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Sam Claflin says after starring in new film My Cousin Rachel he could do with learning a few lessons from popular television character Poldark.

The actor plays Philip – a man who suspects his adopted father’s widow (played by Rachel Weisz) of murdering him in Italy. However, when she arrives in England he finds himself falling for her.

Much of the action takes place on a farm and country estate, and in one scene Claflin is seen using a scythe. “That was something I still don’t think I’ve nailed but the film only shows a couple of seconds and that’s plenty.” He laughed. “I’m no Aiden Turner in Poldark – but I try my damnedest.”

The Hunger Games star says another country pursuit he had to get the hang of was horse-riding – which he’d done before, but not to the extent he would on the set of this film.

“This is the first time I think I’ve ever been on the back of a horse and not felt I was holding on for dear life. I think I actually was in control of the horse most of the time,” Claflin said. “That’s become a real love and passion of mine, I genuinely love galloping and feeling the power of a horse between my thighs [laughs]. I think it’s because I’ve always been so terrified before, when you feel in control it’s really exhilarating.”

The film, which is based on the Daphne Du Maurier book of the same name, leaves the viewer guessing whether the mysterious cousin Rachel is a murderous poisoner or simply a misunderstood woman with values ahead of her time.