David Suchet has revealed how he went the extra mile to perfect Hercule Poirot's distinctive walk when he first won the role of Agatha Christie's Belgian detective.
He borrowed a technique from the late British film and theatre icon, Sir Laurence Olivier in order to perfect Poirot's "rapid, mincing gait", the 67-year-old actor told the Radio Times.
– Hercule Poirot actor David Suchet
Laurence Olivier, when he was playing a fop in a Restoration play, wanted to mince ... and famously he put a penny in the crack of his bottom and walked and wouldn't let it drop. If you do that, you can't walk fast, so I did the same thing.
Asked whether he had to use the penny trick for the last 24 years, Suchet replied:
– Actor David Suchet
No, but what I made myself do when I wanted to walk like Poirot was to squeeze my bottom.
That makes you walk with short strides and that's all I do. If you think of Poirot and how he walks - that precise little thing is very much who he is. He is not a man of broad, relaxed gestures.
Suchet said filming Poirot's final scene was "the hardest day's filming of my career".
The actor has played Agatha Christie's highly perceptive sleuth over 70 episodes, with his final performance taking place on 13 November.