‘Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?’

Hugh Laurie acknowledged he drew inspiration from “The Skinny Man” movies for his three-part adaptation of Agatha Christie’s murder thriller “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?”

“I’ve always preferred the connection between the two central characters [in ‘Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?’] — their sense of journey, the pleasure they take in each other’s agency. The companionship of it’s so gorgeous,” Laurie, 62, knowledgeable The Submit

“It rang a bell in my memory of ‘The Skinny Man,’ one different couple I merely adore spending time with,” he acknowledged, alluding to Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy inside the six-movie franchise spanning the ’30s and ’40s). “They’re in order that stylish, and I wager Agatha Christie be taught ‘The Skinny Man,’ which was revealed the 12 months sooner than she wrote [‘Why Didn’t They Ask Evans’], and thought, ‘I wouldn’t ideas trying one factor that’s obtained a bit little bit of that spirit to it.’ “

The ten-time Emmy nominee (“House,” “The Night time Supervisor,” “Veep”) wrote, directed and co-stars in “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?,” now streaming on BritBox. It’s set in 1936 in a small metropolis on the Welsh shoreline the place Bobby Jones (Will Poulter), the son of the native vicar, hears a scream whereas caddying — and, on the rocks underneath, discovers the broken physique of a well-dressed man. His final phrases, “Why didn’t they ask Evans?,” items the tone for the oft-whimsical assortment as Bobby and his childhood pal (and secret crush), Woman Francis “Frankie” Derwent (Lucy Boynton) endeavor to unravel the labyrinthian thriller involving fake identities, plenty of murders, drug behavior and additional.

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They’re aided by Bobby’s navy buddy, Knocker Beadon (Jonathan Jules); Laurie, in a small place, performs Dr. Nicholson, who runs a sanitarium for the mentally disturbed … and would possibly want sinister intentions.

Hugh Laurie as Dr. Nicholson in "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" He's dressed in a suit circa 1936 and wearing a black hat and bowtie.
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Nicholson in “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?”

“The central thriller is so beautifully revealed inside the novel and I hope we’ve carried out it justice,” Laurie acknowledged. “I wanted to stay out of [acting in the series] — I merely wanted to concentrate on the bit I’d given the ultimate year-and-a-half to — nevertheless then it was recognized to me, I don’t know if anyone was blowing smoke or not, that it could look as if I would really like not devoted to the complete mission if I didn’t ‘current up.’ So eventually I wanted to positioned on a hat and get in entrance of the digital digicam and be a part of it.

“What’s extra probably is that the producers merely thought they may save themselves plenty of quid,” he acknowledged. “I’d be low-cost and obtainable.”

Laurie acknowledged he didn’t have Boynton (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Trendy Love,” “The Ipcress File”) in ideas for the place of Frankie, on the very least not initially. “I knew she wanted to be fairly nimble to have the power to operate at a fairly extreme value of knots … and Lucy acquired right here into my ideas by means of the writing … and as soon as I lastly met her, on Zoom, she was unbelievable. The additional stuff of hers that I watched I was additional glad that she was Frankie. She has an intelligence and sense of of journey.

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“I reminded her that we had met sooner than … and he or she had no memory of meeting me,” he acknowledged, tongue planted firmly in cheek. “So I was type of crushed. You want to assume you’ve left an impression.”

Laurie had not met Poulter (“Dopesick”) sooner than the mission, nevertheless positively knew about him and his work. “It sounds a bit weird and incestuous nevertheless we’ve the similar agent, and he was banging on to me about Will Poulter for years sooner than this,” he acknowledged. “He was always a decide in my ideas and I saved a lookout for him. He’s obtained that unbelievable, sort of outdated decency that I used to imagine was represented by James Stewart and William Powell and so many actors of that interval — stand-up guys you’ve been able to depend on in an honest spot.

Hugh Laurie directing Will Poulter and Lucy Boynton in a scene from the series. Will is dressed as a caddy and Lucy is holding a black umbrella, which is open. Hugh is wearing a baseball cap, a blue sweater and black pants and is gesturing with his hands.
Hugh Laurie directs Will Poulter and Lucy Boynton by means of the filming of “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?”

“As quickly as I obtained to know Will, I knew he was exactly that — very respectable and humorous and quick-witted and up for the journey. I’d fully think about that [Bobby], like me, would flip into fully besotted with Frankie. I indicate, who wouldn’t?”

There have been plenty of totally different TV variations of “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?” nevertheless Laurie acknowledged he didn’t watch them sooner than embarking on his private mannequin.

“I assumed it was larger,” he acknowledged. “Theoretically you should have the power to check out totally different of us’s work and say, ‘Successfully, I can maybe steer clear of that mistake’ or ‘That was a good way of doing it’ and also you’ll ‘borrow,’” he acknowledged. “Nevertheless I really feel that’s harmful. It has to take by itself life and momentum and would possibly’t be dictated by totally different of us’s variations of 1 factor. It sort of hobbles it, in a strategy.

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“You don’t want there to be patches of territory you might’t go to or actually really feel decided you might want to go to. You want it to have its private life in your head.”