Irish Daily Mail
THE WOMAN WHO FINALLY TAMED POLDARK
Heartthrob Aidan Turner has a track record of dating co-stars and it seems like he’s finally found his leading lady as it’s revealed he and Caitlin Fitzgerald have tied the knot
THEY were the pictures that broke the hearts of thousands of fans — the dark-haired actor affectionately smooching his new wife on the romantic streets of Rome, as their wedding rings flashed in the warm Italian dusk. After three years of dating, Aidan Turner tied the knot with fellow thespian Caitlin Fitzgerald in a secret ceremony in the Italian capital last summer, although news of the nuptials has just broken.
The pair met on the set of adventure film The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot and it seems — despite Turner’s previous protestations that he would never date another actress — they couldn’t help falling for each other.
Pictures taken on August 8 show the newlyweds days after tying the knot as they flashed their gold bands while enjoying a romantic al fresco dinner date at Pierluigi’s restaurant in Rome.
In the newly-released images, the loved-up pair seem unable to keep their hands off each other as they sip their drinks, holding on to one another as they gaze into each other’s eyes.
It is believed Fitzgerald also came to Ireland before the pandemic to meet Turner’s extended family — possibly ahead of their big day. Of course, she’s not the first woman with beauty and talent to be seen on the arm of the dashing Dubliner.
But at 37, the man whose shirtless scything in BBC drama Poldark had women everywhere a-quiver is now officially off the market.
Turner was born in Clondalkin, the son of Eileen, an accountant, and Pat, an electrician. He is the youngest of two boys; his brother works for the Revenue.
The family later moved to Walkinstown where growing up he was quite shy so his mum sent him to ballroom dancing classes as she felt it would help him no matter what career he chose. He became quite the champion and could possibly have been headed for an international career before he got bitten by the acting bug when he attended the Gaiety School of Acting, where he dated classmate India Whisker for a short time.
Even then, Turner’s dashing good looks were getting him noticed off stage.
To supplement his acting career, he got a job as a barman in famous Dublin nightclub Lillie’s Bordello, where he proved to be a big hit with the VIP guests.
‘Women would come in just to stare at him,’ said former hostess now wellness guru and television presenter Andrea Hayes, who gave the acting student his position behind the bar. ‘I’m not joking.’
His first big acting break came when he landed the part of receptionist Ruairi MacGowan in RTE’s long-running medical drama The Clinic, taking the seat left vacant by another major success story, Chris O’Dowd, who also played a medical administrator on the show.
Around this time he was dating Charlene McKenna. The thenaspiring acting stars were together from 2007 to 2009 and shared a flat together in London before their relationship ended just weeks after McKenna had said in an interview how happy she was.
McKenna has recently got married in secret herself, to actor Adam Rothenburg, with whom she starred in Ripper Street, although she has said she still has a friendship with Turner.
‘He’s flying and I’m so proud of him,’ she said of Turner in a 2016 interview. ‘We still keep in touch and I knew he would do this well for himself. I always told him he would be a movie star.’
While they lived together, Turner landed his breakthrough role as tortured vampire Mitchell in the BBC Three hit Being Human.
Mitchell was torn between his blood lust and doing the right thing and was keen on leather trousers and coats, allowing Turner to smoulder on screen for the first but certainly not the last time.
He managed to gain a cult following from the role — as well as a new girlfriend in the form of his co-star Lenora Critchlow who played a ghost to Turner’s vampire.
When their relationship ended, Turner also chose to quit his role on the show.
But it was Being Human that got him his role in The Hobbit after director Peter Jackson saw him in the show and was struck by his elfin features. He never made it to the elves though, instead playing a dwarf.
And as his star ascended, he began dating another actress, this time Cork-born Sarah Greene. They had been friends for a few years after meeting on the set of Titus Andronicus, directed by Selina Cartmell at Dublin’s Project Arts Centre; but love didn’t blossom until much later.
‘I played Demetrius, her character wasn’t a named character but we met on that,’ Turner said in a magazine interview. ‘It was all very platonic and we never hooked up or anything, but that’s how we got to know each other. Then years later we just met again and it just sort of took off.’
