'Murder on the Orient Express' Cast and Characters: Who's Who?

7:52 AM 6/1/2017

by Ashley Lee

Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in the Fox film with Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad and Leslie Odom Jr.

Murder on the Orient Express Still Kenneth Branagh and Daisy Ridley - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

A slew of stars are stranded suspects in Murder on the Orient Express, the buzzy big-screen adaptation of Agatha Christie's best-selling 1934 novel.

Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in the Fox film about a murder investigation aboard a lavish sleeper train filled with duplicitous passengers. The cast includes Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad and Leslie Odom Jr., among others — but who's who?

Ahead of the release of Murder on the Orient Express on Nov. 10, The Hollywood Reporter breaks down the star-studded cast, based on their characters in the beloved book.

  • Kenneth Branagh

    Kenneth Branagh stars as Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective who investigates the murder.

    Branagh also directs the film after helming Disney's live-action Cinderella and Marvel's Thor.

  • Johnny Depp

    Johnny Depp is Ratchett, an American passenger who, upon boarding the train, believes his life is in danger. (FYI, it is.)

    This year, Depp also stars in Disney's fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

  • Josh Gad

    Josh Gad (left) is Hector MacQueen, a seemingly intelligent and likable guy who is the personal assistant of Ratchett (whom he only slightly can't stand).

    Murder caps off a big year for Gad, who was also in Disney's live-action musical Beauty and the Beast and the buzzy Thurgood Marshall drama opposite Chadwick Boseman and Dan Stevens (again).

  • Derek Jacobi

    Derek Jacobi is Edward Masterman, an extremely polite valet to Ratchett who would never betray his employer's confidence. 

    Jacobi, who has previously worked with Branagh on both stage and screen projects, is also in the UK thriller Stratton and the 1960s dramedy Hippie Hippie Shake.

  • Michelle Pfeiffer

    Michelle Pfeiffer plays Mrs. Hubbard, an outspoken American widow who is well-educated and brash.

    This year, Pfeiffer also costars in HBO's Bernie Madoff drama The Wizard of Lies and Darren Aronofsky's drama Mother! with Jennifer Lawrence.

  • Willem Dafoe

    Willem Dafoe boards the train as Gerhard Hardman, a stern German professor who keeps to himself while keeping an eye on everyone else.

    Dafoe's big year also includes DC's superhero flick Justice League, the horror release Death Note, the sci-fi film What Happened to Monday? and the thriller Opus Zero. He also earned top reviews for The Florida Project, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival.


  • Daisy Ridley

    Daisy Ridley boards the train as Mary Debenham, a young and unmarried woman who is a governess to two children in Baghdad.

    Ridley is doing double-duty at the holiday box-office this year, reprising her role as Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

  • Penelope Cruz

    Penelope Cruz plays Pilar Estravados, a humble Spanish missionary and nurse.

    Cruz also stars opposite Javier Bardem in the upcoming Pablo Escobar romantic drama and will portray Donatella Versace in an upcoming season of American Crime Story next year.

  • Judi Dench

    Judi Dench is Princess Natalia Dragomiroff, an elegant and aristocratic Russian princess.

    Dench also portrays Queen Victoria in the historical release Victoria and Abdul, and has a role in the Alicia Vikander romance drama Tulip Fever.

  • Olivia Colman

    Olivia Colman plays Hildegarde Schmidt, a loyal maid to Princess Dragomiroff for many, many years.

    Colman, known for her roles in the series Fleabag, Broadchurch and The Night Manager, is also reteaming with her director of The Lobster for the Queen Anne biopic The Favourite.

  • Leslie Odom Jr.

    Leslie Odom Jr. plays Dr. Arbuthnot, a witty and charming gentleman.

    The actor won a Tony for his performance in Hamilton as Aaron Burr.

  • Sergei Polunin

    Sergei Polunin is Count Rudolph Andrenyi, who travels luxuriously on a Hungarian diplomatic passport and is fiercely protective of his wife.

    The ballet dancer-turned-actor also has a role in the Jennifer Lawrence thriller Red Sparrow, out in 2018.

  • Lucy Boynton

    Lucy Boynton plays Countess Andrenyi, a beautiful and timid woman who maintains elegant fashions.

    Her upcoming projects include the J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel in the Rye with Nicholas Hoult and Kevin Spacey, and the Netflix drama Gypsy opposite Naomi Watts and Billy Crudup.

  • Manuel Garcia-Rulfo

    Manuel Garcia-Rulfo is Marquez, an incredibly self-assured and bold car salesman.

    Previously seen in The Magnificent Seven, his upcoming projects include the Sicario sequel Soldado and the adaptation of Gillian Flynn's thriller Widows.

  • Marwan Kenzari

    Marwan Kenzari is Pierre Michel, the hardworking conductor of the Orient Express who aims to keep his passengers safe.

    His upcoming projects include The Mummy reboot with Tom Cruise, the drama The Angel and the sci-fi flick What Happened to Monday? (also with Dafoe).