9 Preparatory Steps Branagh Took To Play Hercule Poirot

2017 marks the moment that BAFTA winning actor Kenneth Branagh takes on the role of Hercule Poirot in a huge screen adaptation of one of Agatha Christie’s greatest mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express. Discover a handful of the steps he took to prepare for the role of the 'greatest detective of all time'.

1. A year ahead of shooting he began reading all the Poirot novels, starting with a birthday present of a paperback First Edition - The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

2. He visited the town of Spa in Belgium where Hercule Poirot was 'born'.

3. He met with a dialect coach three times a week to study and practice Poirot's accent.

4. He began learning French after Wallonian Flemish defeated him.

5. He gathered all written descriptions of Poirot’s moustaches by Agatha Christie and began a 9-month process of research and development to picture, then manufacture, then groom, then fit on a body cast, then ultimately screen test on himself, the chosen face furniture, that the performance might hopefully live up to what Agatha Christie characterised as ‘the most magnificent moustaches in all England.’

6. He began fittings for his bespoke suits 9 months ahead of shooting. The most time-consuming element was the exact thickness and angle of the knot in his tie, and its perfect reproduction on every wearing. This required 3 months of experiment with fabrics, starch and patience.

7. He listened to recordings of 27 different Belgian accents by gentlemen of Poirot’s age speaking in English.

8. He was measured and fitted over a period of three months for handmade shoes, after which he wore them in across three months and polished them daily.

9. He revisited the work of the famous Belgian surrealist René Magritte, and the author of Tintin, Hergé.

Discover more about Kenneth Branagh and the star studded cast boarding the Orient Express