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Who is Tchéky Karyo? Get to know the man behind Baptiste here

The actor has returned as the iconic detective

Francesca Shillcock

Crime drama fans are currently loving Baptiste on BBC, which recently returned for its second series.

The show, which is a spin-off from hit 2014 show The Missing, sees iconic detective Julien Baptiste, played by the brilliant Tchéky Karyo, get stuck into another perplexing case while battling his own demons and complexities along the way.

MORE: Tchéky Karyo talks Julien Baptiste and why series two was his biggest challenge yet

Although the second instalment, which comes two years after the hugely popular 2019 series, welcomes Baptiste's familiar face back on our screens – there are some fresh spins on the six episodes, including a brand new missing person's enquiry and guest star, Fiona Shaw.

But who is the man behind Julien Baptiste? Here's everything you need to know about actor Tchéky Karyo below…

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WATCH: Baptiste series two - watch the gripping trailer here

Who is Tchéky Karyo?

Tchéky Karyo is the 65-year-old Turkish-born French actor who plays the title role of Julien Baptiste. He studied drama at the Cyrano Theatre and became a member of the Daniel Sorano Company, where he played numerous classical roles in productions of Macbeth and Othello. Tchéky is a popular actor in France, but Baptiste is his breakout role in the UK.

What else has Tchéky Karyo been in?

Tchéky is best known in the UK for playing the same role in the critically acclaimed show The Missing, where his character is suffering from a brain tumour but refusing surgery during the investigation. But before his work in The Missing and Baptiste, his acting work was mostly in films.

Tchéky has starred alongside Mel Gibson in The Patriot and also had a role in Bad Boys alongside Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. More recently, he appeared in Emilio Estevez 2010 film The Way alongside Emilio's father, Martin Sheen.

MORE: Baptiste fans have intriguing new theory about this character after 'tense' episode

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Tchéky with Fiona Shaw in The Missing series two

Does Tchéky Karyo have a limp in real life?

Although Julien Baptiste has a limp, Tchéky does not. In fact, he recently admitted he forgets which leg is supposed to have a limp, telling HuffPost: "I have to remember which leg it is!"

What has Tchéky Karyo said about his work in Baptiste?

Prior to series two being released last month, we sat down with Tchéky for an exclusive interview for HELLO! Spotlight, in which the actor discussed Baptiste's popularity, and why series two was his biggest challenge yet.

Speaking about his character's journey in series two, Tchéky began: "Well, this character is going through so many different levels of temper. And so when we start he is at the bottom of himself and the bottom of a lot of bottles. [To him], it's like there is no issue, he is angry, he is violent. He's a masochist with himself and he's wounded."

The actor also revealed why the new episodes were a challenge: "To start with this crazy character knocking on a door, being drunk, angry, losing himself, to fighting those two cops and getting stubborn, stuck and trapped with himself – this was challenging as an actor to show how much pain he's going through and express the lost mind. This was a challenge for me but an exciting challenge."

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Tchéky spoke to HELLO! ahead of series two

© Joseph Sinclair

What else is there to know about Tchéky Karyo?

The actor also sees a lot of himself in Baptiste. Tchéky told HELLO!: "I am [like him]. I also have the boiling nature and I have to deal with it, I have to deal with my demons as a human being. I've learned to tame those demons, but they are there, they will never be gone for anybody.

"When you have demons they don't go away, you just learn how to deal with it because it is part of us, it is part of our own special history that we have with family and with the world we grew up in. But I learned to be calm and take time to look at things."

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