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.
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