Benedict Cumberbatch quotes and sayings
July 19, 1976
Conan Doyle is amazing in the way he has Watson describe Sherlock's posture, mood swings, his hand gestures, and so forth in the novels.
It's very easy to be cynical about any kind of interference in things that are beyond our skill set.
Doctor Strange is slightly more specialised than Spider-Man or Superman or Batman, but he's very loved by people who know him.
Doctor Strange is still quite cocky by the end of the film. No, I'd say the major curve for him is that he learns that it's not all about him, that there's a greater good. But what he thinks he was doing as a neurosurgeon, that was good because it benefitted people's health was really just a furtherment of his attempts to control death and control his own fate and other people's, but that's still driven by the ego.
One of the first roles I had on stage was with a brilliant director in a brilliant play with a brilliant cast, but I just couldn't find my way into the heart of the character. I found myself straining a lot. When it started. I felt lost. That was the Eugne Ionesco play Rhinoceros. I don't think I was prepared for that. I don't think I had the full tool kit to do it justice. It's a very difficult play, it's an extraordinarily difficult part, and I never felt I really got it right. Far from it. To a degree, Hamlet was the same.
Laughing and crying are really similar - what happens to your body. It's a very similar process in your diaphragm. Like a musician, you have to do your scales once in a while and warm up your voice.
When are you ever settled enough to have kids?
If I'm playing someone who's smart, suddenly every character I've played is smart. If I'm playing a bad guy, every character is a bad guy. I suppose it's that thing where people want to see a through-line to understand you. I mean, you know, I have played pretty ordinary people too.
We have a lot more unlikely heroes now. It's not just the guy with gunsit's the guy with brains.
I had parents who were working actors, who did really well in their careers, but it was a living. So it was a reality for me growing up; it wasn't a fantasy. It wasn't sitting there going, "I want to be adored." It wasn't that at all. Not to say that the screams of fans aren't a smile-raiser, but that was never the pull for me.
If you have an over-preoccupation with perception and trying to please people's expectations, then you can go mad.
My own grandfathers were a submarine commander and a 'desert rats' tank operator in the Second World War.
I wasn't born into land or titles, or new money, or an oil rig.
I was thrilled with how the first series of 'Sherlock' was received. It was such great fun to film, which makes it so rewarding when something you enjoy is so well received.
For brain surgeons it's particularly difficult to deal with failure. It was fascinating to learn about that whole world.
Those are more universal things than some of the characters I play, who are slightly sociopathic. I keep reminding people I can do ordinary.
Look at you lot, you're all so vacant, is it nice not being me it must be so relaxing.
Kevin Feige said to me: "I don't think we've ever put an actor through quite as much as this, physically and mentally." I'll wear that as a badge of honor. It was endless.
I love the idea of playing something stupid or romantic. I'm not the smartest man in the room. I listen, and I learn, and I observe, but I'm always playing characters with intellects profoundly superior to mine. That's great fun, even though it's as much a fantasy for me as for the people watching me.
Fame is a weird one. You need to distance yourself from it. People see a value in you that you don't see yourself.
Any privacy in public is a hard thing to negotiate.
I'd shift disciplines, whether it was musical instruments or sports or whatever, and it's the same with that.
I am very flattered. I have also become a verb as in "I have cumberbatched the UK audience" apparently. Who knows, by the end of the year I might become a swear word too! It's crazy and fun and very flattering.
Do awards change careers? Well, I haven't heard of many stories where that's the case. It's a fun excuse to meet colleagues and celebrate people who've done well that year in certain people's eyes, and it's nothing more than that.
I know that might sound perverse because I played Julian Assange but, honestly, I don't think it would be fair for me to judge the man. I realize that makes me a bit of a hypocrite because I was portraying him a certain way, but we were always open to the fact that this was an interpretation, not any kind of exact evidence of who the man was.
I think the characters are supposed to be an open book, blank canvas.
The guy Doctor Strange, he's like most of us, he's uncorrupted flesh from the beginning of his life, he's somebody who's not marked with original sin or any kind of crap like that. He's somebody who's come into this world and had experiences that have shaped him to the point that we first meet him. There's always got to be leverage. I think there is some clear explanation of that within this film, but potentially further down the line...for more of that to come out as well.
I just want to bring people in a little bit to the idea of sitting down on a Sunday three consecutive weeks and having that water cooler moment that really was a sort of a national sensation in the U.K., 'cause it's kind of fun.
