Eleanor Tomlinson is Demelza Poldark
POLDARK FINAL SERIES 5 14th July 9pm, BBC One
Eleanor Tomlinson returns for the last time to play Demelza Poldark and reveals the special memento she received as a parting gift.
"As a gift from the props department I was given a small collection of the hand-written letters Demelza has written or received throughout the show’s run. One of which was the love poem Hugh Armitage (Josh Whitehouse) wrote to Demelza, which is so beautiful."
Eleanor discusses what is in store for Demelza in the eventful final series of Poldark.
"As we go into this series the Cornish people are struggling to survive, there are food shortages, lack of pay and mine closures and Demelza is often at the forefront trying to help people where she can. This time she tries to set up a school with Morwenna (Ellise Chappell) at the helm as teacher. Demelza is always thinking about enriching the lives of the people in Cornwall, and she realises the importance of reading and writing and of an education, so she takes on that challenge within the community and whilst she is met with great hostility, in the end she triumphs.
We are also dealing with the children being slightly older this series, and there's more interaction with Valentine as we realise he isn’t happy with George, and in his family. Ross (Aidan Turner) feels a sense of guilt when it comes to Valentine and so he tries to take him under his wing at moments, but that has an impact on both families."
Eleanor finds herself challenged by a new adversary this series...
Other new characters this series are Ned Despard (Vincent Regan), Ross’s ranking officer in the American Revolutionary War, and his wife, Kitty (Kerri McLean) whose arrival sets the series off to an explosive start.
Early on in this series Ross decides to help Kitty on her dangerous mission of getting Ned out of prison, and in doing that he invites them to live with us. Suddenly Nampara is taken over by this Ned character who, in many ways, is a bad influence on Ross. Demelza has worked hard to tame Ross, and enable him to think more about his family and his life before making rash decisions, and Ned comes along and upturns that.
So it leaves Kitty, his wife, for Demelza to form a relationship with, and they bond over the fact that they were both servants who fell in love with, and married, their masters. Kitty is a former slave, and for someone in her position to marry her master was extraordinary, so we deal with adjusting Kitty to life in Cornwall and in London. Demelza and Kitty soon become firm friends and have a great bond.’
Eleanor talks about Demelza and Ross’s relationship and what it has been like to work alongside Aidan for five years.
"Ross and Demelza come up against problems this series because Ross becomes a spy and Demelza is excluded from that, as he doesn’t tell her what is going on in order to protect her. This drives a wedge between them and there comes a moment in the series where Demelza has had enough and is thinking of leaving, something she has thought of before, and it is up to Ross to convince her of his love for her and persuade her to stay.
‘Ross and Demelza’s relationship is a very modern one and I believe that is why people have loved them as a couple, because they are relatable. Their lives aren’t perfect, Ross has cheated, as has Demelza, there is dishonesty in the relationship but there is also a lot of love and passion. Their relationship is very honest and it has been wonderful portraying that.
I love Aidan - we have a very fun relationship. We work very differently which actually works really well when we are filming, and is part of the reason we have such great chemistry on screen. We are fiery with each other, staying true to our characters, and I will really miss working alongside him. He has been a huge part of my life and a great friend."
But what will Eleanor miss the most…?
"I will definitely miss the fans; their support has been amazing and without them we wouldn’t have this show. It's very sad it is coming to an end but we have taken these characters on the best journey they could have gone on, so it seems right to take a break now.
And I will really miss Cornwall, it has been a huge part of this show, it is the heartbeat of Poldark and getting to go there every year for a few weeks has been incredible. It is so beautiful and I will miss it dearly. I will miss the support there from the fans and seeing how much it means to them in Cornwall, it has been a wonderful journey to all have gone on together. I will also miss our incredible crew and the wonderful cast. You become a family when you work on something like this for so long and I am looking forward to seeing where everyone goes and getting together for reunions."
Playing a strong female character has empowered Eleanor for her future.
July 5, 2019 12:25pm ET by BBC One