Poldark begins soon on BBC One and we’ve been talking to the cast about the making of the much anticipated series, here Heida Reed, who plays Elizabeth, reveals that horse riding was the hardest part of filming.
Growing up in Iceland, Heida wasn’t aware of Poldark but instantly loved the wide open spaces of Cornwall where they filmed much of the drama.
“I felt like when we were down in Cornwall the whole story came together in my head. The landscape is so vital in the storytelling and when we were there it all fitted together. That Cornish vista is such a part of the story and people’s inner lives and it is an incredible place.”
Heida believes her character, Elizabeth, is a victim of her own moral code.
“Elizabeth is fundamentally a nice, genuinely warm person and Debbie (Horsfield) has done an amazing job at bringing her alive and making my job so easy!
“I think she is very much a lady of her time, trapped in her own world. It is important for Elizabeth to know her place in society and be respected by those around her. She could follow her heart more but she feels morally she must do the right thing even if she suffers for it. Elizabeth never voices regret but I think her predicament will strike a chord with people today.
“It was an awful miscommunication and Elizabeth is the type of person who will do the right thing and stick with her decisions because that is what she thinks a good person does – and that still stands in modern society.
“But of course you don’t just turn your feelings off and that is where Demelza comes into it. That is also where I fell in love with Elizabeth and realised what a generous person she is because she takes Demelza into her home and welcomes her into society more than most others.”
Heida jokes that she was the most high maintenance actor in Poldark – for the costume department!
“I was definitely more time consuming then even Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark,” she laughs. ” I was never done with fittings, the costume department were meticulous and a lot of my fabrics had to be dyed again and again, taken up or down a shade, so they matched my skin tone.
“Over the four years that the series spans, Elizabeth goes through phases and becomes more natural as time moves on as she doesn’t have the time and probably doesn’t care as much.”
What was the hardest part of filming Poldark for Heida?
” I had never ridden a horse before so went to the horse master for lessons before we started filming. I learnt to ride side saddle which was definitely the most challenging and exciting thing I had to do.
“Every time I sat on a horse I used to think he would throw me off and I would die! It was exhilarating and I felt so proud of myself for getting through it. I actually enjoyed riding side saddle – I found it more comfortable than sitting astride.”