Series 22, Episode 6 - Murder on the Orient Express cast
Kenneth Branagh, talking about maintaining a happy ship (or train in this case) and corralling the fun-loving actors during the making of Murder on the Orient Express, says, "It was quite difficult at times, but everyone was a very competitive games player so we played charades, did crosswords and ran quizzes of movie and theatre trivia."
Admitting he hated the quizzes, Josh Gad jokes, "They were all about Shakespeare. Where were the Back to the Future and Batman Returns questions? I was like, 'Stop it with the Hamlet!'"
On casting himself as Hercule Poirot in the film, Kenneth jokes, "I talked to the actor in the mirror for a long time!' Adding, "Directors and detectives are both looking for the truth so in theory that double job is the perfect marriage on something like this." Talking about his character's rather impressive facial hair, he says, "Having it was rather like having to French kiss a badger!"
Asked about working with Judi Dench again, Kenneth jokes, "She is a trouble maker and always has been!' Adding, "We have worked together 10 times over 30 years. She was the first person I asked to be on the train and she very kindly said yes before I had finished the sentence. It was very thrilling because it made a big difference to getting everyone else."
Talking about the fun they have together, he says, "I used to go and talk to her about the film when we were doing The Winter's Tale. Going into Judi's dressing room was rather like going into the bookie's, because she likes her horses. I'm studying Shakespeare like a wild thing and she is bent over Sporting Life!"
Describing one farce-like moment, he says, "I went into her dressing room one night and she was sitting in her dressing gown. We are excitedly talking about the film and Johnny Depp and possibly Michelle and Josh when we get the call to go on stage. We are still chatting in the wings and with 30 seconds to go she throws off her dressing gown and there is nothing on below the waist! I had the briefest of looks, but I can confirm, like the song, 'there is nothing like a dame!' Her dresser ran to get her skirt and Judi went on clutching it around her." Judi interjects, "I was quite surprised too!"
Judi, talking about working on the set, which included a recreated train, says, "It was so convincing and tremendously good. I think I actually moved only about eight feet in the whole film but you would never know it - It was fantastic." Adding, "Because everyone was jiggling up and down I actually got motion sickness!"
Michelle Pfeiffer, talking about singing the end credit song for the film says, "I thought Ken was crazy to ask me. My vocal chords were so rusted but when they sent me a demo it was so beautiful I thought I would give it a go. I loved it so much I just didn't want anyone else to do it."
Asked about being mentioned in two new songs - Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk and Vance Joys' Riptide -she says, "I am flattered, it's great but it is rather embarrassing when it comes on when I am driving the kids to school or when I am in an exercise class."
Johnny Depp, talking about some of his iconic roles, says: "In my head Willy Wonka was a combination of a rather creepy children's show host and a very stoned George W Bush." On Edward Scissorhands, he says, "When I was sent the script I thought this will never be for me. But when I read it, it destroyed me. I had to do it."
Revealing how he fulfilled a long-held ambition of going to Disneyland dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and pretending to be a statue, he says, "I was very excited to stand stock still and then shout out (in Jack's voice), 'Oi, what you lookin' at?' I got no reaction whatsoever - nothing! I then had to start describing the people I was shouting at so they knew I was real... it was exhausting and such a bad idea!"
Josh Gad reveals he was in awe of Judi when he first met her, "No one was approaching her so the idiot that I am I thought I would break the ice so I went up to her to introduce myself and rather than saying Dame Judi Dench I said Damn Judi Dench!" Michelle adds, "I was so overwhelmed to be working with her I just cried. I got quite puddly and wanted to curl up in her lap."
St. Vincent performs Los Ageless live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat about her new album.
- Friday 3rd November 2017
- BBC One
- 45 minutes
- Wednesday 1st November 2017, 18:15 at The London Studios
Show past repeats
Cast & crew
|Host / Presenter
|Judi Dench (as Dame Judi Dench)
|St Vincent (as St. Vincent)
|Jonathan Whitehead (as Trellis)
The stars of Murder on the Orient Express demonstrate their unusual acting technique.
Michelle Pfeiffer was flattered to be name checked in the lyrics of Uptown Funk.