Poldark’s latest villain
Christian Brassington on stepping into Christopher Biggins’ shoes as Poldark’s villainous vicar
DRAMA Poldark sunday / bbc1 / 9.00Pm
To fans of the original Poldark series, Rev Osborne Whitworth was the man they loved to hate.
So, when Christian Brassington was cast as the wicked, sex-crazed vicar, he knew he had a mammoth challenge ahead, not least because his predecessor, Christopher Biggins (see our interview below), made the character so loathsome and larger-than-life.
‘The children of the author, Winston Graham, who wrote the novels, are involved in this series and are pals with Christopher,’ says Christian, 34, in an exclusive interview with TV Times. ‘That makes for a lot of pressure, trying to measure up to the man voted most hated man on TV and the national treasure that is Christopher Biggins.’
Indeed, but there’s no disputing the fact he’s doing a grand job filling flamboyant Ossie’s breeches since making his debut in episode four.
Thankfully, Christian is nothing like the reverend: he’s down-toearth and funny. Here, he reveals why playing Ossie was a weighty task, in more ways than one…
Why did the role appeal to you? Ossie is a treat to play because he’s a man of huge appetites in all aspects, someone who is larger than life – and also larger in life!
Viewers might think Ossie’s a comedy character, but, now he’s hitched to lovely Morwenna, this week he’ll show his true colours… I hope people have thought he’s a bit ridiculous and a buffoon. And then – I can’t say too much – but I hope the pay-off will be great…
How did you find filming with Ellise Chappell (Morwenna)?
It was great, but occasionally tricky when I had to be mean to her, because she’s lovely. Afterwards, I would say: ‘I didn’t mean it!’ Are you ready for the disapproval you might get on the street?
Ha! I look very different from when we filmed it as I’ve lost weight and I’ve got a beard now. So I don’t know if people will spot me, which might save me from getting booed and hissed at. But if that does happen, it’s a great compliment.
Could you handle being named the most hated man on television, like Christopher was? It’s much more fun playing a baddie, and if I’m bestowed with that accolade, it’ll be lovely – but no one can compete with Biggins!
How did you put on two stone in weight for the role?
I should have done it in a healthier way, but it was ice cream, lager, red meat and potatoes. I also drank lots of protein shakes and did big weights in the gym. Putting it on was easy; it’s the losing it that’s the problem. It’s much easier to sit eating a burger than to go for a run.
Do you like Ossie’s colourful and flamboyant costumes?
I really do. There’s a floor-length, silky dressing gown, which I absolutely love, because it’s so overthe-top and gaudy. For Ossie to have such a grand wardrobe is nice, because we haven’t seen that with the male characters before. Every item of Ossie’s clothing is slightly too small for me, to help accentuate my curves, shall we say. Anyone within a two-metre radius of me was always in danger of losing an eye from a button flying off! POLDARK Is PREVIEWED ON pages 44-55
True colours: Now wed to Morwenna, Ossie’s odious real character is revealed Loathsome and louche: The rakish Reverend Whitworth