Rufus Sewell Talks the ‘Almost Supernatural Horror’ of ‘The Pale Horse’

Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse Rufus Sewell Preview
Jonny Birch / © Mammoth Screen 2019

Most Agatha Christie stories can be called dark and twisty, but The Pale Horse may just be the creepiest yet.

When star Rufus Sewell (above) read the script adapted by Sarah Phelps (who’s brought several Christie stories to the screen), “I was slightly in shock and I had to reread the last 20 pages, because I couldn’t quite believe what I just read!” Sewell confesses.

He plays Mark Easterbrook, a well-to-do antiques dealer whose name appears on a list (found in a deceased woman’s shoe!) of those seemingly marked for death.

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He tells us more.

What drew you to this Agatha Christie adaptation?

Rufus Sewell: I always wanted to do one. There is something rather wonderfully malignant and even vicious in her books. When I finally got this, it was very exciting. It’s very different — almost supernatural horror. It’s also unusual because it’s set in the early Swinging ’60s. It starts out resembling An Education, then it veers into Wicker Man territory by way of Macbeth!

Because there are witches!

Yes, it was a nod to [horror writer] Dennis Wheatley, who was all the rage. Three strange ladies live together in a little village in a disused pub called the Pale Horse. [Easterbrook] has to find out how they are connected to the names on the list.

You recently starred as Judy Garland’s ex Sid Luft opposite Renée Zellweger in Judy.

I remember when I read the script, I turned to my girlfriend and said, “She’s going to get an Oscar for this.” I just sensed it. She was wonderful to work with.

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Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse, Series Premiere, Friday, March 13, Amazon Prime Video