Category: Interviews

New interview for Magic Radio

Benedict gave a brand new interview for Magic Radio on their ‘Prince’s Trust Day’, in which he talked about the work The Prince’s Trust has been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic, what he was up to during lockdown and why Doctor Strange’s cloak of levitation is definitely not a cape.

You can listen to it below:

Planet Radio · Benedict Cumberbatch joins Emma B on Prince’s Trust Day

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Benedict talks diving with Esquire

Benedict talks diving with Esquire

October is off to a great start for this fandom! We got yet another new interview with Benedict, this time for Esquire magazine! Please check it out below:

Benedict Cumberbatch Is Diving (and Disconnecting From the Chaos) in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Newest Watch

By Nick Sullivan

Benedict Cumberbatch has been busy during the ongoing strangeness of 2020, with a number of major film projects in the pipeline, including Jane Campion’s much-awaited The Power of the Dog, filmed in New Zealand at the beginning of the country’s effective lockdown. Two-thirds through the filming, Cumberbatch took a quick break to film a short for legendary Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre, uniting filmmaking with his other love, diving.

The Jaeger on his wrist in the film is the new Polaris Mariner Memovox, the latest in a long line of very elegant dive watches from the storied brand, that surfaced just this morning. Where most classic dive watches generally err on the side of beefy, the Polaris is refined, with all the functionality of a true ISO6425-certified diver but with its unidirectional dive timer fitted inside the watch instead of on a chunky bezel, which makes for a far sleeker case. We caught up with Cumberbatch over Zoom to find out more.

Diving has long been a thing for you. Why is that?

I’ve always been interested in it, ever since watching [1988 movie] The Big Blue and, you know, trying in a vain, kind of amateur attempt to just go deeper and stay under for longer, just to get something off the ocean floor—or just for fun.

But your experience is more with a scuba tank on your back?

I’ve done a fair bit of it, yes. I just love the submersion, the quiet, the isolation, the sort of focus and sense of achievement. I’d done free diving in the way you do with it with a scuba mask, to get something on the bottom. Sometimes with flippers, but never with weights. Originally this was pitched as an idea to incorporate things that I enjoy doing and the environment that I was in at the time. So diving seemed like the natural option, but I meant scuba diving. It was misinterpreted, in fact, but I’m thrilled about that. I got to learn something new.

And then it had weirdly coincided with meeting someone in Italy who is a free diver who took me in a pool to teach me how do the breathing. Not at any great depth, but just how to maintain that kind of discipline and use it underwater. And then along came this pitch for the advert.

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Benedict talks about Jaeger-LeCoultre to Watch Time India

In an extensive interview, Benedict talks about the newest Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox watch, meditation and his next projects, like Doctor Strange 2, The Courier and The Power of the Dog.

Also, check out some new photos from the watchmaker photoshoot:

Discover the launch of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox with the long-time friend of the Maison Benedict Cumberbatch. We caught up with the Marvel superhero on Zoom where he spoke at length about his passion for watches, meditation and diving. Excerpts below.

WTI: You spent some time in a monastery in Darjeeling. What did you learn from the monks about the concept of time?

BC: Yes I did live in a Tibetan monastery, it was a converted Nepali house near Darjeeling in West Bengal which is funnily enough on the eastern side of India. It’s an amazing piece of land above a tea plantation. It’s about 4000 metres elevation so the air is quite light and there were clouds rolling in the windows like dry ice. This house had a converted room at the top which was a Buddhist temple. Their idea of ritual and structure to the day was fascinating, but the deeper lessons were about impermanence – everything is constantly shifting and changing including your relationship to time. In a moment of meditation you could spend 10 minutes doing something that affords your life hours of benefit, or stretches of 10 minutes into what feels like an hour. Time passes and what you do in any given life is concentrated on a moment. You realise that you are constantly being seduced into thinking about the past or worrying about the future and that true happiness is attainable to all of us if we are in one moment of time – which is the present.

WTI: What is the first idea that comes to your mind when I ask you about time?

