Poirot actor David Suchet says that Jesus Christ, not the famous Belgian detective, plays the lead role in his life.
Inspector Poirot is famous for solving crimes using his Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction and logic applied to the plain facts. For David, the plain facts are that Jesus Christ is just who he always said he is; God the Son who has come to save those who put their faith in him from the destructive powers of selfishness and unbelief.
David Suchet became a believer at the age of 40. He says that reading the New Testament book of Romans brought him to Christ in 1986. For this reason it was a particular honour for David to be asked to narrate the BBC TV series In The Footsteps of St Paul. David was interviewed before the launch of the series;
“I’m not an evangelist Christian at all. I can’t try to convert anybody. It’s not in me to do that. But my faith has given me such an appreciation of people and meaningful relationships, and a world view which I didn’t have before. And although I will fail every day, it gives me something to aspire to.”
David is from a Lithuanian Jewish heritage, but he was not brought up a practicing Jew. He found God while he was making the movie Harry and the Hendersons in the United States. He was in a hotel room relaxing and thinking of his late grandfather when he felt a new desire to read the Bible and to reach out to God.
“I always felt that [my grandfather] was with me as my spiritual guide. I felt him sitting on my shoulder. Then I thought to myself, ‘Why do I believe that and not believe in life after death?’ That got me thinking about the most famous person who they say had a life after death, Jesus.”
David started reading the New Testament. He was particularly drawn to the letters written by the apostle Paul. The book/letter to the Roman church says that salvation is given through faith in Jesus Christ. Just as Paul had a dramatic supernatural experience of God on the road to Damascus, David Suchet had a similar experience whilst filming in the USA.
“By the end of the letter, certainly by the end of the book, I was reading about a way of being and a way of life that I had been looking for all those years…. When I read his letters, I saw that we both struggle with faith – it’s not an easy road no matter what religion you are.”
David’s brother, newsreader John Suchet, is also a familiar face on UK television.
Story by Ralph Burden