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Murder On The Orient Express - Michelle Pfeiffer and Leslie Odom Jr interview

Murder On The Orient Express

Compiled by Jack Foley

In the most timeless of whodunits, Murder On The Orient Express follows renowned detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) as he attempts to solve what would become one of the most infamous crimes in history.

After a shocking murder of a wealthy businessman on the lavish European train barrelling its way west in the dead of winter, private detective Poirot must use every tool of his trade to uncover which of the train’s eclectic passengers is the killer, before he or she strikes again.

Published in 1934, Agatha Christie’s novel, Murder on the Orient Express is considered one of the most ingenious stories ever devised. More than 80 years after its publishing, Christie’s novel remains beloved by new generations of readers.

Kenneth Branagh’s stunning re-telling of the beloved mystery with its acclaimed ensemble and breath-taking visuals invites audiences to take the most suspenseful train ride of their lives. In this interview, Michelle Pfeiffer and Leslie Odom Jr talk about some of their experiences of making the film…

Q. Michelle, how much did you enjoy the range that your character has?
Michelle Pfeiffer: I found the range in this character challenging and the nature of this character challenging. Because we had such a large cast as well, our parts were concentrated so there was quite a lot of work in a short period of time, but I love a challenge and I had a great time doing it.

Q. Leslie, for your character, he has achieved a lot and is quite an exceptional person, what are your thoughts about him?
Leslie Odom Jr: I was really grateful to have the back story that Ken (Branagh) created, along with our costume designer too. They made him make sense for the time. He’s also two characters from the book mixed together and there was a race change so there was so much specificity when it came to the costumes and the sets. It was like time travel. So much of your work is done for you.

Q. did you enjoy the evocative era that the film was set in?
Michelle Pfeiffer: To actually be in those clothes is not as romantic as it looks. For the viewer, and even in your costume fittings, they’re so beautiful and costume designer Alex Byrne is such an artist. By the time I come on, they’ve spent months thinking about this and researching this so at that point they know way more than you do about your character and for me, it’s just the beginning so it’s a kick start for me and incredibly valuable.

Murder On The Orient Express

Q. Leslie, you have one of the coolest action sequences in the film. Did you enjoy shooting that?
Leslie Odom Jr: I didn’t enjoy it very much. Ken did this thing, I think he actually did it to everyone, where you look at the schedule and you think, that’s odd, I’m shooting one of my biggest scenes on the first day.

Michelle Pfeiffer: He did that by design. It’s so mean!

Leslie Odom Jr: Like Michelle says, you don’t really know who this guy is yet. I hope I’m ready. He wanted that feeling that I was having to peek through the character and to use those nerves.

Michelle Pfeiffer: Because Ken had to be everywhere all the time between acting and directing, I think that he wanted to have that time right at the beginning when he didn’t have so much to do so that he could spend that time helping you to find your character and helping you during your performance. It was during those scenes when we had the most to do, so in some ways I think he was doing it for us, but it didn’t feel like that.

Leslie Odom Jr: So yeah, that was my first or second day shooting so I didn’t enjoy it, but I liked looking at it!

Q. Michelle, the scene where you meet Johnny Depp in the corridor is brief but so full of tension. What are your memories of shooting that scene?
Michelle Pfeiffer: I love working with Johnny. He’s a lot of fun. It’s a fun scene.

Leslie Odom Jr: It’s a tiny moment, but it made the trailer for a reason. It tells us a whole lot about both of you.

Read our review of the film

Read our interview with Kenneth Branagh

Murder On The Orient Express is available now on Digital and on 4K, Blu-rayTM and DVD from March 5, 2018.