Turner and Greene became the golden couple of the Irish drama scene, both with careers on the rise. They were together when he landed the role of Ross Poldark in the BBC revival of the Cornish drama that became a huge international success.
The fame that came with the role was difficult for both to handle as Turner is not a fan of being seen as a celebrity while Greene hated people taking photographs of her boyfriend while they went about their daily business.
Though then happy in his relationship with Greene, Turner admitted that he had been heartbroken in the past and it was something he was able to channel into his role as the brooding Ross Poldark, a man torn between two women.
‘I don’t know anyone on this planet who hasn’t had their heart broken,’ he told the Radio Times. ‘It’s happened to me. Love is love,
it’s the purest and rawest thing we have in life.’
As their careers progressed, the couple spent more time apart as Turner was in New Zealand with The Hobbit while Greene was working on projects like Vikings closer to home. But he insisted the distance wasn’t a problem.
‘You meet someone, you fall in love, then you can only see them over Skype or phone calls or texts and emails. And you have this whole other side to your relationship and it’s... it was fun,’ he said in a 2015 interview. He added: ‘We knew we really wanted to be together. And knew if we could do that, we could tackle a lot more. It was never: God, this is hard, bloody hell, we need to review this. This sucks. We never questioned it; it was great. So we had that from the beginning...’
But as the Poldark mania went into overdrive, so did the rumour mill and there were false reports of an engagement and even a secret wedding between himself and Greene. In actual fact the opposite was the case, with the relationship ending in 2015, five years after it started.
Turner then seemed to swear off dating those in the same business, despite his track record. In a press conference for the fourth series of Poldark, he said dating in acting circles meant you could never get away from work, admitting: ‘If you’re in my business and you find somebody who does exactly what you do and you’re living with them, then you’re in the business all the time.
‘You go home, talk about casting directors, you talk about the press, you talk about the next job you’re doing — it can become quite dull and taxing,’ he added.
So instead he was linked to a mystery law graduate, an advertising executive and then the artist Nettie Wakefield, who he dated for around a year before their hectic schedules drove them apart in what was described as an amicable split.
But obviously when he met the stunning blonde Irish-American, Caitlin Fitzgerald, 38, on a film set three years ago, Turner’s new rules went out the window, so bowled over was he by the beauty and talent of his co-star. By the time the film was premiered, the pair already looked smitten, posing on the red carpet together.
Fitzgerald appeared at a concert with Michael Sheen, with whom she starred in Masters of Sex but was seeing Turner at that time and like him, is an intensely private person.
Despite his fame and the stir his bare-chested scything caused, Turner has never been one to chase the celebrity lifestyle — perhaps because of those nights he spent observing celebrities while working behind the bar in Lillie’s.
‘If I allowed myself to let it change my life, it could,’ he has said in the past of his fame. ‘Where there’s celebrity, it’s easy to slip into that — being followed in nightclubs, or dating famous people or getting adverts. I’m just not interested in that stuff.
‘I want to do good work with good actors and filmmakers, read interesting scripts. I didn’t get into this business for celebrity. I did it for my love of film and stories and theatre.’
So although it has now been widely reported that he and Fitzgerald tied the knot in front of his parents Eileen and Pat, neither of them are likely to confirm their nuptials at any stage in the near future.
In fact, the only kissing Turner is likely to talk about is for his role in the film Leonardo, which explores the life and sexuality of Leonardo Da Vinci. In the film we will see Turner as the renaissance artist in a passionate clinch with another man as it explores Da Vinci’s sexuality and his rumoured affair with his apprentice Gian Giacomo Caprotti, better known by his nickname Salai. It is for his art that Turner intends to keep us all guessing as he’d rather we were interested in his roles than his romances.
‘It’s important to me that people don’t know too much about me because I’m trying to play characters,’ he has said in the past.
‘Sometimes you see actors who are really good, but you have trouble separating that actor from the celebrity profile.
‘I don’t want to be one of those guys. It helps that people don’t know a lot about me, I guess.’
‘I didn’t get into this business for celebrity’