By Ge­orge!

TV Times - - Interview - COS­TUME DRAMA Poldark SUN­DAY / BBC1 / 9.00Pm Judy Ewens

Demelza and Ross have good rea­son to hate Ge­orge

When Ross Poldark was ac­quit­ted of mur­der­ing Matthew War­leg­gan, there were tears of re­lief in court and cheers of joy in liv­ing rooms across the coun­try.

But one man wasn’t smil­ing – his arch-en­emy Ge­orge War­leg­gan, played by Jack Farthing. The wealthy busi­ness­man had done ev­ery­thing in his power to ma­nip­u­late a ver­dict that would see Ross (Ai­dan Turner) hang.

Hav­ing failed to get a noose around his neme­sis’ neck, the schem­ing banker comes up with an­other plan to de­stroy Ross in this week’s episode of the hit BBC1 drama – by ru­in­ing him fi­nan­cially.

Ge­orge may have been driven to a cer­tain ex­tent by grief over his cousin’s death, but his re­sent­ment for Ross goes far deeper than that.

‘It says in the books that they haven’t seen eye to eye since they were at school,’ says Jack, 30. ‘But it never ex­plic­itly ex­plains why and it’s nice it isn’t pinned down to one event. If it was, you’d get bored, whereas this way it can con­stantly de­velop.’

Ge­orge’s dec­la­ra­tion of love for El­iz­a­beth (Heida Reed) – Ross’s one-time sweet­heart – at the end of the last series, fur­ther fu­els the flames of an­i­mos­ity. ‘I think he gen­uinely does love her, but should she de­velop feel­ings for him then that would be an­other blow for Ross,’ says Jack. ‘It’s quite sur­pris­ing to see him have real warmth and af­fec­tion for some­one.’

For the ac­tor, who was also in BBC1’S Bland­ings and on the big screen in The Riot Club, Ge­orge’s light and shade makes him a fully rounded char­ac­ter.

‘My aim from the be­gin­ning was not to see Ge­orge as the vil­lain of the piece. For me, he’s a three­d­i­men­sional hu­man be­ing with demons, in­se­cu­ri­ties, anger and re­sent­ment, which some­times bub­ble out. You do see new sides to him in this series.’

One new as­pect is a phys­i­cal one as the haughty townie takes up box­ing in case he ever needs to square up to

Ross. ‘Ge­orge wants to present him­self as a dif­fer­ent kind of man,

Jack Farthing tells us why it’s good to be bad in Poldark For me, Ge­orge

is a three­d­i­men­sional hu­man be­ing with demons

not all curls and frills, so he de­cides to build him­self up. We did some 18th-cen­tury box­ing, which is very dif­fer­ent to mod­ern box­ing, it’s all sort of long-arm and quite funny.’

Funny is not an ad­jec­tive read­ily used in con­nec­tion with Ge­orge, who’s deadly se­ri­ous about ex­pand­ing his power. To this end, he funded MP Un­win Tre­vau­nance (Hugh Skin­ner) and now has the dim-wit­ted

politi­cian in his pocket.

Bland­ings

Help­ing Ge­orge carry out his dirty deeds is his lawyer, Tankard (Se­bas­tian Armesto). ‘Ge­orge is very dif­fer­ent with dif­fer­ent peo­ple. With Tankard, he’s at his most malev­o­lent and I loved do­ing those scenes,’ says Jack.

So what’s it like be­ing the most hated man on the show?

‘No­body talks to me on set and I’m al­ways fight­ing with Ai­dan!

No, I’m jok­ing. We all get on re­ally well. And the re­ac­tion

I’ve had from view­ers is amaz­ing. There are a lot who say how much they love to hate Ge­orge, but I hope they also un­der­stand his mo­tives.’

Play­ing his cads right: Jack is a very con­vinc­ing vil­lain

As posh twit Fred­die in

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