Kenneth Branagh Praises Actors Who Boarded The “Orient Express”

Murder on the Orient Express
The cast and director of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS at the World Premiere in London. L-R: Sergei Polunin, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Tom Bateman, Lucy Boynton, Josh Gad, Dame Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe, Daisy Ridley, Derek Jacobi, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Leslie Odom Jr., and Olivia Colman. (Credit : james gillham / for Fox)


Kenneth Branagh stars as Hercule Poirot and directs Murder on the Orient Express. While promoting the film, Branagh talked about what Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, and Michelle Pfeiffer bring to the table as collaborators. Check out Branagh’s thoughts below (audio is included) on working with members of the ensemble!


Murder on the Orient Express

Though he’s directed a slew of beloved films (Dead Again, Hamlet and Thor), Branagh doesn’t assume the proverbial check is in the mail when it comes to filmmaking. “(Martin) Scorsese says you hope the picture makes enough to allow you to do the next one,” said Branagh. “So I never assume there’s another picture around the corner because I’ve been in this game too long.”

That being said, Branagh was able to make Murder on the Orient Express, adding that he “learned a lot” with the A-list cast that anchors the narrative. Check out Branagh’s thoughts on the aforementioned actors (and audio is found at the bottom of the post):

Daisy Ridley (“Miss Mary Debenham”)

Murder on the Orient Express

“Daisy Ridley, for instance, (who’s) right in the middle of that massive franchise (Star Wars), very honest and humble about her lack of experience and yet she’s a real natural and not overwhelmed but not arrogant either. I learned a lot from her self-possession. I was very impressed.”

Penelope Cruz (“Pilar Estravados”)

Penélope Cruz
Cast and film makers arrive at the world premiere of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ at The Royal Albert Hall, London 2 November 2017 (Credit: David Dettmann/Fox)

“Cruz is so experienced and such a worrier. She just worries the whole time in a good way. Always full of questions.”

Johnny Depp (“Edward Ratchett”)

Murder on the Orient Express
Johnny Depp stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” Photo Credit: Nicola Dov

“Depp is so playful. He just has this sort of – his confidence around the camera is total.”

Michelle Pfeiffer (“Caroline Hubbard”)

Murder on the Orient Express
Michelle Pfeiffer stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” Photo Credit: Nicola Dove

“With Pfeiffer you get this focus – when she comes in you don’t want to be making her wait not that she had an sort of diva-esque tendencies at all. She’s so ready to go. You just don’t call her until everything is set and then she’s that thing – Clint Eastwood called them fast start-up actors. He used to (cite) Gene Hackman – they know what they’re going to do you want to be ready to capture it  and then let them go lie down.”

For the full audio version of Branagh’s answer, check out the Soundcloud bar below:

Murder on the Orient Express opens nationwide Friday, November10.

Murder on the Orient Express
Kenneth Branagh stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” Photo Credit: Nicola Dove

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