Photo credit: http://www.benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/sherlock-promotional-photos/
The Telegraph has an interview with Benedict Cumberbatch.
The BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ took Benedict Cumberbatch from rising star to pin-up. Now returning as the sleuth, and with parts in Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’ and Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit’, global fame looks certain.
To say that Sherlock has developed a vast and cult following over the past 18 months is an understatement. The series, a modern-day reimagining of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales, first launched on BBC One in 2010 and became an instant sensation, trending on Twitter within minutes of going on air. Ratings climbed to over an amazing nine million during its three-episode run – five million is usually something to be proud of. Since then the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has sold it to 180-plus global territories. Its fanbase stretches from smitten schoolchildren to Hollywood giants.
And it is Cumberbatch’s mesmerising performance as a speed-talking brainiac, so lacking in human empathy he appears to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum, that has been the key focus of all the attention. Steven Spielberg recently called him “the best Sherlock Holmes on screen” – some tribute, given that there have been more than 70 of them. As Cumberbatch himself more phlegmatically puts it, “Holmes’s neurotic, thin, high-pitched personality is something I have to get used to.”
The product justifies the hype. Written by two Conan Doyle “geeks”, Doctor Who collaborators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock’s first series fizzed with ingenuity and confidence, making liberal use of 21st-century techno-clutter (mobiles, laptops, GPS and text messages that broke the fourth wall to float across the screen) without compromising the spirit of the original books.
The programe has transformed his profile. Pre-Sherlock, the 35 year-old had put himself on the cognoscenti’s radar with a string of lauded screen and stage work: the BBC’s Stuart: A Life Backwards; a scene-stealing turn in the film Atonement; and the lead in the National Theatre’s pitch-perfect Terence Rattigan After the Dance.
Post-Sherlock, he has metamorphosed into something bigger and odder – a pin-up. Odder, that is, because Cumberbatch, with his long face, blanched skin and very pale blue eyes, is not a conventional heart-throb. You can see why he was as much at ease playing the monster as his creator in the National’s recent adaptation of Frankenstein. And yet the swooning web interest in Cumberbatch is legion, from the “Cumberbitches” – a Twitter collective devoted to his daily appreciation – to endless blogs and forums.
The hysteria is likely only to accelerate over the next 12 months, since Cumberbatch has plum roles in three of 2012’s most anticipated projects - War Horse, The Hobbit, and Parade’s End.
He is coy about Sherlock’s future, though; partly because the final episode of the new series is based on The Final Problem, in which Conan Doyle notoriously snuffed out Holmes via a Moriarty showdown at the Reichenbach Falls – a cliffhanger in every sense. “I should maybe say that I’m ready to say goodbye to him, but I would miss him,” says Cumberbatch, choosing his words with Holmesian precision. “It’s much better to leave people wanting more.”
Sherlock is on BBC One at 8.10pm on New Year’s Day.
War Horse is in cinemas from Friday 13 January
Follow the link to read the full interview: