TOWN & COUNTRY – The actress and model Gabriella Wilde is every bit the carefree English rose of the fashion world, yet her pseudonym conceals her aristocratic heritage. Here, the scion of the Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe clan tells Sasha Slater about her role on the new series of Poldark and family life in the country as she wear’s A/W 15’s dresses with her signature poise…
Poldark may have been notable last season principally for Aidan Turner’s impressive topless scything skills. But the next series of the Cornish bodice ripper will be lightened up by Gabriella Wilde, playing a saucy young heiress, Caroline Penvenen, come to sow chaos among the copper mines. ‘She’s fun, bright, witty, but she can be badly behaved at times… she ruffles a few feathers,’ says Wilde.
By contrast, the actress herself is blissfully domesticated. She married Alan Pownall, the lead singer of the electro- pop band Pale, last September, and together they have a son, Sasha, who is now almost two years old. Home for the family is three old farm cottages knocked together in Somerset: ‘I grew up in the country,’ she says. ‘So I always knew I wouldn’t bring up my children in London. It’s too hectic.’
This is not yet a bucolic haven though, and sounds quite as chaotic as the capital: ‘We’re knee deep in mud and dust because we’re doing the house up,’ she says with a sigh. ‘And my husband’s here most of the time running the building work.’ She also recently added a huge-pawed and clumsy Italian mastiff puppy called Turtle to the mix.
Wilde started her career as a teenage model before mov- ing on to acting, and has starred in The Three Musketeers opposite Orlando Bloom, a remake of the horror film Carrie and the first-love melodrama Endless Love with Alex Pettyfer. ‘Modelling is something that goes hand in hand with act- ing these days,’ she says. ‘And I enjoy it more than I used to – my involvement in the creative process is deeper.’ As one of the faces of Estée Lauder, and a permanent fixture on Poldark, she is looking for ‘a life that’s more predictable, one where you can build relationships and you’re not just flying in and out. Modelling can be very transitory, and that’s not what I want’.