TV

Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson on why Demelza is inspirational

'I’ve always seen Demelza as a role model'

She was always a free spirit, an independent woman in a time when men ruled the roost. But in this season of Poldark, Demelza has really flexed her muscles, showing what she's made of.

And actress Eleanor Tomlinson admits portraying Demelza on screen has given her more confidence away from it.

"I've always seen Demelza as a role model," the 26-year-old tells TV WEEK when we catch up on set during the filming of season four.

"She's certainly changed me, having played her for so long. She's quite inspiring.

"Demelza encouraged me to be more independent and strong and to stand by my guns and fight for what I think is right. She works really hard. All that is admirable."

Eleanor stars as Demelza.

Eleanor hopes female viewers are taking note of how important this season's storylines have been for Demelza.

"While Ross has been spending a lot of time in London as a politician, she's been running the mine and farm and looking after the work force, as well as her kids.

"She comes up against some criticism, but it's nothing that Demelza can't handle," she says. "She's always changing; always growing. I love that about her."

Fans have enjoyed the fact that Demelza and Ross (Aidan Turner), after a tentative start, are loved-up once more this season.

In the past, they'd both cheated on each other – he with Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and her with Hugh (Patrick Ryecart).

"I think they've realised that together they're great and they have to maintain that," Eleanor says.

The couple's fiery arguments in the past have been rekindled with some racy sex scenes. The actress admits they're hilarious more than anything.

"It's very funny working with Aidan," she explains. "Most of the time, we're laughing!

"What's also funny is that after having recorded a sex scene, you have to go back and do what is known as ADR – Additional Dialogue Replacement – where you re-record every breath and squeak. I always look forward to that!"

Demelza and Ross (Aidan Turner) have shared many romantic moments.

Playing Demelza has also taught her several unlikely skills.

"I can now gut fish, skin a rabbit, ride a horse side-saddle and do period dancing," she says. "It's great. I'm very lucky to be able to do such things in my work."

Sadly for fans, there's likely to only be just one more season of Poldark. Does Eleanor worry such a high-profile role might pigeonhole her?

"Not at all," she replies.

"I'd be happy if the character stays with me. She's such a great character and it will be nice to be known for playing her. Obviously, it would be nice to do other roles, but I don't want to be rid of Demelza. I love her too much."

Poldark airs Saturday, 8:15pm on ABC.