At first glance, Rory Wilton gives off a serious, quite intense impression with his deep set brow and dark bearded features. His acting is powerful, focused and severely direct. If you didn't know the man, you may even be a tad nervous to approach him... but then he smiles - warm, bold and bright - and the true Rory Wilton shines through. The man is all charm! He is kind, considerate and has a sense of humor that will keep you forever entertained! Being around him feels like you have entered a party where the fun never ends - but of course, there is a flip side. Rory is a dedicated man who takes his work very seriously. He is the true embodiment of an actor. A multi-talented artist who is driven beyond words. Once you see him give himself away to a performance, you will not forget him anytime soon - and that's a promise!
Lloyd James Photography
Emma Spurgin Hussey is beautiful on the inside and out. Her auburn flowing locks and soft, pleasant smile brings to mind the peace and serenity of a warm breeze sifting through the branches of a cherry blossom tree on a bright sunny day. No kidding. She is a caring, compassionate individual who generates love for miles around her. Emma has given her heart over to support so many good causes, always using her free time to remind the people around her of what is truly most important in this world - Of course, that being "love".
But this is not all there is to Emma. No, not at all, indeed. Emma is made up of art. She is an actor first, but her talents are limitless. She is strong and has a very creative way of thinking. She is fiery, yet gentle and deeply emotional. Emma Spurgin Hussey is a woman you will always want on your side...or in your production.
Photo: Oak Farm Studio
Photo: Poochi Purtill and David Snowden
We, at Cool Magazine, recently had the honor of being able to chat with this fine, talented couple. We got to catch up with Rory and Emma on some of those cool things you'd like to know about your favorite celebs, like lifestyle, career and favorite tv shows to binge-watch! And of course, these two absolutely lovely, artists were only happy to share their personal thoughts and opinions with us, so we can now bring it to YOU, the awesome readers of Cool Magazine!
Rory Wilton, Aidan Turner and Emma Spurgin Hussey
When fused together, as life and art would have it, Rory and Emma are a dynamic duo. A powerhouse of talent, if you will. These two immensely creative people have joined forces as partners in life and produced lovely artistic offspring for the world to enjoy. The power couple give a new meaning to the word 'team work' having worked together successfully for over a decade. Side by side they have acted in numerous theatre, television and film productions, as well as becoming Co-Artistic Directors for the Bedlam Theatre Company of Cornwall, writing, directing and performing for the company which has toured nationally since 1988.
These two visual artists have recently received tremendous exposure for their work in the 2015 British television drama series Poldark. The ratings for the series debut was record breaking, having been seen by over 8 million viewers, skyrocketing it's cast into intant fame. Though Wilton and Spurgin Hussey's roles as Richard Tonkin and Mrs. Zacky Martin were only on-screen for a limited time in comparison to other cast members, the two immediately became fan favorites among critics and social media all over the world.
COOL: When did you realize you wanted to act? And what do you love about it?
EMMA: "I came to acting fairly late. I’d enjoyed it at school, but we never did very much of it, and when I was 13 they scrapped the drama department at school because it was ‘uneconomic’. And I think people need this sort of outlet during their teenage years almost more than they do as young children. I was rather shy and didn’t seek performance opportunities out of school. I dropped out of university when I was 18 – lots of reasons – and was unemployed for about 9 months. Then a family friend said, ‘This girl’s a frustrated performer’ and suggested a school. It sounded good, so I applied. It’s strange because I just felt it was something I needed to try. And I loved it! I remember one day at drama school doing an improvisation with another woman, and I suddenly felt, ‘I feel at home here’. And there hadn’t been many places or situations where I’d felt that. Why do I love it? I still feel at home when I’m working, even though sometimes I get frustrated with myself. But it’s lovely to know there’s still so much to learn, because I love learning. I also love working together with others on a shared project."
RORY: "I actually came to acting quite late in life. I was in my early twenties and at a point in my life where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. One day I came across an advert for places at The Hub Theatre School and thought ‘that’s it!’ So, after only ever having acted in school plays – we didn’t have a drama department – I auditioned and got in!! I think the thing that really hooked me into acting was how you could become another person when playing a role, immerse yourself into their world temporarily and allow them to work through you. It was quite a revelation for someone who spent most of their childhood suffering from chronic shyness! But now after 25 years of working professionally, the things I really love about it are the adventure. You never know what’s around the corner - and the fact that as an actor you are always learning and developing your craft. You never get a chance to get bored!
COOL: Emma, How did you and Rory first meet?
EMMA: "I was part of Bedlam Theatre Company of Cornwall, which at the time was a co-operative. Rory came to audition for a show we were doing. The audition venue was a former school at St Blazey – and we’d turned up at the wrong closed school. I think now it might have been in St Blazey Gate. Anyway, a couple of other people drove off to see if they could find the right venue and Rory and I sat on a wall and chatted. Rory remembers the gloves I was wearing, but I don’t know why I had gloves on because it was only early September and quite sunny."