BC: I never have one idea. But sadly, I wish my life was that simple. You know, I played a character that had the time stone around his neck until late and that’s how this watch and the company came into my orbit. Time, in that regard, means a lot of things especially in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which you guys know about. But for me, time is about treasuring the value of it and the ever shifting nature of it. Especially now, I think all of our inner clocks and gravity have been shifted by what’s going on globally. And if there is anything positive to be taken from this, it’s about being given a lens by which to view and review your priorities. So, that’s a big old wormhole to go down. But I’d say the first idea that comes to my mind when talking about time now is the value of it, how precious it is.

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Benedict talks “The Courier” with Total Film magazine

The October issue of Total Film magazine features a new interview with Benedict about The Courier! Please check the scan out below:

Here’s a transcription for those who may need it:

GENTLEMAN SPY

THE COURIER | Benedict Cumberbatch plays a real-life secret agent in amateur-espionage thriller.

Like 99.9 per cent of the buildings in London, Hornsey Town Hall has recently been converted into flats (£774,950 for a two-bed, if you’re interested). But in November 2018, the Grade II-listed modernist structure provided the perfect backdrop for Cold War story The Courier. “We did an awful lot there,” smiles director Dominic Cooke during a catch-up almost two years later. “It stood in for bits of London, bits of Moscow… we wrung every bit of juice out of that building that we could!”

Though not a space designed for filming – down a corridor no wider than an armchair, Teasers carefully tiptoes between bunched cables while admiring the original Art Deco light fittings – today Hornsey Town Hall is home to one of the world’s biggest film stars: Benedict Cumberbatch. In The Courier, he plays Greville Wynne – the real-life British businessman recruited by MI6 to transport information from Soviet double agent Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) to London at the height of the Cold War.

“As a genre I find spy movies a bit cold,” admits Cooke. Instead the Hollow Crown director, who made his feature debut with 2017’s On Chesil Beach, was drawn to the warmth of Tom O’Connor’s script. “It’s a hybrid between a spy movie and a platonic love story,” explains Cooke of the forged-in-fire bond between Wynne and Penkovsky. “The film it reminded me of was Brief Encounter. They knew they were doing something very important together, so they were fuelled by the danger and secrecy.”

Also starring The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan as CIA spook Emily Donovan and Jessie Buckley as Wynne’s wife Sheila – who didn’t know a thing about her husband’s unusual side hustle – the key piece of casting for Cooke was Soviet war-hero-turned-defector Penkovsky. “I really wanted a genuine Russian-speaking actor for the role, so [the producers] reluctantly allowed me to go off to Moscow,” Cooke recalls. “Merab actually came in for another part, but he was so good I said, ‘Look at Penkovsky.’ These days, you need authenticity.”

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Benedict talks ‘The Courier’ and life on quarantine during COVID-19 with Tatler Hong Kong

Benedict talks ‘The Courier’ and life on quarantine during COVID-19 with Tatler Hong Kong

In a new article posted by Tatler Hong Kong, Benedict Cumberbatch talks about his upcoming movie The Courier (aka Ironbark), his partnership with Jaeger-LeCoultre and what he’s been up to while on quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Benedict Cumberbatch On His Upcoming Movie “The Courier” And Life During Covid-19

From the moment he donned his deerstalker as the great Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch’s popularity soared, but his ego didn’t. The actor talks about his forthcoming spy drama and how he’s spending lockdown learning the banjo.

By Annie Darling.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the alarmingly awkward Sherlock Holmes has catapulted his career to unimaginable heights. Before donning the detective’s hat in 2010, the distinctive-looking London native landed several quirky acting jobs. He’s played theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Van Gogh and, lest we forget, the hair-raising paedophile in Atonement (2007). But it was his fast-talking performance as the private investigator, which Steven Spielberg has called “the best Sherlock Holmes on screen”, that transformed Cumberbatch into a high-cheek-boned dreamboat, quite literally overnight.

