Meet the Cast (and Characters!) of Murder on the Orient Express
The latest onscreen adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express hits theaters this Fall, and it's already got a lot going for it. Not only will the film bring the iconic Agatha Christie tale to life in a new and imaginative way, but there's also a pretty star-studded cast to boot. Curious who will play who? We're going over all the stars and their respective roles, plus giving you an idea of what they're like in the book. There may be some big changes to come in the latest iteration, but for the time being, this is all the information we've got. Keep reading for the full list of stars and the suspects they'll play.
- Character: Mr. Ratchett
- Description: Ratchett is our murder victim. In the novel, Poirot says, "He was a man of between sixty and seventy. From a little distance he had the bland aspect of a philanthropist. His slightly bald head, his doomed forehead, the smiling mouth that displayed a very white set of false teeth, all seemed to speak of a benevolent personality. Only the eyes belied this assumption. They were small, deep set and crafty."
- Character: Mary Debenham
- Description: Mary is a British governess. She's a "young English lady . . . tall, slim and dark — perhaps twenty-eight years of age. There was a kind of cool efficiency in the way she was eating her breakfast and in the way she called the attendant to bring her more coffee, which bespoke a knowledge of the world and of traveling. . . . She had poise and efficiency. He rather liked the severe regularity of her features and the delicate pallor of her skin. He liked the burnished black head with its neat waves of hair, and her eyes, cool, impersonal and grey."
- Character: Hector MacQueen
- Description: Hector is the assistant and secretary to Rachett. Poirot says he is "a likable-looking man of thirty, clearly an American."
- Character: Hercule Poirot
- Description: Hercule Poirot is, of course, our detective. In the opening pages, Mary Debenham describes Poirot as "a little man with enormous moustaches. . . . She had never seen anyone quite so heavily muffled up . . . what an egg-shaped head he had . . . a ridiculous-looking little man. The sort of little man one could never take seriously."
- Character: Pilar Estravados
- Description: Pilar does not appear in the novel, but it's highly probable Cruz is replacing the character Greta Ohlsson. Greta is a Swedish woman who's traveling alone. Poirot describes her as a "tall, middle-aged woman in a plaid blouse and tweed skirt. She had a mass of faded yellow hair unbecomingly arranged in a large bun, wore glasses, and had a long, mild, amiable face rather like a sheep."
- Character: Mrs. Hubbard
- Description: Mrs. Hubbard is a boisterous American woman who's traveling alone. According to Poirot, she's a "stout, pleasant-faced, elderly woman who was talking in a slow clear monotone which showed no signs of pausing for a breath or coming to a stop."
- Character: Gerhard Hardman
- Description: Hardman is actually a fellow detective. He's undercover until Poirot puts him in a position to reveal his true identity. Upon first glance, Poirot notices "a big American in a loud suit — possibly a commercial traveler. . . . He had a big, fleshy, coarse-featured face, with a good-humored expression."
- Character: Hildegarde Schmidt
- Description: Poirot notes “a woman dressed in black with a broad expressionless face. Scandinavian or German . . . probably a German lady’s maid.” Later: “She seemed a placid creature altogether — eminently respectable — perhaps not over intelligent."
Leslie Odom Jr.
- Character: Dr. Arbuthnot
- Description: In the book, Arbuthnot is actually a colonel. It's unclear if he has this status in the film. In any event, he's depicted as such: "This was a tall man of between forty and fifty, a lean figure, brown of skin, with hair slightly grizzled round the temples."
Dame Judi Dench
- Character: Princess Dragomiroff
- Description: This princess, who comes from Russian royalty, is perhaps one of the most memorable characters in the novel. Here's how Poirot first sees her: "At a small table, sitting very upright, was one of the ugliest old ladies he had ever seen. It was an ugliness of distinction — it fascinated rather than repelled. She sat very upright. Round her neck was a very large collar of pearls which, improbable though it seemed, were real. Her hands were covered with rings. Her sable coat was pushed back on her shoulders. A very small expensive black toque was hideously unbecoming to the yellow, toad-like face beneath it."
- Character: Pierre Michel
- Description: This man is the French conductor of the Simplon-Orient Express. Poirot describes him as "a tall, sallow man of middle age."
- Character: Countess Andrenyi
- Description: "A mere girl — twenty at a guess. A tight-fitting little black coat and skirt, white satin blouse, small chic black toque perched at the fashionable outrageous angle. She had a beautiful foreign-looking face, dead white skin, large brown eyes, jet-black hair. She was smoking a cigarette in a long holder. Her manicured hands had deep red nails. She wore one large emerald set in platinum. There was coquetry in her glance and voice."
- Character: Count Andrenyi
- Description: "The man wore English clothes of loose tweed — but he was not English. Though only the back of his head was visible to Poirot, the shape of it and the set of the shoulders betrayed him. A big man, well made. He turned his head suddenly and Poirot saw his profile. A very handsome man of thirty odd with a big fair moustache."
- Character: Edward Masterson
- Description: Mr. Masterson is the valet to Mr. Ratchett. Poirot describes "a spare, neat Englishman [that] had the expressionless disapproving face of the well-trained servant."