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Kyle Soller on making the subject the object
‘The only method I have,’ muses Kyle Soller, ‘and it’s one that transcends all my roles, is to just do as much research as I possibly can.’ And that amounts to a lot of learning, as, for a young actor, 33-year-old Soller’s resume is surprisingly long. From his early theatre work in the West End, via films such as Anna Karenina and The Fifth Estate, to television work including The Hollow Crown, You, Me and the Apocalypse and his best-known role as Francis Poldark, the American actor has played a range of parts – and he is an expert in every single one. ‘Whether that be reading up about the time period, or a person, or – for You, Me and the Apocalypse – learning about various disaster scenarios, I just gain as much knowledge as possible – to try to become an expert on whatever that character is about. ‘Otherwise, the audience can see the chinks – they can see the fakery.’ Soller was initially spotted by the Poldark producers while performing in the West End. ‘Several years back,’ he says, ‘I did three plays back-to-back – and I think that was the most significant period of growth in my career.’ And Soller, who singles out fellow American Sam Rockwell as an inspiration – ‘I dig how interesting his choices are, working in both theatre and film’ – is soon to return to the stage. ‘I’ve just finished shooting a film,’ the actor reveals, ‘but I’m actually just about to start rehearsals for Hedda Gabler at the National Theatre with Ruth Wilson – something I still can’t get my head around!’