COOL: What was the vibe like on the set of Poldark? And what was it like working with Aidan Turner?
RORY: "On season one the atmosphere on set was one of great excitement. Almost everyone involved knew we were part of something really, really special. It was as if there was a buzz under your skin and constant butterflies in your stomach! Sounds a bit of a fairy-tale I know, but that’s how ‘most’ of us felt on season one! Every day of filming was great, we had lovely weather, a great and happy crew, and nearly everyone got on like a house on fire! Season two was a little trickier though, ITV had just bought Mammoth Screen, only a matter of weeks before we started filming, and most of us hadn’t heard anything from Mammoth about what was happening with Poldark – especially if we were wanted back! So, everything was a little last minute and constantly changing. I won’t go into details here as it’s not appropriate whilst the show is still airing – ask me again once Poldark has finished - But suffice to say season two was less ‘exciting’ to work on. BUT, I did get paid lots of money to hug my mate Aidan on screen. We kept giggling so we had to do loads of takes too. I really enjoy working with Aidan, he’s my kind of actor: dedicated, focused, really working his craft and a generous actor to work with – and on top of that he’s a genuinely lovely person. I’m really pleased the show has gone on to such success, and I’m still quietly hoping that Mammoth might bring Tonkin back from his boatyard in Looe, one last time…"
EMMA: "It was very enjoyable because we were treated royally. I did most of my work on the first season, and a little on the second, but wasn’t called for the third. So my information’s probably rather out of date! I remember it as being a lot of fun, and pretty much everybody was very welcoming and nice to work with. I had to learn a lot about acting for camera, as most of my work up to then had been in theatre. If I only had one word to describe Aidan it would be ‘focused’. He worked tremendously hard as it was clear from the start that much of the show rested on his shoulders. He had loads of lines to learn, worked long days – and then I think had to do a lot of exercising to keep ‘scythe-ready’! There were times when he was able to relax, though, and he was good fun and often kind."
COOL: Emma, you are a serious activist and supporter of many good causes by the posts on your social media pages. What is one of the most important causes that you really want the people to become more aware of? And why?
EMMA: "I wish I was able to do more. I often feel mine’s a bit of a scattergun approach. With the sort of work I do, you don’t get a regular income, and a lot of the time money can be very tight. So I can’t support very many charities with regular donations, but I do sign and share petitions, email my MP, things like that. There are so many brilliant charities, and I’m sure lots could do with being better-known. One that I’d like to highlight is one that I’ve only recently become aware of – and it’s based in Truro! It’s called The Global Natural Healthcare Trust, and its founder and one of the trustees spoke movingly at the Poldark Banquet the other day. This is it's website: www.gnhct.com where you can learn more about the vital work they do with people in South Africa whose lives have been affected by AIDS. If anyone can help by donating, or by sharing the charity’s details with friends, that would be really lovely."
Rory, What is your favorite role that you ever played?
RORY: "That’s a really difficult question. I think on screen it’s probably Richard Tonkin, just because it’s such a treasured show and he’s given me such global exposure and opened industry doors that otherwise wouldn’t have been open to me. But on stage it has to be The Man in Emma’s play Axe for the Frozen Sea, about Franz Kafka, which we toured, with our theatre company Bedlam Theatre Company of Cornwall, twice to huge acclaim. Emma and I were virtually two sides of one character and had to deliver speech both simultaneously and finish each other sentences throughout the two hours. It was exhausting, and a very physical show, but left the audiences in a huge emotional mess every night. Which is what you pay your money for when you go to the theatre!"
Photo: Theresa Outing
COOL: Rory, you and Emma have worked together on so many acting jobs that include Poldark, Surreal Hospital, Doc Martin and All In the Valley. Is it more difficult to fall into character playing opposite someone that, in reality, you are more close to, or is it actually more comfortable?
RORY: "It’s actually more comfortable. We have acted together since 1992 and have spent 100’s of hours on stage and now on screen together, so we know we can absolutely rely on each other when acting, no matter what. It’s ironic, on stage and screen we’ve played everything from lovers to actually killing each other – but in real life we have hardly ever had an argument. But we’re completely happy when acting to scream in each other faces. There’s a trust and reliance between us that either takes a while to develop with another actor, or has to be assumed when your thrown together on screen. We’re waiting for Doc Martin to actually put us together as a couple on the show – I think that would be a treat for us and the fans. Ironically in Poldark we were almost cast together as…. But that’s another story."
COOL: Emma, We read in one of your bios that you are an Animal Handler. How interesting! We love animals! What does something like Animal Handling entail? And what is the most exotic animal that you have ever handled?