If people ask, 'Are you Sherlock Holmes?', it's horribly naff, but I say, 'I'm not, I just look a bit like him' - which is how I feel. There are bad attributes of his that I really don't share!
I got live tweeted once by someone who was opposite my home in some rented accommodation. He was actually describing on twitter what I was doing. 'I took a shirt off, I went to the window, I put a shirt back on... ' And I've got blinds in my flat!
I tend to have a cup of tea, try to stop worrying about what I did wrong, cool down and will the audience back in as soon as possible.
The generation now below me were born into a world where if you're a kid with raw talent now, you can roll in and land a lead in a Scorsese film. You don't have to have prove yourself by working up the ranks, doing the classics, and getting the canon under your belt in the way the great Sirs and Dames of mom and dad's generation - the Ben Kingsleys and Helen Mirrens and Anthony Hopkinses and people of that ilk.
I ate healthily, but there was no snacking, no drinking, no bread, no sugar, no smoking. Afterwards I had a pork belly roast.
Upper class to me means you are either born into wealth or you're Royalty.
I'm sad in a way that the character Doctor Strange leaves neurosurgery behind. It's an amazing discipline.
Doctors and nurses do crazy hours and keep an ideal afloat through the love and care that they have for their craft and their patients and the institution of the NHS. We should be very proud of it.
I'm really not Sherlock Holmes. I look a little bit like him and sound like him.
I had a very sparse comic upbringing - not because I was being whipped into reading Chekhov and Dickens, but I read Asterix on holidays when I was a kid, and Tin Tin was featured, I remember, for a few years.
I actually do mind having a photo taken because it's one o'clock in the morning and I'm off my face.
I wish my 15-year-old self had known about my allure to the opposite sex!
My massive motivation in life is to make parents proud. But even that has to stop at a point.
I am shortsighted. I need glasses for watching movies or concerts. It's not a hipster affectation; I do have poor eyesight. This is how ridiculous my life is: I've had the test for contact lenses, but I haven't found a half-day where I can go to the optician.
I'm always keen to use my body in my work, so I'm looking forward to the motion capture for Smaug. Both Gollum and King Kong were primates, whereas I'm playing a serpent, so it'll be interesting - I'll have to tie my legs together, possibly, or else they'll be kind of splayed out to the side as a reptile's should be.
Actor is an odd profession, and sometimes people get jealous, but I haven't really experienced any of that. Everyone's been really happy for me, which is really, really great.
If you can't jump on board when the ride's going past that's it, it usually goes by, so the hugest compliment they paid me was to come back to me. It motivated me to try to fulfill their faith.
I understand from those who adore him, he Julian Assange has a great sense of humor which rarely gets an airing because he's dealing with such serious issues.
Doctor Strange is selfish but he's still saving lives.
The biggest lesson Stephen Strange learns in this film is it's not all about him.
We should have a conversation when we hang up.
I've never done a lead role in a film this big like Doctor Strange, in a franchise this big. One of the reasons was, I wanted to know what the toy box was like. And it's just insane, the amount of facility that everyone gets, but the amount of artistry and craft that's brought to every aspect of filmmaking. I mean, you go to your first costume fitting and it's one of thirty. It's a myriad, but it's for a reason. There are so many incredible costumes in this.
I drive a motorbike, so there is the whiff of the grim reaper round every corner, especially in London.
It will be obvious to anyone who sees it that he Doctor Strange earns that cloak. You think he's doing all right and then you realize that there's one massive lesson to learn.
One of the fears of having too much work is not having time to observe. And once you get recognized, there is nowhere for you to look any more. You can't sit on a night bus and watch it all happen.
I'm not one for doing the children's party version: "Hi, I'm a character in a movie and now I'm in reality!" I was doing the last shot of the film before reshoots outside their shop. I was starting my run into the frame and I thought, "You are literally ending where this began. The loop of serendipity's too much to not go in and acknowledge it." I just wanted to see the look on their faces.
I did a lot of acting at school and university, then I went to drama school. It was quite a normal route.
It's an interesting arc. You start with a character Doctor Strange who's likeable and charming but very arrogant and distant. He's funny but you can see there are massive holes in his life. It's a very painful transition and all that he becomes is tested so quickly and violently.
Being in front of an audience makes me feel alive. Being with friends makes me feel alive. I've done some crazy stuff in my time and yet I can feel infinitely alive curled up on a sofa reading a book. So, what makes me feel alive? I guess it's realizing I am part of the world around me.
It does get strange when you realize people will hang around for hours to get a glimpse of you doing scenes outside.
It's always important to have the blessing.
I thought, well, why am I giving up on my primary dream to work doubly hard, to do something as an alternative to what it really still want to?
Being a posh actor in England you cannot escape the class-typing from whatever side you look at it.
Role of Dr.Strange gives me an excuse as an actor to be learning with my character, which is something you can do authentically - I'm not a martial arts expert, I'm certainly no sorcerer, so all these things, the movement of the body, the physicality, the changes he goes through mentally and physically, obviously we're not shooting in sequence, but it's a great part.
I'm not an overnight success. I've been doing it for 12 years. It's been lovely and varied so far.
I remember very clearly someone saying, 'Don't shake hands with the cactus,' and I thought, 'Well, why not? What could possibly go wrong?' Shaking hands is a friendly gesture.
It was great. I got to hang out with him Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, and I kept a straight face for a bit and then I started giggling because I know Martin, I don't know Bilbo. For Martin to be sitting there playing Bilbo is amazing. He's going to be amazing, he's going to be fantastic in this film.
'Benedict' means 'blessed.' My parents liked the sound of the name and felt slightly blessed because they'd been trying for a child for a very long time.
Sherlock being the most prevalent, and they've been really good fun.
I have actual acting scars.
Doctor Strange is a really rich character. It's an easy thing to have a good old meal every day. It's great. Yeah, I'm excited.
I was brought up in a world of privilege.
I think what I loved in cinema - and what I mean by cinema is not just films, but proper, classical cinema - are the extraordinary moments that can occur on screen. At the same time, I do feel that cinema and theater feed each other. I feel like you can do close-up on stage and you can do something very bold and highly characterized - and, dare I say, theatrical - on camera. I think the cameras and the viewpoints shift depending on the intensity and integrity of your intention and focus on that.
It's the same thing, I think, whether it's breathing or meditation or yoga. And running is a great way of doing it.
The training gave me the building blocks to get through it. A production of that scale, in a theater that big, you are going to struggle to keep your voice at first-run perfectness. All that work I did - the pull-ups and pushups - helped keep my body fit. Hamlet, the show, is a cardiovascular workout of about three hours, never mind the mental, soul-crushing element of it.
I'm aware of the power of looks. I've wanted to play roles that have gone to much better-looking people and you just think 'Oh well, that's the pin up guy's an actor like my friend James Mcavoy, who's gorgeous on screen. I'm not that. But at least I don't have to worry about taking precious care of my face because it's my commodity. That's a great freedom. I'm not afraid of being heinous for the sake of a part.
Someone will always hate what I say. There's always going to be somebody spitting blood about my wooden-faced, toffee-named, crappy acting.
I was very keen to work on the script with Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, and working out the important story beats, changing lines, upping the comedy, changing the pace, all of that was great fun.
Doctor Strange is difficult, he's arrogant, but he's kind of brilliant and charming and you'd think, "Yeah, I'd want him on my head if I needed brain surgery." He's good enough to warrant his arrogance and he respects other people but not when he thinks he's right and he'll just do what he deems needs to be done when he knows or feels that he's right and the problem from humility's point of view is that he is right, he's really really good at his job.
I'm a high-functioning sociopath, do your research.
One of the best things about being an actor is that it's a meritocracy.
It still makes me giggle that I'm paid to act.
The armoury of having any academic education does not necessarily set you up for being a good or better actor.
I'd love to meet Julian Assange, and time permitting, and his will permitting, I'm sure it will happen at some point. Even though he's been very critical of the film The Fifth Estate, he's been very polite about me and my work, and I feel the same way about him.
You have to sometimes just run with the problem rather than trying to solve it with hi-tech wizardry and lots of planning.
The awful lesson of history is that we too often ignore people, just because they're foreigners or different from us.
There's a heroic amount of effort that goes into making him Doctor Strange a superhero by the end of the film.
The first time we did cavalry charge I was so breathless with excitement I nearly fell off the horse. I actually saw stars in front of my eyes and thought I was going to faint. The second time I had a bit more control but was still giddy with excitement. And the third time I was an emotional wreck. I had to really try hard not to cry.
There are very specific demands, though, in television, and you notice the budget constrictions. It's the time constraint and a purse constraint more than anything else that you notice. But the ambition of the writing and, hopefully, the delivery of it gets better and better because we want to outdo ourselves to keep ahead of a very expectant and hungry public.
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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