Guys. Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously.
Haven’t heard of him? Well, this time I won’t scold you seeing as I am woefully late myself in jumping on this particular bandwagon—so I’ll give you an extra brief overview.
Besides having one of the most spectacular names a human being is capable of having (seriously, say it a few times aloud)—Benedict Cumberbatch leads the stellar cast of one of the most popular BBC shows ever, appeared in no less than five films this past year, and is so wonderfully talented that I am utterly ashamed he only just registered on my radar less than four weeks ago. (Why yes, I did binge watch Sherlock over Christmas break, thanks for asking).
So, even though my love is still in its infancy and I can hardly claim the title of world’s biggest fan, I just wanted to ensure, loyal artsies, that if he isn’t yet on your radar…that you get him on there stat! Let us call this an introductory, crash course on how cool and talented he is.
He stars in Sherlock:
Need I say more? Actually. Yes. I really, really, really, really do need to say more. In fact, I probably could write 100 pages about the breathtaking brilliance that is BBC’s Sherlock, which is perhaps why I chose not to write this post on the mind-blowing, recently aired third season of the show. Simply put, you’d be reading for hours.
It can’t be easy taking on arguably one of the most iconic roles in history, much less in a modern adaptation. I won’t claim to have seen each and every version of Sherlock Holmes, but Cumberbatch’s is definitely my favourite thus far.
His acting is downright superb—and he takes the emotionally challenged Holmes from rigidly pragmatic to awkwardly, believably sentimental through the course of his friendship with Dr. Watson, without losing the famous idiosyncrasies the character has been known by since the late 1800s. (Sidenote, I could also write an entire post about the breathtaking subtleties of Martin Freeman’s Dr. John Watson, but I’ll spare you. Just WATCH Sherlock!)
…and, finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include these final Sherlock related points:
He proved his versatility this year in six very different roles:
Imagine, in a single year, playing the villain of one of the most popular science fiction tales, a slave owner, a controversial world-famous information leaker, an insecure, cousin-dating member of Meryl Streep’s fictional family, a treasure-hogging dragon, and, if we include Sherlock, a beloved century-old high-functioning sociopath.
Welp. Meet Benedict Cumberbatch, my loves.
(The above characters are from Star Trek into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and Sherlock respectively).
Oh, and he also the voiced Alan Rickman on The Simpsons. No big.
Just the other night I watched August: Osage County wherein Cumberbatch played the insecure, bumbling Little Charles, and it was quite the transformation.
Keep in mind I’d just binge-watched three seasons of Sherlock…
I was used to him like this:
Okay. Those were the best pics I could find, but essentially, you get the picture. Mindblown.
(Sidenote #2: Cumberbatch aside, go see the brilliance that is August: Osage County. Very impressive film).
He embraces the craziness of his fandom with class:
So, though he’s not exactly at household name, it is no secret that this man has a very intense and loyal following, and I always think it’s pretty cool when actors at the centre of that kind of…er… extreme passion can handle it with ease and good humour.
Firstly, not unlike the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle works, Sherlock does tease at the homosexual undertones of the plot—though in a manner that is more playful than based in actual reality—but its no secret that the Internet has run amuck with the idea. So why not play it up a little?
Yes, that was a bum pinch. And yes, I did say class.
Again, being at the centre of such a craze means that, well, strange things can arise. Case in point:
In the interview below, not only is he entirely unsurprised by a set of otter memes pasted alongside look-alike photos of himself he is also completely unperturbed. Not to mention that he humbly insists that the otter top-left has the more correct Holmes hand position than he, which, in my books, makes him pretty much the coolest person ever.
Next, although I wish, at times, that I could be of the uber-intense fan variety who dub themselves with fandom-identifying monikers, alas I am not. However, I did know long ago that his fans named themselves the somewhat troubling “Cumberbitches”. So when I watched the following clip wherein Cumberbatch redubbed his fanbase “The Cumber-Collective” because “he worries how far feminism is set back” with their current title, I was more than a little impressed.
And yeah, just watch this last one because it’s hilarious. (This was a message to fans following the two-year hiatus between seasons two and three).
Okay, so slight fangirling of Benedict Cumberbatch aside, I cannot stress enough how great Sherlock is so if you haven’t watched it yet I encourage you to add it to your to-do list. Seriously.
Thank you for making it all the way to the end of my gush-session, artsies! Have we mentioned that you’re the best?
Have a great rest-of-the-week!
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