EMMA: "Oh, dear! I feel a bit of a fraud – or at least a disappointment. I put that on because I used to work with horses when I was in my teens. I do like animals, and tend to get on quite well with them, especially horses and cats. I one held a tarantula, though. Rory didn’t want to."
COOL: Rory, we read that you are also an artist in your pastime. What kind of art do you do? Painting, drawing, Sculpting...?
RORY: "Before I ever thought of becoming an actor I was an artist, I went to art in school in the beautiful city of Bath and focused on painting and sculpture – mostly portrait work – which back the mid 80’s was a bad choice unfortunately, as it was all about abstract and industrial wastelands. But I also used to be an illustrator for a number of underground sci-fi comics, something that I think eventually led me to acting, as it was storytelling in a different form – comics are after all story boards with dialogue! As Marvel and DC have gone on to prove!"
Photo: Oak Farm Studio
Photo: Poochi Purtill and David Snowden
COOL: Have you ever binge-watched a television series, and if so, which one?
RORY: "Yes, lots. We are huge binge watchers. Most recently we devoured Penny Dreadful. Wish I’d been in that, re-watched Stranger Things, in readiness of season 2. I’m working my way through season 2 of The Expanse - top quality sci-fi - and after years of resisting it earlier this year we consumed and became totally addicted to – Game of Thrones - of course!. And we’ll probably start to re-watch that soon as post season 7 withdrawal symptoms are kicking in! And before you consider asking – don’t….."
EMMA: "Left to my own devices I’m more of a reader than a viewer, but when Rory and I are together we tend to watch a fair bit. Things we have binge-watched include: Game of Thrones; Westworld; The Living and the Dead; Penny Dreadful; Whitechapel; Sherlock; Peaky Blinders; Ripper Street…"
COOL: What is one of your favorite places to go in Cornwall that you would highly recommend to a travelling visitor?
EMMA: "This walk: Rocky Valley walk - The link doesn’t give you much sense of the whole Rocky Valley experience, but it’s extraordinary – following a stream through woodland, past ancient labyrinth rock carvings near the ruined mill, through a rather dramatic gorge and to the cliffs and sea. It’s not a long walk but quite diverse. In spring you see primroses and violets."
RORY: "Hmmmm, that’s’ tricky as there are so many beautiful places to go!!! But I think everyone should go to Polperro on the south coast out of season to get an idea of what a real Cornish fishing village would have been like, the Roseland peninsula to see the softer side of the county - extraordinary hidden beaches - and any of the North Coast beaches - walk the whole length of Hayle beach on a quiet day - or Bedruthan Steps when the tide is out - and your feeling fit as there are 1000’s of steps to get to the beach!"
COOL: What's next for you? Any projects or ideas in the works?
EMMA: "Rory and I will continue to run our weekly youth theatre workshops, and I have some teaching work at a university on Comedy of Manners and also Acting for Camera. Writing-wise, I’ve been commissioned to do a play about women’s lives in Cornwall during World War 1, I recently finished the first draft of a children’s book, and am working on a stage play and one for radio. Next month I’ve got a couple of days work on a horror film, playing a sinister pub landlady! I’ll also be recording four audio books."
RORY: "My next definite work is for November/December, I’m appearing in The Mousehole Cat, a family Christmas show being staged in the tiny fishing village of Mousehole, near Penzance – which is being played in a purpose built converted net loft theatre - the show is scheduled to tour the US in 2018 - then in the new year I have three feature film roles lined up and a role in a huge piece of installation theatre commemorating WW1 next June/July. But who knows what might have popped into my inbox whilst I’ve been answering these questions!"
COOL: Any words of wisdom or encouragement to those who look to you for inspiration?
RORY: "I think the most important thing is to enjoy where you are right now – you only get now once, look forward to the future, and like the astronaut Chris Hadfield says ‘always be ready to play guitar for Elton John’ because you never know what’s just around the corner!!!"
EMMA: "I’d say, ‘Don’t! Find someone more sensible!’ The sum total of my wisdom isn’t huge, I’m afraid, but here it is: Every human being needs to be kind, funny and curious. At some point quite early in life we all decide whether we can best cope with boredom or fear, and the choices we make reflect this. Don’t care what people think. Care what people feel. It’s better to be confidently wrong than nervously right - I say this to our youth theatre, but I don’t think it applies to all of life – politics, for example."
Getting to know Rory and Emma while conducting this interview was a true pleasure. They are two of the most delightful people to be around and an inspiration to those who have the strong desire to create and accomplish, while never forgetting to enjoy the life around them. They bring happiness and love to those who follow them and they never stop reaching for the stars. They are dreamers, achievers and hopeful art leaders - and this is exactly the reason why we believe that Rory Wilton and Emma Spurgin Hussey are so cool. - by M & J Shepherd
Find out more about Rory & Emma on Spotlight!