Stranger things to come

When he’s not surfing between parallel universes as Doctor Strange, London-born actor Benedict Cumberbatch likes to surf the waves and of course, dive deep into the psyche of the characters he plays. 

“There are some Marvel capers in the making next year,” teased Benedict Cumberbatch in reference to 2024, slyly confirming his return to the role of Doctor Strange. 

However, it was his role as the enigmatic detective in BBC’s Sherlock that catapulted him to global stardom. Known for his deep, resonant voice and his ability to fully inhabit characters, Cumberbatch’s nuanced performances have earned him a reputation as a master of his craft, and he admits to particularly relishing playing characters as far away from himself as possible. 

“Yes, it’s what lures me into accepting a part and regardless of what the situation is – well, in most cases – I do enjoy unwrapping the stories and deciding how I am going to portray it in my own way,” reveals Cumberbatch. 

His acting style is characterised by his intense preparation and deep commitment to every role, and even once he is finished with a part Cumberbatch, unlike many actors, is keen to bear witness to his efforts.

“Observing one’s own performance can be enlightening, but it’s not universally beneficial for every actor,” he explains. 

“Every scene has its unique context and, at times, what I intended to convey might not align with the overall mood or another character’s rhythm. However, when it does align, it’s satisfying as an actor to say: ‘That was the exact emotion I wanted to express.’”

I’ve had my adventures, and I cherish them.

Outside of his career, Cumberbatch’s personal life has also garnered attention. He married theatre director Sophie Hunter in 2015, and they have several children together. Now 47-years-old, the Hawking star is keen to prioritise his family, having left his wilder days behind him. 

“These days, the thrill of adrenaline doesn’t hold the same appeal for me. I’ve had my adventures, and I cherish them,” says Cumberbatch, who previously skydived in New Zealand and even experienced a terrifying car-jacking incident while filming in South Africa. 

“My primary focus is my wife and our three sons. There’s an overwhelming sense of contentment in knowing there are individuals in my life whom I deeply cherish, and who, in many ways, matter more to me than my own self. I wholeheartedly embrace the responsibility they bring,” he says. 

“On a lighter note, I did pick up surfing a while back. Embarking on this in my mid-40s isn’t a cakewalk, but it’s genuinely enjoyable and more suited for family outings. Though, I must admit, if I’m out in the waves a tad too long, my wife’s pointed glances at the clock serve as a gentle reminder: it’s time to refocus on family!”

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