Kenneth finds himself back on the case
They say that variety is the spice of life, and so Kenneth Branagh’s existence is, you would imagine, pretty hot stuff. That’s because he’s tried pretty much everything during his career, from directing small, personal films to Hollywood blockbusters, not to mention winning plaudits for his stage work (he recently impressed in a West End production of The Painkiller, alongside Rob Brydon) as well as for his performances on screens large and small. Branagh returns to TV this week, reprising one of his most popular roles to date, that of troubled and lonely Swedish detective Kurt Wallander, in adaptations of Henning Mankel’s much-loved novels. This will be the final run of Wallander (Sunday, BBC1, 9pm), and is set to feature the last two Mankel novels to be adapted – The White Lioness and The Troubled Man. The latter will be screened over two evenings in the coming weeks, while the former debuts tonight. The case will take Kurt to South Africa as he hunts for the person responsible for the death of an estate agent whose body was found on the outskirts of his home city of Ystad. “I always approach each series of Wallander with anticipation and excitement, but this last series of films contain some of the greatest challenges the character has ever faced,” says the veteran star. “It's a privilege to try to meet them.” Casting the diminutive Belfastborn performer as a Swedish cop initially seemed like a slightly bonkers idea, but Branagh, as a fan of the books, wanted the part badly, and even asked the character’s creator, Henning Menkel, for his permission to tackle it. That conversation has resulted in three series of wonderful, feature-length dramas, which first hit our screens in 2008. "What has been so terrific for me about this role is that I was already a big fan of the books and had read them purely for pleasure,” explains Branagh. “My first experience of these books, their stories and characters was entirely as a member of the public enjoying the rip-roaring tales and great whodunits. "Partly what made the books successful was that readers could experience the stories through Wallander's view of the world.” Sadly, Mankel passed away last year following a battle with lung and throat cancer, so he won’t get to see how the British version of his character pans out.
Looking for clues Kenneth Branagh stars in the crime drama