‘Why Didn’t They Ask Evans’ — What Will Poulter loved about Britbox mystery

Will Poulter glad Hugh Laurie asked

Will Poulter

Will Poulter had never worked with Lucy Boynton or Hugh Laurie prior to “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?” But he would be more than happy to do so again.

In the Agatha Christie mystery, which currently streams on Britbox, Poulter (“Dopesick”) stars as Bobby Jones, the son of a local vicar who with his sharp-witted friend, socialite Frankie Derwent (Boynton, “Bohemian Rhapsody”), gets drawn into a crime-solving adventure when Bobby finds a man’s crumpled body at the bottom of a cliff, his dying words being the cryptic question of the title.

The investigation that ensues is heavy on banter, which relies as much on the script as the chemistry between the two leads. For his part, Poulter has high praise for his co-star.

“(Lucy is) just a genuinely lovely person and she’s such a collaborative creative,” the British actor says, “and it was so great to be able to turn to the person opposite you at any given moment and unload insecurities and things I was unsure about or questions I might have and have the kind of support she offered. She was brilliant and I was really glad that we got on as well as we did from the (beginning) because I think it really helped us in the performances as those two characters and their dynamic.”

As for Laurie, his thumbprint is all over this. He not only adapted the script from the novel but also executive produced and directed all three episodes. Poulter, a longtime Laurie fan, was impressed not only by the veteran actor’s knowledge of many topics but also his attention to detail.

“(He) has this granular appreciation of the details in the character and the world that they inhabit,” he says. “And that probably speaks to what a great actor Hugh is as well. I think he could speak to us in a language that we really understood and it just made being directed by him all the more pleasurable.”

William Jack Poulter

Birth date: Jan. 28, 1993

Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

Family ties: Single, the son of a physician and a nurse

Television credits include: “Comedy Lab,” “Lead Balloon,” “School of Comedy,” “The Fades,” “The Underground Railroad,” “Dopesick”

Movie credits: “Son of Rambow” (2007), “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (2010), “Wild Bill” (2011), “We’re the Millers” (2013), “The Maze Runner” (2014), “The Revenant” (2015), “Kids in Love” (2016), “Detroit” (2017), “Maze Runner: Death Cure” (2018), “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” (2018), “Midsommar” (2019), “The Score” (2021), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (forthcoming)

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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