Now 43, Cumberbatch has proven to be the ultimate chameleon, having played everyone from Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate (2013). His portrayal of British mathematician Alan Turing, who cracked Nazi Germany’s Enigma military code during the Second World War, earned him Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. This year, the performer stars in true-life drama The Courier, which is set for an August 28 theatrical release. *

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Benedict talks “The Courier” with Entertainment Weekly

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:

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

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.”
Benedict talks “Ironbark” with Entertainment Weekly

Benedict talks “Ironbark” with Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly published an article on Ironbark today, featuring an exclusive new official still and some comments from Benedict on the movie, which he described as “a story of a very average hero”. Take a look:

On his character, Greville Wynne, he said:

He was just a charming Welshman with the gift of the gab. […] He literally goes from being a rather charming businessman heading towards retirement, with a good sense of humor and a jolly manner, to being someone who is basically secreting Minox film cartridges about his case as he tos-and-fros to Moscow under the guise of being part of a British delegation of trade […] It’s a window into a world that’s not that far from our own, sadly, now, again, as far as how things heat up so quickly in politics and on the global stage. […] I think we forget how close we came to not existing anymore.

He also said that mastering his “sort of strange Welsh accent” which is “kind of upper-class, and not quite upper-class enough” was a challenge and so was having to lose a significant amount of weight in three months for just four scenes. He’s not complaining though:

It’s nothing compared to what [Wynne] went through. That’s the thing with these kinds of roles. People go, ‘Whoa, you did that?’ [But] you’re humbled by the reality, which is very far from what you have to do as an actor. And that helps you get there. That gives you all the motivation you need, frankly.”

He also expressed how thrilled he was to work with director Dominic Cooke again:

He’s very much an actor’s director, as well as a brilliant stager. I love his sensibility, and his take on character and relationship is key.

And told the magazine what he sees as the film’s ultimate message:

It is possible for us to be ordinary people that are capable of doing extraordinary things when the time comes, when the questions are asked […] I think that’s what it is — it’s quiet heroics in a very loud world.

You can read the full article on Entertainment Weekly’s website.

Benedict talks about Science and cinema to Physics World

Benedict talks about Science and cinema to Physics World

Read below a great interview Benedict gave to Physics World, the British Institute of Physics magazine, featured on this month’s issue but also available online.

Benedict Cumberbatch: the imitation game

By Andrew Glaster

Over the years I have spoken to scientists and actors alike for my podcast The Cosmic Shed, where we explore science and science fiction in equal measure. One actor I’ve interviewed who has portrayed several different scientists is Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s starred in three science-themed movies – first as the botanist Joseph Hooker in Creation (2009), then as the mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014), and most recently as the inventor Thomas Edison in The Current War (2019). He’s also played Stephen Hawking in the 2004 TV film Hawking and Werner Heisenberg in a BBC radio adaptation of Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen (2013).

“I do like my scientists!” Cumberbatch laughed when I asked him how he had come to be cast in these roles. “I think it’s partly because of the way I look. I could never achieve anything like what these men [I’ve played] have achieved but I think what I can do is portray the thing about them which enabled them to achieve these things – that is their humanity.”

It’s the great stories that most attract Cumberbatch to these parts. For his role in Creation, it was the intimate friendship between Charles Darwin and Hooker that grabbed him, with the pair having exchanged more than 1200 letters over a period of almost 40 years. In one, for example, Darwin revealed how he was “particularly glad of our discussion after dinner; fighting a battle with you always clears my mind wonderfully”.

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Benedict Cumberbatch plays with puppies for BuzzFeed

Benedict Cumberbatch plays with puppies for BuzzFeed

Finally! The day has arrived and BuzzFeed Celeb uploaded to their Youtube channel the video of Benedict playing with puppies while answering fans questions. Cute doesn’t even begin to describe it. Watch it below

Check out our gallery to see screencaptures from the video:

Benedict Cumberbatch Goes Undercover on The Internet

Benedict Cumberbatch Goes Undercover on The Internet

GQ uploaded to their Youtube channel this hilarious video of Benedict going through the internet replying and correcting what’s being said about him online. Check it out below:

We also updated the gallery with the screencaptures of the video: