Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Benedict Cumberbatch Quotes

1. "Frankenstein" was all about the idea that, through electricity and the destruction of night, man creating light and darkness, we took on god-like powers and then abused them like gods, and we are only men. That's a story about man making a man in his own image. The inversion of natural order.

2. (on "Harrow") Everyone was always going on fantastic holidays, and I would be like: "Yeah, I'm going to see my gran in Brighton."

3. I struggle to learn by rote. I've had meltdowns on set. Which is embarrassing and shameful.

4. (on his sex life) I always seem to be cast as slightly wan, ethereal, troubled intellectuals or physically ambivalent bad lovers. But I'm here to tell you I'm quite the opposite in real life. In fact I'm a f…king fantastic lover.

5. 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!

6. I can feel infinitely alive curled up on the sofa reading a book.

7. Pull the hair on my head the wrong way, and I would be on my knees begging for mercy. I have very sensitive follicles.

8. (There has been) a huge blogging response to me selling out to Hollywood and dating a model and become a walking cliché. That was nice.

9. I had a real yearning to make use of the opportunities I had at school. When I heard about the gap year of teaching English at a Tibetan monastery, I knew I had to do something about it really quickly, otherwise it was going to get allocated.

10. I love theatre, and you learn too much as an actor and enjoy too much of it not to want to go back a lot.

11. (on Stephen Hawking) He's such a presence and you have to really know what you want to say to him or ask him because it takes such a huge, phenomenal effort for him to communicate with you. You think: "I really don't want to waste this man's time". I was myself rather than thinking: "I'm a stupid actor; how on earth can I impress someone like this? I don't know what to say to make me feel worthy of playing this man."

12. I haven't done period dramas back-to-back, or really anything back-to-back. You get asked to do what you're most recently famed for, so I'm careful of not repeating myself.

13. (on being invited by Madonna to her London home to discuss playing Duke of Windsor (aka "Edward VIII") in "W.E.") I'd whizzed round on my bike and thought we were going to have a read-through and a chat, but she wanted a full-on dress rehearsal...So I ended up in a suit and tie with Madonna operating the camera herself.

14. The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.

15. (on initially using his father's stage name "Carlton") When I started, I just assumed I couldn't be called Benedict Cumberbatch…but then, one day, I told someone in the business what I was really called and they said: "That's great, that's something you can use to stand out."

16. I never was obsessive about anything I watched when I was a kid, except maybe "The A-Team" and "Airwolf"…And I loved "Knight Rider" and then later "Baywatch."

17. (on his "Sherlock Holmes" series) It's a rare challenge, both for the audience and an actor, to take part in something with this level of intelligence and wit. You have to really enjoy it. It's a form of mental and physical gymnastics.

18. I want to be able to play trailer-bound fatties in a Judd Apatow comedy.

19. I think with any characterization there's a point where you empathize, no matter how much of a deviance his or her actions may be from your understanding of humanity.

20. I realized quite early on that, although I wasn't trying to make a career speciality of it, I was playing slightly asexual, sociopathic intellectuals.

21. 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.

22. I was happy as an only child, but I've always wanted to be part of a bigger family.

23. I'm not confident in social situations; just going up to someone in a bar and saying "Hi" is going to be even more difficult because they won't know the real me. They will just know me as a fictional person I play on the screen.

24. I've been very lucky at what's happened in my career to date, but playing something as far from me as possible is an ambition of mine - anything from a mutated baddy in a comic book action thriller, to a detective. If anything, I'd like Gary Oldman's career: he's the perfect example of it. I've love to have a really broad sweep of characters - to be able to do something edgy, surprising and unfashionable.

25. Maybe it's because I was an only child, but I've always wanted kids.

26. It's difficult because nothing's preordained by plan and you can't control it. That's one of those joys and thrills and nerve-racking realities of being an actor. A lot has to do with luck, no matter what your talent or contribution can be.

27. (on Martin Freeman playing Bilbo Baggins) It was great. I got to hang out with him, 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.

