Bonus: Team Demelza

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Related to: Poldark, Season 2

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Eleanor Tomlinson—who plays Demelza Poldark—comments on recent events as shocking as a slap in the face.

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Jace Lacob (Jace): The latest episode of Poldark was a real slap in the face… Tread carefully if you haven’t yet seen Episode 7, and don’t want to find out what we meant by that.

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Jace: I’m Jace Lacob and you’re listening to a bonus episode of MASTERPIECE Studio.

Demelza Poldark has always been weary of Ross and Elizabeth’s relationship, and no one knows it more than Demelza’s long-time confidant, Verity.

Demelza: Ross would never mean to hurt me, but I think if it came to a choice between me and Elizabeth… And with Elizabeth now free…
Verity: You cannot believe that!

Jace: As it turns out, Demelza’s fears were not unfounded.

Ross’s late-night visit to Trenwith ended with him and Elizabeth in bed.

And Demelza, being the beautiful and strong woman that she is, let him know how she felt about it the morning after.

Aidan: People are saying slapped. She hit me. That was a, that was a …
Jace: I was …
Aidan: That was a left hook. That was, she …
Jace: Yeah.
Aidan: That was a closed fist. That was a pretty …
Jace: She, she gave as good as she got, though.
Aidan: (Laughs)
Jace: Though Aidan Turner has his own take on the slap or punch or whatever it was, today I sit down with Eleanor Tomlinson, who plays Demelza Poldark, to talk about giving Ross a beat down, and to get her take on the betrayal.

Jace: Welcome.

Eleanor: Thank you.

Jace: One of my favorite moments in this entire season, is when Demelza slaps Ross across the face, after realizing that he has cheated on her with Elizabeth.

Ross: What can I say? It was something I cannot explain. You must see I had no choice.
Demelza: Nor I. [Hits Ross]
Jace: Can you talk about shooting this scene and what it was like getting into that, sort of, anger and fury that Demelza is feeling right now?

Eleanor: Oh, I think the betrayal is something so enormous that, you know, the fact that they’ve been through so much; they’ve lost their child together. Demelza constantly supports Ross in everything that he does, and he just cannot get her out of his system, and in a rage, goes round, does this despicable deed, without considering Demelza, at all, and he says, “You must see, this had to be done”, which is the most extraordinary thing to say to someone. And I don’t know quite how I’d react if someone ever said that to me.

It’s outrageous that he feels that he can just walk all over their relationship. And he’s ruined– He has set a problem in store for the rest of their marriage. That is something that Demelza will never get over.

Jace: Did you actually make contact with Aidan in that scene?

Eleanor: No, of course not! (Laughs)

Jace: It looks like it. I mean, he goes– He’s flying. It’s pretty remarkable…

Eleanor: Yeah. He’s very good at odd stunts, is Aidan.

No, no, no. But, yeah, it was a really fierce hit and it comes from this, kind of guttural feeling of betrayal and hurt and… You know, it’s anger at its peak.

Jace: I mean, the weight of that moment, I feel like, has been building over the last 8 episodes. Does it dissipate with this slap? Or is this just the beginning?

Eleanor: Oh, it’s just the beginning, definitely. I think, when you’re that hurt, nothing you do makes any difference to the pain that you feel. I think what it does, is it just satisfies her a little bit. But, you know, she just knocked him off his high horse, you know, she just brought him down to reality of what he’s done.

So, I think, it’s actually just the beginning of the heartbreak and the journey that they then have to go on, which will continue into, you know, Series 3. You can’t get over something like that. You can just put it to one side and ignore it, but it will always be there.

Jace: I mean, the slap is at odds with the stocking scene in Episode 6, where Ross purchases a pair of silk stockings for Demelza, partly as an apology for neglecting her, as he tends to do this season, but also as proof of his longing for her. What did you make of that scene and is there a chance that they could get back to that intimacy again, or has he destroyed it, at this point?

Eleanor: I think, there is always hope and I think Demelza has that quality that she can probably… She can’t forget, and I wouldn’t say that she can forgive, but she can certainly put it to one side, and the most important thing to her is her son. You know, it wasn’t like it is now, you know, you can’t just divorce somebody. She could leave him, but what kind of life would she have? But, you know, they have a massive journey to go on, yet. And there’s a lot of, you know, obstacles that are going to get in the way.

Jace: What is your take on the love triangle at this point, and what does Elizabeth offer Ross that Demelza can’t?

Eleanor: Elizabeth doesn’t offer Ross anything that Demelza can’t.

Jace: (Laughs)

Eleanor: He’s always loved this woman. They’ve always had this undeniable chemistry, undeniable love for each other, and he can’t let that go, but he doesn’t realize that until he’s got it out of his system.

Jace: That’s why I’m #TeamDemelza, that’s what I’ll say.

Jace: Where will the love triangle go from here? Find out in next week’s episode, airing November 20th at 9 pm ET on MASTERPIECE.

Then after the show, Heida Reed returns to the podcast to give us her take on all of the drama.

Heida Reed: And even if they hate her guts, as long as they hate her with a passion because they have passion for the story and… Yeah. You know, I’m not there to, to get hugs and kisses.

Jace: Like what you heard on today’s episode? Leave us a rating or write us a  review on iTunes and tell us why.

And be sure to subscribe to MASTERPIECE Studio on iTunes or Stitcher — or wherever you get your podcasts — to be among the first to get new episodes of the show.

MASTERPIECE Studio is hosted by me, Jace Lacob and produced by Rachel Aronoff.  Kathy Tu is our editor. Special thanks to Barrett Brountas and Nathan Tobey. The executive producer of MASTERPIECE is Rebecca Eaton.

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