For the latest in our WISE WORDS interview series - where stars from a whole range of fields share the important life lessons they’ve learned along the way - we’re posing some of the big questions to ‘Poldark’ star ELEANOR TOMLINSON.
After her breakthrough role in ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’, she starred in TV series ‘The White Queen’. But it’s been her stunning, sweet but spirited portrayal of Demelza in ‘Poldark’ that has made audiences sit up and take notice.
Despite this, she tells HuffPostUK it’s probably time for her to break away from period drama, saying: “I don’t worry about type-casting but I’d like to try something different.”
Eleanor wowed audiences with her appearance at the TV Bafta Awards on Sunday evening, but she tells HuffPostUK she’s usually far happier living a very normal life away from the cameras.
She has recently become an ambassador for Trainline, and it was for their recent campaign that Eleanor sat down with us to discuss what she’s absorbed on her climb to success…
What do you do to switch off?
I go home, to East Yorkshire. It’s lovely to get on the train and go back there. I’m not just saying that! I take a book or a script, and it’s two hours to call my own. It’s great to go back to normality. It’s lovely living in London, but it can be lonely at times, so it’s good to go back to your roots. My family lives in a very sweet market town.
I don’t really enjoy having a public profile. It’s lovely that it’s opened up so many doors, but I really just try to go about my normal life.
How do you deal with any negativity that comes your way?
I’m very blessed in an amazing group of friends, so I just speak to them, and thrash it out. There’s no point in sitting on these things.
When and where are you at your happiest?
On set, I love my job what I do, I’m very lucky to have it, I love the character of Demelza. If I didn’t like the character, I wouldn’t take it on. But she’s great, and it’s always a pleasure playing her.
What’s been the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Keep your feet on the ground. Don’t let it get to your head, it’s very easy in this industry, with so many eyes on you, to get an idea of yourself, so it’s really important to go home. Fame is so transitory, one minute it can pick you up, the next it can drop you. It was my mum and dad who made sure I knew that.
What’s been the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?
The rejection of not getting roles, with the amount of auditions you go for. If you’re lucky, you get one thing in about a hundred. The rest of the time, it’s basically dealing with the rejection, it’s incredibly hard, but you have to dust yourself off. If you love something enough, it’s worthwhile doing it.
What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
Enjoy it and make the most of it. There are fabulous opportunities coming round the corner, so make the most of it.
What three things are at the top of your to-do list?
My brother is studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, so I want to visit him; I want to cross Europe by train; and I want to get another great job whether it be a play or film, even though TV is so good these days.
I should probably try and break out of period drama; I don’t worry about type-casting but I’d like to try something different. I also want to spend more time with my family. The cast become my family when I’m away working, but I really do miss my family for those months.
What do you think happens when we die?
Your spirit goes on somewhere, and is constantly around your loved ones. It’s energy, so it has to transform into something, and I find that very comforting.
When have you felt in the presence of something larger than ourselves?
I was lucky enough to meet Stephen Hawking recently and he was extraordinary. I felt very honoured to be in his presence, a real genius, it’s such a rare opportunity.
What is the quality you most prize in your relationships?
What keeps you grounded?
I don’t have a presence on social media, and that really helps me. I can’t be contacted, and that’s lovely, because I want to live a private life. I don’t want to be in the newspapers. So many people are negative for the sake of it, and it’s not healthy to let that into your life. It’s important that you just remember where you’ve come from and work hard, and when a job comes along, you completely immerse yourself in it.
What was the most recent act of kindness you received?
I have such a fabulous group of friends, who are supportive and kind to me on a daily basis, so I would have to say their general friendship every day. A true friend isn’t one on Facebook, it’s one you call and knows to call you on a special day, good or bad.
‘Poldark’ returns in June. Eleanor Tomlinson has teamed up with Trainline to champion mobile tickets and the Trainline app as part of its ‘Lintenair’ campaign.