While I love my job on Cara magazine, few things have me actually leaping out of bed in the mornings and whistling a jolly tune into work. But when that thing is actor Aidan Turner, the spring in my step is palpable. “I’m going to watch you closely this morning, see how long it takes you to get ready…” eyes my boyfriend suspiciously.
Yes, just a few weeks ago poor old me had the ghastly task of whisking the Clondalkin thespian to/from our very own photo shoot and interview. Turner, 31, is indeed highly prized at the moment, his new role as the eponymous Poldark in a new eight-part BBC One drama causing bosoms to heave across the land (and beyond: We’ve already received requests for the magazine from fans in Australia, New Zealand and Japan). Of course, many of us knew him as the ‘hot dwarf’ Kíli in The Hobbit trilogy (2012-14) – and before that swooned at his turns as painter/poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti in Desperate Romantics (2009) and contemporary vampire in Being Human (2011). But if anything’s going to secure his status as a leading man, it’s the iconic period drama Poldark.
So it was with a heavy heart (ahem) that I accompanied Master Turner to his interview with Tony Clayton-Lea in South Dublin. As a Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fan-girl I couldn’t resist quizzing him on behind-the-scenes gossip. Apparently, during green screen filming, Peter Jackson had a tent set up in a sound studio from which he’d watch the action sequences on monitors while the actors essentially react to tennis balls on sticks as opposed to actual Necromancers and dragons. With the sound stage all mic’d up, Jackson’s voice would boom out instructions from inside his tent, earning him the nickname ‘the voice of God’ because they could always hear him if not see him. I won’t tell you what he nicked “loads of” from the set – although he legitimately kept his sword and bow and arrow – while he admitted that Jackson’s fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants production schedule was at once genius and discombobulating (likewise, Jim Sheridan’s lack of a script on The Secret Scripture – oh the irony! – kept him on his toes).
Good-humoured, handsome, friendly, well groomed, a ready, easy laugh… well, it wasn’t the worst day at work I’ve ever had (and I may or may not have washed my cheek after he gave me a kiss goodbye…). “I was supposed to know who he was, wasn’t I…” asked the taxi driver when I dropped the actor off outside his apartment. Come Sunday night though Aidan Turner will be a household name.
Lucy White is acting editor at CARA magazine @LucyWhiteDublin
Poldark premieres on BBC One this Sunday at 9pm. Read Tony Clayton-Lea’s (@TonyClaytonLea) interview with Aidan Turner and see photographs by Rich Gilligan (@rgilliganphoto) in the April/May issue of Cara, which will be on all Aer Lingus planes from April 1 and online at issuu.com same day.