Interviews, Movies, Murder on the Orient Express

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DAILY MAIL – Daisy Ridley was sandwiched between Penelope Cruz and Willem Dafoe. Kenneth Branagh was directing. And Judi Dench and Olivia Colman were just out of eyeshot..but not earshot.

‘So no pressure,’ the actress guffawed, as she told me about the first scene she shot for Branagh’s all-star film version of Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express. Daisy said she’s always nervous during shooting — but she managed just fine in two Star Wars pictures (in which she plays young heroine Rey).

‘Before a scene my heart is pounding, every time,’ she admits. ‘But my first scene on Orient had to be in front of everyone, didn’t it? I couldn’t hold a cup, because it was rattling. But I got through it.’

The scene involved a confrontation with Dafoe, and it’s clear from footage Branagh showed me that Ridley’s nerves didn’t get in the way of her performance as governess Mary Debenham, the film’s moral compass.

At 25, the actress was one of the youngest in a cast that also included Derek Jacobi, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad and Lucy Boynton.

She auditioned for the part and was surprised to get it (touchingly, she still can’t fathom why she’s sent every script going). She deserves her luck, though, because I know how much graft she puts in before going for any audition or job.

I also know (and like) how she often turns up (without fanfare) when her friends are in a stage show. She’d love to do a play and has spoken to directors — but it won’t be until everything has been played out in that galaxy far, far away.

Murder On The Orient Express opens on November 3; The Last Jedi on December 15.

Movies, Murder on the Orient Express, Videos

Interviews, Movies, Murder on the Orient Express, Videos

Interviews, Movies, Murder on the Orient Express, Videos

Movies, Murder on the Orient Express

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Kenneth Branagh’s star-studded adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express pulled into Las Vegas with the first footage at CinemaCon Thursday.

Branagh directs and stars in the Fox film, which also features Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leslie Odom Jr., Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena and Judi Dench among the cast.

The story centers around a murder onboard the famous train and introduces Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh), who must solve the case while being surrounded by duplicitous passengers.

Branagh, sending in a video from Malta where he’s filming the project, said “we’ve assembled an amazing group” of his cast. “This is not only a who dunnit and how dunnit, it’s crucially a why dunnit,” he said.

The stylish trailer shows a train traveling through a snowy landscape. In it is a varied cast of characters, all of whom could be the murderer.

“I see evil on this train,” says a voice. We get our first look at many of the stars in their characters, and the final frame is of Barangh’s Hercule Poirot, sporting blonde hair and a massive grey mustache.

The film is scheduled for release on November 22.

Movies, Murder on the Orient Express

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena and Judi Dench have a ticket on Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express.

The studio has enlisted a cavalcade of A-listers for its ensemble adaptation of Agatha Christie’s acclaimed mystery novel that is being directed by Kenneth Branagh.

The classic murder mystery centers around a murder onboard the famous train, and introduces Belgian detective Hercule Poirot who must solve the case while being surrounded by duplicitous passengers.

Branagh is doing double duty by also starring as detective Hercule Poirot and leads a cast that includes Johnny Depp, who will play Ratchett, the man who is murdered, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., who is playing Doctor Arbuthnot, and Tom Bateman, who will play the Frenchman Bouc. Also in the cast are Lucy Boynton and Derek Jacobi.

Pfeiffer will ply Mrs. Hubbard, a glamorous and opinionated passenger with a secret.

Ridley will play Mary Debenham, a working class woman in love with Arbuthnot.

Dench will play Princess Dragomiroff, who hails from Russian royalty while Pena plays a Cuban passenger named Marquez.

“Christie’s Murder is mysterious, compelling and unsettling,” said Branagh. “I’m honored to have this fantastic group of actors bring these dark materials to life for a new audience.”

Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, Mark Gordon and Branagh are producing the movie, which begins production in London in November. Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood and Judy Hofflund will also produce.

Michael Green (Blade Runner sequel) wrote the script. Steve Asbell is overseeing for Fox.

“It is always thrilling for us to see the stellar casting that Agatha Christie film adaptations attract,” said James Prichard of Agatha Christie Ltd., who is executive producing with Hilary Strong.

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