28. I wasn't born into land or titles, or new money, or an oil rig.

29. (on "Sherlock" fan-fiction) I suppose my bodily proportions are quite flattering. I'm ripped, doing something I wouldn't normally do with my body, or having done to it, involving Watson. So that's as far as I'll hit about that one, but it's all there on the Web if you want to find it. I was amazed at the level of artistry; people have spent hours doing it. And there's some really weird cross breeding stuff that goes on. The news got out that I was playing Smaug in "Hobbit" and suddenly there were lots of dragons with purple scarves flying around so it's crazy, it's crazy.

30. Metaphorically speaking, it's easy to bump into one another on the journey from A to B and not even notice. People should take time to notice, enjoy and help each other.

31. (on declining to reprise his much-acclaimed role in "After the Dance" on Broadway) I've never really made a head-over-heart decision like that before but there's a bit of momentum and I'd like to keep myself available for films.

32. 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.

33. I've seen and swam and climbed and lived and driven and filmed. Should it all end tomorrow, I can definitely say there would be no regrets. I am very lucky, and I know it. I really have lived 5,000 times over.

34. My first agent dissuaded me from calling myself "Cumberbatch." I had six months of not very productive time with her, so I changed agents. The new one said: "Why aren't you using your family name? It's a real attention-grabber." I worried: "How much is it going to cost to put my name in lights?" But then I decided that's not my problem.

35. I was always performing, doing silly voices. The teachers realized I could go one of two ways: be creative or destructive.

36. (on his role in "Star Trek Into Darkness") I don't really believe in good and evil. I don't really believe in heroes and villains. His reasons for what he does are quite profoundly persuasive. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and the fact that he's a shadow self of Kirk - same coin, different sides - is what makes him interesting to play.

37. My first, big, silly role at school was as Arthur Crocker-Harris in Rattigan's "The Browning Version," where my job was to make school-masters' wives weep with recognition.

38. I drag a lot of stuff round with me that I don't need.

39. (advice from co-star Meryl Streep) I asked her how she approached the multiple layers of her part. And she said: "I don't know. I don't have a process. It changes with every job, doesn't it?" And I thought: "Oh, thank God, to hear her say it. This whole thing about technique or method? It's bullshit". People say: "Oh, you're so precise." But within that I work very hard to give every part a heartbeat. I learned a lot from just watching Meryl in repose. It was a bit like a Sherlock deduction actually.

40. People's hands fascinate me. It's tempting to look at a businessman's left hand and see if there's an indentation from a missing wedding ring. Or maybe there's a tan line and the skin is pressed down where's he's worked a ring off his finger.

41. (re would-be response to Julian Assange about movie portrayal of him) Well, somebody is going to do it, wouldn't you rather it's someone who has your ear, who could steer the film to a place that's more accurate or balanced? The tabloid image of him, what he fears is going to be promoted - that weird, white-haired guy wanted for rape - is so far from what we did.

42. I wish my 15-year-old self had known about my allure to the opposite sex!

43. "Sherlock" fans are, by and large, an intelligent breed, so they've gone through my back catalogue and got what I've done, why and how I've done it. There is some obsessive behavior, but I worry for them rather than me.

44. (on his Hobbit character) It was publicized that I "voice" Smaug, and I thought: "F…king hell". My voice, my motions - I worked my a... off to create that dragon!

45. Being a posh actor in England you cannot escape the class-typing from whatever side you look at it.

46. I can tell you I'm a huge fan of "Downton Abbey" and what I said was quite, quite clearly - to most intelligent New York Times readers - a joke.

47. The number of people my age, younger now, a whole generation younger, who are fiercely bright, over-educated, under-employed and who are politicized and purposeless really upsets me. It's soul-destroying.

48. Sometimes as an actor you're looking for the infinite. If you can hold that, if you can remember that in the chaos, (it will) anchor you and give you grace and ease.

49. I'll always do "Sherlock" - it's something I'm not going to give up on.

50. There's a huge raft of roles that actors in our culture perform, and you can see any one of about three Hamlets in a year. It's not something to be completely daunted by.

51. If you have an over-preoccupation with perception and trying to please people's expectations, then you can go mad.

52. Worst thing about my profession? The press, obviously. Don't write that, eh?

53. To get a horse to hit a mark without a rider, to get it to stand up, to get it to rear, to get it to pick up a bucket and bring it over is amazing. It's hard work and very rewarding but can be dangerous.

