Historical Friction

by Natasha Wolff | June 19, 2015 2:45 pm

When Winston Graham first published Ross Poldark in 1945, the British novelist could never have known how impactful his story of a soldier returning from the Revolutionary War would be. Indeed, 70 years later Poldark[1] is not only a beloved series of novels but is now in its second run as a BBC series. And while the latest reboot has already aired to great acclaim on its home soil, it’s only now making it to the U.S. 

Heida Reed stars in the series as Elizabeth Chynoweth, the one-time sweetheart of the title character who, in his absence, has agreed to marry his cousin. Here, she explains why she wore pajamas to work and how her character’s virtue impacted her life off-screen.

Elizabeth is, from the get-go, a bit of a heartbreaker. What made you want to play her? 

The story was so compelling I couldn’t put the script[2] down once I saw it. And you feel for everyone, and you want to share each character’s point of view. Elizabeth is kind of a blessing and a curse, but she has very high morals and she always sticks by what she says she’s going to do. She’s very righteous, and I thought that was quite nice. Sometimes I think about what she would do in certain situations, and I know what the right thing to do would be.

The show’s already aired in the U.K. and is now making its American debut. How does it feel to go through all of this for a second time? 

It’s really exciting; hopefully the reaction or the response will be as good as it was here. We really are so lucky and grateful with how people responded to the show, so we’re all quite positive and excited about how it’s going to go.

You were stuck in a corset[3] for a good part of the series. I can’t imagine that was your favorite thing.

It was difficult and quite painful but, you know, it’s amazing to take them off. I would show up in sweats—basically, I just wear my pajamas to work—and I would keep my sweats in the make up trailer so that as soon as the day was over, I got undressed and put my pajamas back on. 

Well, the costumes are incredible. In fact, the whole production—considering the series takes place right after the Revolutionary War—looks great. 

It’s stunning. The series is set in Cornwall, so all the exteriors are shot there. We spent six weeks down there, but mostly we spent time in a studio in Bristol.

And despite the painful costumes, did you have a good time?

Every day was very cool, because I was always working with the people I consider my closest friends. I really respected them and I think it’s fantastic what they’ve done with the characters. 

You’ll start filming the second season in September. Is there anything you’re hoping comes Elizabeth’s way?

I haven’t seen the script yet, so I don’t know the answer to that one. I wouldn’t mind having slightly more heated arguments. I’m just looking forward to playing a stronger character than she was in the beginning.

  1. Poldark: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/poldark/
  2. script: http://dujour.com/culture/jason-omara-complications-interview/
  3. corset: http://dujour.com/style/eve-hewson-chanel-photos-interview/

Source URL: https://dujour.com/culture/poldark-heida-reed-interview/