibly popular BBC show and all of his previous fears have been proved unfounded, but he admitted that he was worried about how audiences would feel about an Irish man playing the British character.
He even went so far as admitting he was anxious that the period drama would be denounced as a flop before the first episode even aired. It seems the actor had turned the old Irish begrudgery on to himself.
The Irish Mirror reports that Turner found signing on for the award-winning period drama to be “a risk” at the time.
“We weren’t sure if the show would have an audience, whether people would remember or care about the books or anything, and it just felt big to be in the centre leading this show.
“British actor, British character - would people buy it? Do people want an Irish guy doing that?”
Spoiler alert: They certainly do want that, if the show’s weekly ratings and army of loyal fans are anything to go by.
There are even rumours of the Poldark lead being a favourite to play the next James Bond when the time comes.
The actor should find that role to be an easy enough transition—the two characters get up to roughly the same things in different time periods-- except that 007 tends to keep his shirt on a bit more.