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Baptiste star Tcheky Karyo: I’m flattered to be seen as sex symbol in my sixties

Tcheky Karyo returns as the titular detective in Baptiste (Toon Aerts/Two Brothers Pictures/PA)
Tcheky Karyo returns as the titular detective in Baptiste (Toon Aerts/Two Brothers Pictures/PA)

Baptiste star Tcheky Karyo has said he finds it “flattering” to be seen as a sex symbol in his sixties.

The Turkish-born French actor – who celebrated his 65th birthday last year – is best known for his portrayal of detective Julien Baptiste in The Missing.

He said he had not expected any level of attention from amorous fans but admitted that he did “appreciate it”.

Karyo earned a host of British admirers for his turn in the BBC programme, which explored two disappearances over two series.

Addressing his public image as a sex symbol, he said: “I didn’t expect that, I didn’t think of it. I appreciated it obviously, but it is not something I am thinking of every second. But it is flattering, makes you feel good.

“But the character is not reducible to that. I am happy about it, it’s nice, I’m happy.

“I am a father also. I have a six-year-old daughter and a two-year-old boy.

“I’m glad because when I had those children, I thought: ‘At my age, doing children, I will be the grandfather of my children’, but no.”

Spin-off series Baptiste is penned by The Missing creators Harry and Jack Williams and follows the dogged detective and his wife on a visit to Amsterdam, where the chief of police – who is an old girlfriend – seeks out his help in solving a crime.

Karyo also addressed ageism in the film industry, praising Baptiste’s creators for writing him a role that avoided cliche.

He said: “That’s why I love (Harry and Jack Williams), because they are not stereotypes – they are not afraid even to shake sometimes things that can be edgy. It’s great.

“I don’t feel like I am 65, I don’t feel like that.”

Asked whether he found filming sex scenes more challenging than he had done in his youth, Karyo replied: “I did it all the time, I didn’t do it lately, but if I had to do it I wouldn’t be afraid.”

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