Get to Know the Cast & Characters of Baptiste
MASTERPIECE Mystery! fans, we’re on the case. From internationally renowned stars to a few familiar MASTERPIECE faces, learn all about the multi-talented cast of Baptiste and the enigmatic characters they play.
Don’t miss the series premiere of Baptiste on Sunday, April 12 at 10/9c, following an all-new episode of World on Fire.
Turkish-born, French actor Tchéky Karyo stars as Julien Baptiste, the French detective who formerly appeared in the television series The Missing. At the beginning of Baptiste, the former detective is now retired, having recovered from a major operation for a brain tumor and looking to live quietly and peacefully with his family—until an old friend calls for help.
Fans of The Missing and of the French detective will find something to love, just as much as new fans will, according to Karyo. “Julien is still stubborn, but he has a lot of empathy for people and is still searching for the truth about human nature. He realizes that although humans are animals, what sets us apart is our brain and we should not forget to use it for the sake of life. Julien still has to deal with missing people, and also with characters having to deal with difficult journeys.”
Before bringing the role of Julien Baptiste to life in both The Missing and Baptiste, the French star was best known for his work in hit films such as The Patriot, Bad Boys, and in 1995’s GoldenEye, alongside Judi Dench (Cranford) and World on Fire star Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring). Karyo is also an accomplished musician, according to Bustle, having recorded two albums, Ce lien qui nous unit in 2006 and Credo in 2013.
Hollander stars as Edward Stratton, who Hollander described as “quite a sad chap.” Stratton begins the series in a frantic search for his niece Natalie Rose, a sex worker in the Red Light district of Amsterdam. When she goes missing, Stratton stops at nothing to track her down.
Though playing Edward may sometimes have been “quite exhausting” because of the dark, stressful side of Stratton’s storyline, Hollander thoroughly enjoyed filming in such scenic locations as Amsterdam and Belgium.
“I only came to Amsterdam once before this, as a young man, and like many young men I can’t really remember what happened when I was there,” he said. “As an adult now, I’ve learned to see how beautiful it was. Belgium I knew nothing about but it’s marvelous… Belgium’s been very quietly tucked in there, not shouting from the rooftops about itself.”
He went on, explaining that no matter how dark a story may be, filming anything is about the people you’re with and where you are, and in the case of Baptiste “even though the story is very unhappy, the experience of making it has been a delight.”
Hollander may be best known for his role as Mr. Collins in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice (starring Keira Knightley and Howards End star Matthew Macfadyen), from his role in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, or from his role in Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes’ Academy Award winning 2001 film Gosford Park, starring Downton Abbey‘s Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon (Harry Potter) and more.
Raine stars as the tough Europol officer Genevieve, who eventually finds herself working alongside Julien Baptiste—whether she likes it or not. “She’s quite blunt and tactless and rubs people up the wrong way when she’s first introduced in the series, but she’s incredibly focused and determined to get the guy she needs to get,” Raine said of her character. “It’s a scary focus, as she doesn’t care how she treats everyone else.”
To go along with her character’s attitude, Raine made the decision to give herself a haircut that would match, and shaved one side of her head. “It was my idea actually,” she told Express. “Genevieve was quite a ballsy hard character—she was really into her hardcore music—so I thought my look should reflect that.”
Working with Karyo and Hollander was a special experience for Raine. “Tchéky is so unbelievably French and I mean that in a really lovely way. He’s very philosophical about things. He’s great to act with. He’s always very present. Tom is loads of fun to work with. He’s done his research, he knows what he’s doing, and then just sort of let’s rip on a scene, so it’s been really positive.”
Raine previously starred in the popular PBS series Call the Midwife, and also appeared in the 2010 film Robin Hood (alongside Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett) and in the television mini-series Patrick Melrose (starring Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch). MASTERPIECE fans may also remember Raine as Jane Rochford in Wolf Hall. (Fun fact: Raine is married to another familiar MASTERPIECE face—Mr. Selfridge actor Tom Goodman-Hill!)
Belgian actress Barbara Sarafian plays Martha Horchner, the Chief of Police in Amsterdam and an old friend (and flame) of Julien’s who calls him for help on an investigation. “Martha is a difficult woman, she has some issues but she has a very high level job,” Sarafian explained. “Throughout the story, she has been confronted with her past and her future, and she doesn’t know how to handle these scenes. She’s been very severe towards herself and others. She is everything we imagine when we think of a difficult woman.”
Sarafian, who called the series “extremely sophisticated”, says there’s plenty of reason for viewers to tune in. “It is so well written and the story is very interesting,” she said. “There are a lot of characters and you get to know them in depth, nothing is superficial and it is thrilling to follow every line of the story.”
Belgium-born actress Barbara Sarafian previously appeared in the TV series Women of the Night, and films such as All of Us and Marieke, Marieke.
Secareanu plays Romanian criminal Constantin, who is front and center in the villainous drama that plagues Baptiste’s investigation. Constantin, too, is on the hunt for the missing Natalie Rose, and is determined to find her before Baptiste and Edward Stratton do.
For inspiration playing such a dark character, Secareanu pulled from one particular real-life encounter in Amsterdam, when he met some Romanians who were doing some “nasty business,” he told Digital Spy in an interview.
“It was one of the most awkward things that happened to me during the shooting. I was in the front of the hotel at 6:30am, having a coffee, and a guy approached me and asked for a cigarette,” Secareanu told Digital Spy. “He was Romanian, and he started to talk to me. He confessed that he was dealing drugs and taking care of girls, and he ran away eight years before because he was charged with murder. It was shocking for me. I tried to incorporate that into the character. I don’t know how much was true or a lie, but it helped me understand that side of Amsterdam.”
Secareanu also met the “friend of a friend, of a friend” from Romania, he said in the interview, who had a similar past doing “these nasty things.”
“I tried to understand the reasons behind his actions, and how he ended up doing these things – and it’s the environment you’re living in. They don’t know anything else,” he explained. “They are quite smart and cover their tracks. This is what I learned and it helped me with that character.”
Secareanu is perhaps best known for his role in the 2017 film God’s Own Country alongside The Durrells in Corfu star Josh O’Connor.
Anastasia Hille reprises her role as Celia Baptiste, Julien’s kind and supportive wife. Though Julien has retired, when an old friend calls in a favor, it is Celia who supports him when he decides to help on a case, knowing that helping is just part of who he is (even when it puts a strain on their own relationship).
In 2012, Hille was nominated for a British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for her role in the TV mini-series The Fear (2012). Hille’s work has also included Snow White and the Huntsman, The Hole and The Bletchley Circle.
Calbraith plays Edward Stratton’s estranged ex-wife Clare, with whom Edward shares a past trauma that has shaped the man he’s become, and the situation he’s found himself in. MASTERPIECE fans will be sure to recognize Calbraith from her role on Downton Abbey as Jane Moorsum, the flirtatious housemaid who has an illicit, brief affair with one member of the Crawley family, and as Steph Farrow in Home Fires.
Polish actress Anna Próchniak plays Natalie Rose, the missing sex worker. But do any of the players really know who Natalie Rose is?
Prochniak previously starred alongside World on Fire star Zofia Wichlacz in the film Warsaw ’44. On top of her talents on-screen, Próchniak was originally trained as a ballerina.