David Suchet nearly quit Poirot before first episode

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 30 October 2013
David Suchet

David Suchet

David Suchet nearly quit 'Poirot' before an episode had been broadcast after falling out with director Ed Bennett while filming the first instalment

David Suchet nearly quit 'Poirot' before an episode had been broadcast.

The 67-year-old actor has portrayed the titular detective, Hercule Poirot, since 1989 but admits he nearly left the role after having a disagreement with director Ed Bennett while filming the first episode, 'The Adventure of the Clapham Cook'.

While shooting one scene, David insisted on dusting down a park bench with a handkerchief as he claimed that is the sort of thing Poirot would have done after reading about his adventures in Agatha Christie's novels, but the helmer insisted it was a "ridiculous" suggestion.

In an extract from David's upcoming memoir, 'Poirot and Me', he wrote: "If I lost the argument, it would mean that my custodianship of Poirot's character was in severe jeopardy - so much so that I really thought that I might not be able to go on playing him.

"I had to play the character she created, I was certain of that. I would not compromise."

David admits the incident was "very serious" and it was not the last time he insisted on acting out certain situations in a way he believes Poirot would acted, which led to further clashes.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com, he added: "It was very serious. As charming as I may appear, when it comes to defence of character or my work then I will fight and I will not compromise.

"There will be directors throughout my 44-year career that have had a hard time with me because I will serve my writer. I will not ever be told how to play a role. That's my job.

"If Agatha Christie writes that he [Poirot] dusts dirty chairs on park benches, then I will show it. And if a director says that it looks odd then I'll say, 'Sorry, that's what he does'. And if the time comes when it's make or break, then I will walk.

"I will say this openly and honestly - in defence of my character, I would have walked at some points had I not got the support of my producers."

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