8 TV TIMES
s TV Times meets
Jack Farthing on
the Poldark set in
Bristol, he is – by
his own admission
- ‘trussed up’ in a tailcoat and
court shoes, having just filmed
the scene where his character,
George Warleggan, is knighted.
It’s not an outfit Jack is keen on,
and probably the only thing he won’t
miss about the BBC1 drama when it
bows out at the end of this series.
‘Yes, I won’t miss these heels,
that’s for sure,’ laughs Jack. ‘They’re
Cuban in the extreme and I look like
an antelope, as if I’m trotting along!
And when I’m angry in them, it’s an
absolute joke – I’m wobbling!’
Of course, for fans of Poldark,
George has been the man we’ve all
loved to hate. His endless run-ins
with Ross Poldark, cruel business
dealings and constant need for one-
upmanship have had us booing
from our sofas on Sunday nights.
But this series has shown us a
different side to George. His grief
over wife Elizabeth’s death has been
so raw and powerful that last week
he contemplated taking his own life.
Jack, 33, tells us why George has
been the character of a lifetime...
How have you found
descent into madness?
It’s been a challenge for me
as an actor. George has
been struck by Elizabeth’s
death like he’s never been
struck by anything. It’s
been seismic for him, he’s
had to go to some very dark
places and he’s kind of
post-traumatic. There are
still huge challenges ahead
for him – for a great chunk
of this series
he’s definitely reeling and his grief
goes in waves. It’s profound.
Did you do a lot of research?
I met three psychiatrists, one of
whom deals specifically in the type
of grief George goes through. I
haven’t experienced anything as
serious as George, but hopefully
we got somewhere truthful.
George is still in cahoots with slave
trader Ralph Hanson, isn’t he?
He’s never going to be perfect! It’d
be a disservice to him as a character
to strip away his capabilities as a
villain – he’s definitely still villainous,
but there’s more of a sense of him as
a human being this series. At times
he’s unforgivably hateful, but he’s
also like a little puppy!
He’s being set up to marry Cecily,
Ralph’s daughter and Geoffrey
Charles’ love interest. How does
he feel about that?
It’s a business transaction more
than anything else and it’s not
something he’s diving
into with his heart
beating. George is
wounded and is
much more in the
never love again’ camp. Then when
Geoffrey Charles falls in love with
Cecily, there are fireworks
because of it. Their
Yes, their priorities have
changed. They’re still pitted against
each other but the days of fighting in
the pub are behind them. There’s a
kind of maturity to them, but they’re
still capable of childish behaviour.
They’ve got this traumatic common
ground that they share.
You must be feeling sad about
saying goodbye to George...
Yes, definitely. You put part of what
you own into that character. I don’t
think I’m like George necessarily,
but undoubtedly there are bits of
me that he’s become more like. I’ve
really loved playing him, so it will be
sad to leave him behind, although I
don’t think it’s really sunk in yet.
Can you tell us what your last
scene is like?
It’s satisfying and moving and
clever! Actually, I think my last
word might be ‘goodbye’. I should
have done it to camera, like,
‘Thanks for watching!’
Were you allowed to take
Yeah, my pockets are full!
Seriously, George’s stuff
is all so ridiculously
extravagant. A golden
marble table in my little flat?
Probably not! Actually, I don’t
know why I took it, but I’ve got one
of these horrible two-piece black
suits, a tailcoat and trousers.
I must auction it!
I’d quite like to
where I can
in jeans! It’s
the opposite of
what you’ve just
done, but roles like
George are often the most
interesting psychologically, and
I’d rather be playing someone
like him than a do-gooder!
I don’t want to be in heels
again, though... or
maybe just in heels
in a different way!
Poldark star Jack
Farthing on why his
character has been
the role of a lifetime
SUNDAY / BBC1 / 9PM
Ralph wants his
to marry George