David Suchet: Agatha Christie's family warned me not to make Poirot a joke
Tuesday 04 June 2013
Poirot star David Suchet has revealed that Agatha Christie's family warned him not to play the Belgian detective as a joke when he was first approached about the role.
Suchet, 67, who signed up to play the much-loved character 25 years ago, has filmed his final scenes as the mustachioed sleuth and Curtain: Poirot's Last Case will be broadcast on ITV later this year.
The actor insisted he would be happy to see someone else take up the mantle of Hercule Poirot following his retirement from the role.
Suchet told the Radio Times that crime writer Christie's family ordered him not to portray Poirot as a figure of fun.
He said: "In the books, as opposed to some of the films that have been made, he is not a comic character.
"I was told by Agatha Christie's daughter and her husband over lunch, 'If you're going to make him a joke, then you are not going to play him; people can smile with him, but never laugh at him'.
"That was a very strict order I was given, and when I started reading the novels, I realised exactly what they were saying, because he's not just a figure of fun. He could never be with that brain."
Suchet said that "I now own him (Poirot) in a way" and that the detective was "now my character".
But he said that he would not mind if ITV or another broadcaster brought Poirot back, adding: "I think there would have to be a generational gap, but yes. I've been in so many classical plays that have been made famous by other actors. In time, no one is totally indispensable. There will be another take; maybe there will be a young Poirot?"
He said of getting into character: "As soon as the moustache goes on, I speak as him ... the voice of Poirot is kicked in by the moustache, and once the voice is there, every single thing about him slots into place."
Suchet said of the danger of being typecast: "Poirot could have been the end of my career. It's so easy for that to happen, but it didn't."
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 North Korean prison officers 'cooked prisoner's baby and fed it to their dogs', more horrific accounts from UN report reveal
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 4 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Secret Cinema showed The Great Dictator at protest secret screening, following Sony's The Interview cancellation
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Cruel Woman in Black prank sees cinema-goers terrified by movie poster - watch their reactions
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Angelina Jolie 'didn't eat much' in sympathy with actors who had to lose weight for Unbroken
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever