In a brand new Q&A about his newest project The Crowded Room with The Hollywood Reporter at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Tom Holland named Benedict as one of his trusted friends/peers he goes to for advice and shared a lovely anecdote about the time Benedict showed him how to do crying scenes.
Check it out below:
Benedict Cumberbatch is someone I ask for advice a lot about acting. I went through a phase where I was really, really struggling to cry – in my personal life also – and it was really affecting me on set because I would really just worry about crying scenes and worry and worry and worry, and I would worry so much I would almost worry myself out of tears.
I’m sure everyone in here has seen The Imitation Game, there’s that beautiful scene at the end of the film where he breaks down. And I just remember watching that as a kid, just sort of being blown away by it. And I was lucky to be working with him on a film called Current War and I remember asking him ‘How did you do that?’. Did you draw from your own personal emotions or it it a technique that you do?’.
And, truth be told, it’s a combination of both. But the technique that he told me was this kind of thing he’s able to do with his diaphragm, which is almost like laughing. I’m probably giving away his secrets here. He’s talented, he’s great. Listen, I’m helping, right! [smiling].
He sorta does this thing where he like – he showed me on set and we were just hanging out having a coffee, people probably looked past us like ‘Is Benedict crying at the coffee station?’ – but he would do this thing where he would kinda simulate laughing and he would breathe really, really quickly and that would sorta, I guess, bring the emotion to the surface and then he could just take it and ride the wave from there. Fuck, I started doing that and I love crying scenes now.