What was the Irish actor, star of the BBC’s And Then There Were None, doing before Poldark?
He’s been the topic of many water cooler conversations since gracing our TV screens as the eponymous, brooding Cornish hero Poldark in the remake of the Seventies drama of the BBC, but Aidan Turner didn’t just appear from nowhere. The 31-year old Irish actor has a varied back catalogue that is surprising, including starring roles as a vampire a dwarf as well as a campaigner for eggs.
Irish TV advert (2001)
Yes, that’s right. Eggs. We have to confess that we are mightily impressed with his spinach frittata.
And also, the boy can dance, also…
Before he went to acting school at the age of 19 (he was a pupil at Dublin’s Gaiety School of Acting, which is also the alma mater of his current girlfriend Sarah Greene), Turner’s talent lay in ballroom dancing. He competed globally in the ballroom and Latin American disciplines, representing Ireland, for ten years, but had to give it up because his parents couldn’t afford the competition costs. But he definitely has not lost any of his moves, as this video. As the cast of Poldark gets ready to film a waltz scene, an associate of the production crew switches the music to a the Brazilian funk tune, Mas Que Nada. The results are glorious.
The Tudors (2007)
Oh dear. That accent. Of course, he’s uncredited for his two lines in the opening episode of the cod-historical drama The Tudors. He played a character called Bedouin who wore a funny hat along with a fine cloak.
The Sound of People (2007)
A tiny character as a dad in a short art-house Irish picture came next. The movie, by writer-director Simon Fitzmaurice, was shown at Sundance and tells the story of an 18-year-old boy who contemplates life and death as he stands on a diving board.
Turner also starred in an even shorter short film, alongside Niamh Cusack. We won’t give away what occurs but he plays with a young doctor, Theodore, whose female patient is experiencing a quite particular treatment.
There was also this. A thriller in which life in the Dublin suburbs turns into a nightmare for a young girl who is sleeping next to the curly haired one.
The Clinic (2009)
Next arrived 18 episodes in the award winning Irish prime-time medical drama series The Clinic. He starred as Ruairi McGowan, the clinic’s charming, lively and gregarious receptionist by day and by night a charming, lively and gregarious DJ. Check him out spinning the decks in this clip, although you will need to wait for nearly a minute and a half to hear him talk. “It’s like feeding time at the zoo out there,” he says.
Really, Aidan. Really.
Desperate Romantics (2009)
A substantial part came with Peter Bowker’s BBC Two costume drama about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, in which Turner starred in all six episodes. He played an English poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, illustrator, painter and translator and the a creator of the group. Our reviewer at the time said the whole thing had a “zest that is hard to resist”.
Being Human (2009-2011)
In the Bafta-nominated play that was supernatural, Turner played 116-year old tormented vampire, John Mitchell, alongside fellow smart-young-things Russell Tovey and Lenora Crichlow.
Choice quote: “Don’t you know who I ‘m!? My name is John Mitchell and I’ve killed more people than you’ve met!”
The show proved to be a cult success and gave Turner his biggest break of all… in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films.
This TV biopic of British comedian-actor Hattie Jacques saw Turner take on the role of her youthful lover John Schofield. He starred alongside Gavin & Stacey’s Ruth Jones, playing yet another handsome, cocky and confident young man with his shirt away. But he played it nicely, with a blend of animal and narcissism heat, according to our review.
The Hobbit (2012-2014)
The Hobbit was Turner’s ticket to Hollywood and it was his part in Being Human that brought him to the attention of director Peter Jackson. Incidentally, the celebrity is 6feet tall. To be able to portray the character of Kili, he needed to get involved in specific movement classes to learn the way to walk as a dwarf. He is also “alright riding a horse, and [is] quite respectable with a sword”.
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
Another unnatural character for Turner was in the action-adventure film based on the books by Cassandra Clare. He played a shadow hunter/werewolf with comparative ease even though the picture wasn’t a received well by critics.
Titus Andronicus (2005)
It was on the set of the stage production of Titus Andronicus that Turner met with Greene although they went to the exact same drama school. He played the part of Demetrius, complete with black vest and snakeskin pants. In the event, you look closely (ahem!) It’s possible for you to see the tat that the make-up artists on Poldark needed to cover up for his semi-naked scenes.
Sunday nights have seldom sizzled as much since Turner took the lead character in the BBC’s latest variation of Winston Graham’s novels, telling tales of derring-do in 18th-century Cornwall. The show has been a tremendous success, with Turner being the main attraction, receiving nearly 7 million viewers. He will reprise his character for another show.
And Then There Were None (2015)
Turner got to indulge his black side as Philip Lombard, one of 10 murderers trapped on an island and hunted by an unknown killer in the dark, trendy Agatha Christie adaptation of the BBC And Then There Were None. Despite his character’s predicament, Turner found time to squeeze in several shirtless scenes – if the ecstatic on-line reaction was anything to go buy a move that delighted many of his fans.