54. (on being abducted in South Africa in 2005) It taught me that you come into this world as you leave it, on your own. It's made me want to live a life slightly less ordinary.

55. I'm interested in art for all. I don't want it to be only the sons and daughters of Tory MPs who get to see my plays.

56. We're living through a time where we are fighting wars fostered by politics, admittedly not on the same scale as the First World War, but with equally tragic realities for our soldiers and their families.

57. I'm a Prince of Wales Trust ambassador, so I'm all about giving youth an education, a voice and a chance to not take the wrong road.

58. When you're a kid, "Star Trek" is a slower burn. It's funny, it's entertaining, but it also has a maturity about it - which is its universal appeal, I think.

59. I've been broody since I was 12, but I can't just get anyone pregnant. It has got to be the right person.

60. When you start getting jobs, and see your mates from drama school, you don't really want to talk about it, because you have this innate sense of guilt that it's not fair that others aren't doing exactly what you're doing. I do have that.

61. My mum and dad had worked incredibly hard to afford me an education.

62. All the posh-bashing that goes on…It's all so predictable. So domestic, so dumb. It makes me think I want to go to America.

63. I don't live beyond my means. I enjoy luxury and I enjoy the privilege of it, when I can afford it, and I'm in the situation where it's been given to me, but I'm very conscious of what is wasteful.

64. I've realized now that the reality of children is you have to be in the right place with the right person.

65. I've always had an eye on longevity; I've got loads more goals to achieve. It's not like I've completely conquered the whole thing. That's a lifetime's objective, not an overnight thing.

66. I've been quite a late developer on the clothes front, but I've suddenly realized it is one of life's joys.

67. Cumberbatch - it sounds like a fart in a bath, doesn't it? What a fluffy old name. I can never say it on a Monday morning. When I became an actor, Mum wasn't keen on me keeping it.

68. If I'd had fame early on, I'd have been able to abuse it in the way that a young man should.

69. (on being cast in "War Horse") It's the standard actors' joke - "What are you doing after this?" "Oh, if Spielberg doesn't call then I'm going to go on holiday." But a week after I'd said that, I got the call (from Spielberg) to say I had the job. It's one of those moments you never forget - I just fell off my chair. Which is not a good start to the horse riding.

70. When I was six, I got stung by a wasp in a Greek market. A widow pulled down my pants, held me upside down and rubbed an onion on my bum.

71. Having your adolescence at an all-male boarding school is just crap.

72. It does get strange when you realize people will hang around for hours to get a glimpse of you doing scenes outside.

73. (on series two of "Downton Abbey") Downton traded a lot on the sentiment in the last series…but we won't talk about that series because it was, in my opinion, f***ing atrocious.

74. I met David Beckham at the bar and said: "Hello David. Nice to meet you. I play "Sherlock" on television back home."

75. I'm quite sensitive to people noticing me. There are times when I'm relaxed, then others when it does make me self-conscious.

76. I just looked at (the Golden Globe) and went: "Begone, woman. Bring it back when it says Sherlock Holmes or Steven Moffat or myself - someone else who's more deserving than the second series of "Downton Abbey".

77. In the riots I would probably stuck out like a dandy sore thumb and been beaten to shit.

78. It is a wonderful thing to get married young and become a father.

79. (on dating) I've punched well above my weight this year.

80. Lines are very difficult to learn.

81. I'm still very sensitive and wary of people recognizing me...The only thing that really annoys me is people trying to surreptitiously take a photo on their phone without asking. I feel it's cowardly and a bit pathetic. Just ask me if you really want me to have a photograph with you.

82. It'd be really nice to wake up looking like, I don't know, Jake Gyllenhaal and think: "Let's try this on for a day and see how it feels."

83. I can't stop traffic on Fifth Avenue, not unless I walk in front of an oncoming cab.

84. I have actual acting scars.

85. I dislike the size and shape of my head. I've been likened to Sid the Sloth from Ice Age...

86. Landing the role of Stephen Hawking was the most positively surprising thing that has happened to me.

87. I've gone up two suit sizes. The character I'm playing, he's strong, I can say that much. I've changed my physique a bit, so that requires eating like a foie gras goose, well beyond your appetite. Providing I don't feel too ill, I then work out two hours a day with a phenomenal trainer. It's the LA way.

