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Shirtless scything scene was not a publicity shot, reveals Poldark star – The Guardian

Image was originally a behind-the-scenes photo but makeup artist was airbrushed out, says Aidan Turner
His shirtless scenes in BBC One’s Poldark turned him into a national heart-throb and became some of the most memorable moments in TV history.
But Aidan Turner says the image of his bare-chested, scythe-wielding physique was not supposed to be a publicity shot.
The 39-year-old said he cannot look at the image without thinking of the hair and makeup designer Jacquie Fowler, who was in the original behind-the-scenes photo.
Fowler was captured covering up a tattoo that Turner got on a holiday in Tenerife some years ago but was later Photoshopped out of the image.
“The first thing I think of when I see the photograph is that they airbrushed out the makeup artist who was covering a tattoo,” Turner told Radio Times. “I always think of Jacquie Fowler and how she didn’t make that photograph. She was right there, painting out a tattoo.”
Images of the actor playing the smouldering Ross Poldark prompted a debate about the focus on his topless body but Turner said he did not feel objectified.
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“Was it safer to make a big deal of this photograph because it was a young man? Would it have been handled the same way in the press if it was a young woman? I don’t know. Possibly not. But I didn’t feel objectified,” he said.
Turner said it made sense for him to be in shape for the show, which ran for five series between 2015 and 2019.
“I figured in my preparation that, given Ross Poldark was a very active guy, and the sort of diet he’d be on, it just felt right to get myself into that. He’s a farmer, he’s working, he’s riding a horse all the time, he’s a soldier,” he told the magazine.
The hit period drama helped BBC One to its highest share of an audience in a decade.
Turner will star in the ITV thriller The Suspect, in which he plays a clinical psychologist, Joe O’Loughlin, who has just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
The series, which begins next Monday, is adapted from Michael Robotham’s novel and comes from the producers of Line of Duty.

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