David Suchet reflects on quarter century of playing ‘Poirot’ (Video)

Last summer, veteran British actor David Suchet jetted west to take part in a celebration at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills of his final appearance as Agatha Christie‘s classic character Hercule Poirot. Despite playing the Belgian detective in a staggering 70 TV films, he has only become eligible to contend at the Emmys for this farewell performance in “Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case.” In a candid conversation with Los Angeles Times scribe Robert Lloyd (watch below), the urbane actor explained how Acorn TV has made this possible. The streaming service, which specializes in programming from across the pond, stepped in to co-produce for the first time to ensure this final installment in the franchise reached US audiences.

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Suchet’s connection with the iconic part predated his 1989 debut in a series of hour-long adaptations of Christie’s short stories by four years. In the 1985 TV version of “13 at Dinner,” he played Inspector Japp while Peter Ustinov reprised his role as the celebrated crime-solver from several feature films.

Over the past quarter century, Suchet had the chance to star in remakes of those as well as all of the other Poirot stories, first on four seasons of the anthology series and then in feature-length versions of Christie’s novels. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, almost all of these novels were brought to life. However, following the broadcast of “The Clocks” in 2011, American fans were left waiting until Acorn stepped in and ensure the final whodunits would be available stateside.

“Curtain” rises with the welcome return of Poirot’s pal Captain Arthur Hastings (Hugh Fraser) and brings them back to Styles, the country manor at which they solved their first crime. This time around, Poirot must confront his own desires to bring a killer to justice no matter what the cost. 

Over the years, Suchet, a classically trained actor, made the part of Poirot his own. For his Herculean efforts, he was feted with a lifetime achievement award from the Royal Television Society. And while “Curtain” represents his final performance as Poirot, his indelible portrait of this unlikely detective will be one for the ages. Indeed, all 13 seasons of the show are available for streaming on Acorn. And Acorn is making this final installment available to all TV academy voters via a website. It offers a hassle-free way (no ID, no password required) to watch this top-notch telefilm. 

Below: Watch the conversation to learn of Suchet’s favorite moments over the years and then tell us if you think he will be nominated for Best TV Movie/Mini Actor using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

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