88. I had the privilege of being able to choose, or at least have the opportunity to work at, being anything but an actor.

89. (on the polystyrene cup of coffee he has on-set) I try to get them to write "Sir Benedict" on it. Occasionally they oblige.

90. Live a life less ordinary.

91. (on his role in "Tipping The Velvet") I was the boy that turned a girlfriend into the most celebrated lesbian on television. I got so much stick for that.

92. I have an appetite for the normal in my life, as well as the abnormal.

93. (on winning an Actor of The Year Award) This is amazing, thank you. It makes up for a blog I accidentally read last night that described me as "horse-faced, a...-named, wooden and untalented." I can dispute the last two because you have honored me with this, but the first two? Yeah: I am horse-faced and a...-named, but there you go - it's what I was born with.

94. Mum did a lot of commercial theatre and farces in the 1980s and '90s to make sure the school bills were paid.

95. (on dieting for "Third Star") I ate healthily, but there was no snacking, no drinking, no bread, no sugar, no smoking. Afterwards I had a pork belly roast.

96. I was brought up in a world of privilege.

97. (on who he would want to meet in the world dead & alive & what he would say to them) Hitler. I'd tell him his paintings were great and to stay off the politics and get laid. Alive…The mother of my children and I'd ask them to take a deep breath and if they fancied a drink.

98. My own grandfathers were a submarine commander and a "desert rats" tank operator in the Second World War.

99. (on his popularity) 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.

100. I've always wanted to play a spy, because it is the ultimate acting exercise. You are never what you seem.

101. (on theatre) One interviewer asked me if I was worried about being trapped in the theatre. I said: "It's the best place to be." I know it sounds wanky, but as an actor the more I do it the more I need to do it.

102. One of the best things about being an actor is that it's a meritocracy.

103. Mystique is rare now, isn't it? There aren't that many enigmas in this modern world.

104. New York City is crazy and beautiful and really close to my heart, and I've always had dear friends here - family, actually, I would say.

105. We all want to escape our circumstances, don't we? Especially if you are an actor.

106. Someone will always hate what I say. There's always going to be somebody spitting blood about my wooden-faced, toffee-named, crappy acting.

107. I'm not loyal to one genre. I want to mix it up.

108. Talking about class terrifies me. There is no way of winning.

109. Our daily lives are so mundane, we get taken over by what is immediately in front of us and we don't see beyond that.

110. The armoury of having any academic education does not necessarily set you up for being a good or better actor.

111. Any privacy in public is a hard thing to negotiate.

112. The more charming person is the person who admits the other person is more charming.

113. 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!

114. The world of "Sherlock Holmes" and the world that we live in now is big enough to take more than one interpretation.

115. As an actor, you are aware of how a role can seep into your real life.

116. There's no shame in stealing - any actor who says he doesn't is lying. You steal from everything.

117. Do I like being thought of as attractive? I don't know anyone on Earth who doesn't, but I do find it funny.

118. There's so much in the 21st century that is stymied by bureaucracy and mediocrity and committee.

119. Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame.

120. When are you ever settled enough to have kids?

121. I am a PR disaster because I talk too much.

122. Upper class to me means you are either born into wealth or you're Royalty.

123. Fame is a weird one. You need to distance yourself from it. People see a value in you that you don't see yourself.

124. When you free fall for 7,000 feet it doesn't feel like you're falling: it feels like you're floating, a bit like scuba diving.

125. Every job is incredibly different, and I love it because you're picking up skill sets and experiences. It's the university of life.

126. When you see a good horseman, you're unable to tell where the instruction is coming from. It's like telepathy.

127. I love doing impersonations of people.

128. A woman who knows that she doesn't have to get all decked out to look good is sexy. A woman who can make you feel smart with her conversation skills is also sexy. I believe the sense of humor is important.

129. I drive a motorbike, so there is the whiff of the grim reaper round every corner, especially in London.

130. "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.

131. I did a lot of acting at school and university, then I went to drama school. It was quite a normal route.

132. 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.

What do you think of Benedict Cumberbatch's quotes?

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