Being Poirot

Synopsis: As 25 years of playing one of television's greatest icons come to an end David Suchet attempts to unravel the mysterious appeal of the great detective Hercule Poirot - and reveals what it has been like to play one of fiction's most enduring and enigmatic creations. In this entertaining and revealing documentary. Suchet allows the camera crew to follow him as he prepares for the emotional final days' filming on set. Suchet returns to Agatha Christie's Summer home in Devon, where he first met the author's family after taking on the role a quarter of a century ago, and travels to Belgium as he attempts to find Poirot's roots and discover what the Belgians think of one of their most famous sons.
Genre: Documentary
48 min


Hercule Poirot?

Hercule Poirot is, for me,

much more than the character

on the written page.

Hercule Poirot, for me,

almost is a real person.

You're a detective.

I am THE detective, Colonel Curtis.

He is the person who was responsible

for my life for 25 years.

The truth...

It has the habit of revealing itself.

I've got to know him,

I've lived him...

No-one can always be right.

But I am. Always, I am right.

It is so invariable, it startles me!

He's my invisible...closest

and best friend.

'They have been good days.'


'Agatha Christie's Poirot

premiered on television in 1989.'

Voila. Is there nothing

to which Hercule Poirot

can not turn his finger?

'A quarter of a century

and 13 series later,

it's a global phenomenon,

watched by 700 million viewers

in 100 countries worldwide.

It's 6:
00 in the morning...'

Thank you very much, thank you.

'..and Sean, my driver,

is taking me to work.

I'm heading to Pinewood Studios

to film the last series of Poirot.

This will be one of the hardest days

of my acting life

because today...

Poirot will die.'

(AS HASTINGS) I say, old chap,

you're looking pretty awful.

Don't you think I should call

a doctor?


Oh, what good would that do?

No, mon ami. What will be, will be.

Getting into character is a

very detailed process for me,

beginning from the moment I'm dressed

and I get into the car,

with Sean driving me.

Because at that point,

I'm learning lines.

But then I got to make-up

and then the serious business of the

day begins for me.


David is a method actor.

He dieted for probably about

nine months

to lose, I think, about two stone.

I'm all right.

Whereas in all the other films,

he looks like a robust little man,

in Curtain, he looks like a little

sack of bones in a suit.

It'll be good if it helps him

look really, really ill. Mmm.

'Agatha Christie does the most

extraordinary thing.

It's the only story in which you see

Poirot as a little old man.

And it's told through the eyes of

Captain Hastings.'


'The key to it, for me,

is that moustache.

Once that moustache goes on that lip,

I think it's true to say you would

be speaking to Hercule Poirot.'

(AS POIROT) Make sure it does not

droop a little bit. Yes.

Yes, that is better.

'Curtain, Poirot's last case, was

written by Agatha Christie in 1942.

Intended for publication after her


it was hidden in a bank vault for 30

years before publication in 1975.'

He knows he has to die.


He could never take the ignominy

of being accused of a murder

and then hung.

We all knew that the final scenes

were coming up

and we'd, in a sense, prepared.

But it was nevertheless

a most remarkable atmosphere.

Huge sound stage at Pinewood,

with a set built in the centre

of it.

The room itself,

which contained a bed and walls,

in which he was gonna die,

was not crowded;

it was deliberately kept quiet.


And now...I need to think.

But Poirot -

Go down to breakfast, mon ami.

The case, it is ended.

And outside, the set itself,

the rest of the crew,

was exceptionally quiet.

Sheila, David's wife,

was sitting beside the sound man.


'To film it was one of the most

extraordinary experiences,

to have - or to play -

a man who...dies.'

Forgive me.



End camera.


It's a difficult day.

It's difficult.

Cos he feels and he feels

the character very deeply.

I think every time he shoots it,

it's going to take more out of him.


For a character actor of his

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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