The August issue of Entertainment Weekly features a nice little interview with Benedict on The Courier (formerly known as Ironbark) and his newest hero. Check it out below:
If you think you know the only type of hero the Doctor Strange star can play, think again: The Courier introduces a new kind of Cumberbatchian leading man.
By James Hibberd
From detective Sherlock Holmes to code breaker Alan Turing to Marvel’s wizard Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch became a global star over the past decade by playing a rather particular brand of hero: the charming, mad-brilliant rogue whose abilities almost outweigh his arrogance. But for his latest role, in the historical drama The Courier, the 44-year-old goes entirely against type by tackling the true story of Greville Wynne, an average businessman who’s talked into helping the CIA and MI6 infiltrate Soviet intelligence during the Cold War. “I’ve played a few troubled geniuses in my time, and what impressed me about Wynne’s story was how this quiet Everyman became a hero,” the actor says. “I couldn’t believe this man who had no knowledge, no understanding, no connection to [the espionage] world was suddenly thrown into the midst of it.
[We] see how somebody ordinary becomes extraordinary.”
Portraying Wynne’s journey arc required Cumberbatch to gain weight to play the out-of-shape character, and then dramatically slim down for scenes that transpire later in the film. “Being a naturally thinner frame, I can
boast about it being easier to take it off than to put it on, which doesn’t make me many friends,” Cumberbatch quips. Next for the actor is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was pushed back to a March 2022 release date due to the pandemic delaying production. (“I’m really excited to throw the cloak back on,” is all he’ll share.) For now, he has a bit of advice to those seeking a hero inside themselves: “The quest to do something outside your comfort zone—to go into that cave, go into that forest, immerse yourself in a new world—that’s not just a personal journey. You come back with something better.”
MY HERO“New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern [who has garnered acclaim for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic].
She would never characterize herself as a hero, but she’s led with clarity and strength, and great humanity and humor. A lot of male leaders could take a leaf from her book.”