Why Kenneth Branagh Has Taken Up Yoga at 56: 'I'm a Man of a Certain Age'

"It's a necessary thing," Murder on the Orient Express star and director Kenneth Branagh tells PEOPLE in this week's issue

Between starring in Shakespeare productions and Hollywood blockbusters, Kenneth Branagh makes time for his favorite hobbies, like reading historical biographies and spending time with his dog.

“I love walking my dog,” the Murder on the Orient Express star and director tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I have a little Jack Russell who runs my life. I talk to him; I train him.”

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The five-time Oscar nominee, 56, also favors an additional form of exercise besides walking with his pup. “I’m a man of certain age who’s come to enjoy yoga,” he says. “I came to it later in life, but lately, it’s a necessary thing.”

For the Agatha Christie adaptation, Branagh had to work on getting something else in shape.

“[It took] six months of work to work out what’s the volume, what’s the shape and how do we put it on,” he says of the distinguished mustache his character, Detective Hercule Poirot, sports.

Because of the ‘stache’s mass, the actor and filmmaker calls it “an impressive thing” that “had peculiar power to it.”

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“It’s a great mustache because it almost hides your entire mouth,” Branagh explains. “So I recommend this to sports coaches. If you want to not even have the problem about lipsync readability, grow a Poirot mustache and you can get away with quite a lot.”

Murder on the Orient Express — also starring Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Willem Defoe and Johnny Depp — hits theaters Friday.

  • Reporting by NIGEL SMITH
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