Wonderland.

ELEANOR TOMLINSON

The Poldark fave on making her venture into the music world.

Known for her impressive backlog and striking role in the BAFTA winning show Poldark, Eleanor Tomlinson has herself an already established career in the acting world.

Since braving singing on screen in Poldark for the very first time, Eleanor has since spoke about a folk-inspired album being in the works and hurrah the day is finally here! Teaming up with Anne Dudley (Poldark composer) to produce the perfect record for the supporters that inspired Eleanor to go forward in this musical direction.

We finally grab a minute with the lady herself as she departs from the 18th century glamour of Poldark to join us in the now to give us all the inside details on what to expect with her debut record, Tales From Home.

From acting to embarking a singing career – what made you want to delve into music?

I don’t really see it as a singing career to be honest, I see it as something that came of singing in Poldark and I’m very grateful to have been approached to do this and to collaborate again with Anne Dudley is fantastic – she’s amazing!

I think it’s been an opportunity that I’m very thankful of, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a singer.

Are they both equally as challenging?

Yeah, absolutely. They’re both very different challenges and singing I’m obviously not used to so I was out of my comfort zone a lot and I had to work very hard with Anne Dudley, but she was incredibly helpful and guided my through it; she was a constant support from Poldark to creating this album so I couldn’t have done it without her.

Debut album Tales From Home – long time in the making?

Yeah it has been a long time in the making… We started in August last year but it took a few months to decide on song choices. I’d say it’s taken a year from first starting to talk about it to actually doing it and creating the final product.

Tales From Home is a collection of folk-influenced covers (Carol King, Bonnie Raitt) – why did you choose to cover these particular songs?

They’re all songs that are from my childhood, songs I heard growing up that even my mum would sing around the house or my grandmother would sing. We were always having these family parties at home and at some point or another someone would turn that type of music on.

They are songs that I’ve heard from people I love as I’ve been growing up and by doing my own versions it’s incorporating those memories into this album.

Is writing original music for yourself something you’d be interested in for the future?

Never say never! I think at this stage in my life I’m concentrating on acting and I wouldn’t consider myself a songwriter because I have no experience in that but you know, I may be sitting down one day and suddenly come up with a hit record, who knows? [laughs]

Is the folk genre the sound you always knew you wanted to go with?

That wasn’t really ever discussed because it was the sounds I grew up listening to so I knew it was going to be very much along those lines, it felt natural to me.

“I may be sitting down one day and suddenly come up with a hit record, who knows?”

Poldark fans inspired you to make the album – did you ever expect to receive so much love when you first appeared on the show?

No not at all, I’ve been blown away by it. It’s been incredibly supported and it’s been wonderful to have had that from people. I couldn’t have done something like create an album if people hadn’t suggested it to me or pushed me to do it.

Did you ever think Poldark was going to be a huge success and be nominated for a BAFTA?

You never know with anything if it’s going to be a huge success, you just hope it’s received well and gets good reviews. Things have really taken off and a lot of people really love it which I find amazing, I just feel incredibly grateful.

You have singing and acting under your belt – any wishes to combine the two in say theatre or musicals?

Not at this stage but you never know what comes along. It’s not to say I wouldn’t but I haven’t been approached about doing that kind of thing; it might be fun and it’ll certainly be a challenge.

I reckon it’d be quite the experience…

It’d be terrifying! But a lot of fun I imagine.

How did it feel jumping out of your comfort zone and singing in Poldark?

It was the first scene we filmed for the first season of Poldark and yeah, it was absolutely terrifying. Sometimes you just have to embrace the moment and think to yourself, “okay, this is fine, I can do it,” and here we are now!

You’ve featured in the first ever oil painted feature film Loving Vincent (big deal, duh!) – was it surreal seeing the visuals being brought to life?

To be honest that was all done in post-production so we film it like you would anything else except there was a lot of green screen and it was all in a studio on set but with very specific props on location.

What they were very keen to do is every time you first ever see a character it’s exactly how Van Gogh painted them so we were matching his paintings along the way. It wasn’t until much later down the line–a good year and a half after we’d filmed it–that they finally had some of these paintings compiled together. The way they do it is extraordinary: they scratch out your eyes, eyebrows and mouth and repaint them all in.

How surreal was it seeing the finished product for the first time?

It was incredible to see! We were honoured to be a part of it because it’s lovely to be involved in something that’s the first of its kind.

What’s next in the pipeline for Eleanor Tomlinson?

I have another song called “Collect” which is due to be released at the end of the year or next year I believe and that follows the life story of Gabriella Sidonie Colette. She was a pioneer of women’s independence and women as writers being able to write under their own name, she was very much bullied into writing under her husband’s name but eventually she fights and publishes her own work and receiving the credit for that.

And with Tales From Home can we expect any live performances?

Not at this stage. I think because I’m still nervous of it because it’s such a new thing I need guiding through it a little bit. Anne Dudley who composed the whole thing is very supportive of me and there’s talk of doing a few potential gigs but at minute I find that terrifying so I’m not quite sure!

Words
Jordan White
ELEANOR TOMLINSON

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