'See How They Run': Tom George and Charlie Cooper reveal favourite whodunnits (exclusive)

·Contributor
·4 min read

Watch: See How They Run star and director chat about the best whodunnits

See How They Run star Charlie Cooper believes there's something about the murder-mystery genre which is "part of our make-up" and revealed an eclectic selection of whodunnit favourites.

Set in the 1950s, the movie follows a pair of detectives — played by Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan — as they investigate a backstage murder at a production of Agatha Christie's perennial The Mousetrap.

The project reunites Cooper, who plays theatre usher Dennis, with director Tom George after the pair worked together on BBC sitcom This Country.

Read more: See How They Run director avoided spoiling The Mousetrap

The 33-year-old star told Yahoo Entertainment UK his love for the murder-mystery genre stretches all the way back to his formative years watching the best of British TV.

He said: "I love Midsomer Murders because it's such a childhood thing. And Jonathan Creek, although that wasn't a classic murder-mystery. It was mysteries and occasionally a murder.

See How They Run features an ensemble cast of British and American movie talent. (Searchlight Pictures)
See How They Run features an ensemble cast of British and American movie talent. (Searchlight Pictures)

"But more recently, Hot Fuzz was a great example of doing it as a comedy. It gives it such a fresh perspective and a fresh angle, which is really fun."

Read more: Simon Pegg reveals plan for Hot Fuzz sequel

Cooper said Jonathan Creek and Hot Fuzz were both able to use the scaffolding of a murder-mystery thriller to bring the laughs.

He added: "[With Jonathan Creek], you've still got the suspense and drama of a straightforward murder-mystery, but you can definitely have funny moments. Murder and laughter are quite closely linked, right? A blurred line."

Charlie Cooper, who worked with director Tom George on sitcom This Country, plays a theatre usher in See How They Run. (Searchlight Pictures)
Charlie Cooper, who worked with director Tom George on sitcom This Country, plays a theatre usher in See How They Run. (Searchlight Pictures)

George said he chose to approach the whodunnit genre from a perspective of not being a superfan and being "the last to pick the twist" when he's watching murder-mystery stories unfold.

"I think what's interesting is that I wouldn't count myself as a huge whodunnit fan prior to making this film, but what I realised through making it is how deeply I understand whodunnits," he said.

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George added: "We're exposed to them, particularly in this country, and we're aware of how they function, even if you're not the biggest fan of a whodunnit.

"It was always my aim that it would be a film for people who love a whodunnit, but also for people who wouldn't usually go and see one."

Tom George (left) won a BAFTA for his work on BBC sitcom This Country with Charlie Cooper (right) and his sister Daisy May Cooper. (WireImage)
Tom George (left) won a BAFTA for his work on BBC sitcom This Country with Charlie Cooper (right) and his sister Daisy May Cooper. (WireImage)

The film marks George's first experience behind the camera for a feature film, and he revealed that the presence of several of his This Country buddies on the set made the transition easier.

He said: "It was so good having Charlie on this, and Paul Chahidi as well, who played the vicar in This Country.

Read more: Daisy May Cooper admits feeling flat after BAFTA win

"Having those two was brilliant because they're great friends, but it's also really useful because we have such a shorthand between us. We understand tonally how each of us likes to work.

"That was really useful for the rest of the cast who were coming together and could use them as a touchstone for how I like to work and for how I thought performance could work within this murder-mystery setting. It was brilliant having them with me."

Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan investigate a murder in See How They Run. (Searchlight Pictures)
Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan investigate a murder in See How They Run. (Searchlight Pictures)

Alongside Cooper and Chahidi — as well as British comedy stalwarts like Reece Shearsmith and Tim Key — the movie stars an ensemble of Hollywood actors, from Rockwell and Ronan to David Oyelowo and Adrien Brody.

Cooper said there was a surreal quality to mingling with such huge stars alongside a director who he has worked with for so many years.

Read more: Looking back at BBC Three's best shows

"That was weird actually. We kept looking at each other thinking 'we shouldn't be here, this has gone too far now'," said the actor.

See How They Run will arrive in UK cinemas on 9 September.

Watch: Trailer for 1950s-set whodunnit thriller See How They Run