News Column

ONE TO WATCH David Suchet ; The veteran actor (67) is embarking on his final run as Hercule Poirot, the Belgian The detective he has played for 25 years. first in the series, Poirot: Elephants Can Remember, is on ITV1 tomorrow, at 8pm

June 8, 2013

YellowBrix

By David Suchet

IT'S BEEN MORE THAN TWO YEARS SINCE THE LAST AGATHA CHRISTIE FILM, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, WAS COMPLETED. IS IT TOUGH TO GET BACK INTO CHARACTER? It''s always more difficult than I ever imagine it will be; for two reasons.

I do so many things in between and play so many different characters, but also because Poirot is so particular and precise.

I have to come back to his voice, his walk and his mannerisms, so that I match exactly, apart from ageing and things like that.

DO YOU FIND POIROT'S DISTINCTIVE TRAITS HAVE RUBBED OFF ON YOU OVER THE YEARS? He''s taught me to be a much better listener than I would have been had I never played him. As Poirot himself says: "I listen to what people say, but I actually hear what they mean".

THE FIRST OF THE NEW FILMS, ELEPHANTS CAN REMEMBER, MARKS THE FIFTH OCCASION ZOE WANAMAKER HAS APPEARED IN POIROT. IS IT NICE TO BE BACK ON SCREEN WITH HER? Zoe and I started working together in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1978 and we''ve worked together on and off ever since. We''ve been close as an actor partnership and have such a trust with each other that has developed over the years.

YOU'VE ACTED AS ASSOCIATE PRODUCER ON POIROT SINCE 2003. DO YOU GET A LOT OF INPUT TO EACH OF THE FILMS? More so on the scripts before we start shooting. One is always in a situation with the adaptation of books and I get letters from Poirot diehards saying, 'Oh, it''s moved too far away from the book'. But very often, the books themselves are not that filmable from a commercial point of view.

HAVING BEEN ON THE SHOW FOR 25 YEARS, YOU MUST BE CONSIDERED SOMETHING OF AN ORACLE ON SET!

Cast and crew come to me with a problem if our producer is not available.

I like it because I''m the only one who''s been there from the beginning, so I can be very useful and helpful.

WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS GIVE THE CHARACTER OF POIROT SUCH ENDURING APPEAL? Well, he''s very respectful and he''s very charming, but I think my son-in-law gave the best answer, which is that 'Poirot is enduring because he''s a great moral compass and people would like to be him'. '.

Whenever you watch him, as he sums up a case, you think the world is a better place.

Originally published by David Suchet.

(c) 2013 Belfast Telegraph. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

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