Benedict Cumberbatch – BiographyBenedict Cumberbatch is a British actor, who has inextricably linked himself with Sherlock Holmes’ name. His filmography contains dozens of curious characters. However, genius and baddies are the most successful stage types of Benedict.
Family and ChildhoodBenedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch came to life on 19 July 1976. It happened in the capital of United Kingdom, London. His parents, Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham, were famous TV actors. No surprise, the boy had gone for the acting since the childhood.
By the way, Benedict Cumberbatch is a distant relative of Richard III of England. 16 generations bridge the gap between them. However, the actor’s family tree includes other worthy ancestors. His grandfather, Henry Cumberbatch, served as a submarine officer during the World War I and World War II. The actor’s great-grandfather was a general consul in Turkey and Lebanon in the Queen Victoria’s epoch.
His parents give a special attention to the son’s education. So, Benedict changed several schools searching the best one. Benedict stepped out on the stage in one of these schools – the Harrow School. The 13-year-old boy’s premiere role was Titania, Queen of the Fairies in the drama «A Midsummer Night’s Dream». The parents gave him pieces of advice so that the beginning actor could fascinate viewers and tutors with his acting ability, mature for his age.
After finishing school, Benedict took a trip across the Asian countries. He even lived in a Tibetan monastery for a year, where he taught English to the monks.
When Benedict returned to England, he entered the Manchester University, where he studied the Theater Arts for the next four years. He then continued to improve his acting skills in the oldest UK-based theatre school, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He received the MA Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre.
Career StartIn 2001, Benedict Cumberbatch began performing on the professional stage. He first played in the famous Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. Then, he proved himself in the Royal Court Theatre, Almeida Theatre, and at the Royal National Theatre. His bright performance in the «Hedda Gabler» play brought him his first Laurence Olivier Award. It was given to Benedict by the Theatrical Community of London.
In 2002, Benedict Cumberbatch first appeared on TV screens with a cameo role in the TV series «Heartbeat», «Silent Witness», «Fields of Gold» and «Tipping the Velvet». Drama «To Kill a King» with Tim Roth starring became the first full-length picture with Cumberbatch.
It is hard to call these pictures significant. However, it was enough for Benedict Cumberbatch’s featuring Hugh Laurie’s project «Fortysomething» in 2003. He played the role of the main hero’s son in the series. The TV-series was shot as a family comedy, so Benedict’s hero got enough air. Although, the project fell far short of expectations and was cancelled in the middle of the season.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s one of the first roles (TV-series «Heartbeat»)
In 2004, Benedict Cumberbatch played the role of a physician Stephen Hawking in the documental picture «Hawking». The role brought him his first popularity, nomination for the BAFTA, and the main award of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.
In 2005, he starred in an adventure TV-series «To the Ends of the Earth» in the face of the young aristocrat Edmund Talbot.
From this moment, Benedict Cumberbatch became the star of the British mini-series. In 2006, he featured the teenager drama «Starter for 10» with James McAvoy. Later on, he segued into the history drama genre in the picture «Amazing Grace». In 2007, he faced quite a curious experience in a short drama «Inseparable». He played there twins with dramatic opposite characters.
Both critics and viewers glamorized the dystopia «The Last Enemy» and the drama «Small Island». Benedict Cumberbatch was even nominated for a Satellite Award and BAFTA for the second time for these films.
A short drama «Inseparable»: Benedict Cumberbatch plays twins
In 2010, the actor played Vincent Van Gogh in the documentary «Van Gogh: Painted with Words». He also voiced over a documentary series of Discovery Channel «Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking».
Graham Norton Show: Benedict Cumberbatch does impressions of otter
New Sherlock HolmesThe talent and perseverance made Benedict Cumberbatch a star in his native country. However, he was still a little known person outside the Great Britain. Although, he had his audience in the new BBC promising project in front of him.
Mark Gatiss, the screenwriter and the film director of the «Sherlock» series has put a strict condition before beginning the casting: «No Hollywood celebrities». The video resume of Cumberbatch interested him much. Soon, Benedict stood before him in person. Cumberbatch was the first and the single candidate for Sherlock’s role. He was approved with no doubt after the audition.
The audition for the role of Dr. Watson was more complicated. Many stars of British cinema were reportedly considered for the role of a faithful Assistant, including Matt Smith of «Doctor Who». But Martin Freeman chatted with Benedict so enthusiastically during the casting that film directors decided to approve him: «At least, they don't have to pretend to be friends.»
Benedict had to undergo the hard training before the shooting. Every day he practiced yoga and swimming, to make the body more thin and bony (this was the requirement of the film directors). He also took violin lessons from Australian actress and violinist Eos Chater.
July 25, 2010, the UK residents saw a modern version of the great detective adventures. Of course, there were those people who were dissatisfied with Conan Doyle's universe alteration in a new way. However, the vast majority of viewers saw the BBC experiment as a bold, bright and prominent action. Cumberbatch immediately climbed the leading position of all possible TV rankings. The premiere showing was awaited by the viewers eagerly all around the globe.
Sherlock: behind the scene
Of course, the popularity of the series is not Cumberbatch only merit. Each series had a famously twisted plot. Each picture was filmed at the highest level. However, this fantastic curly actor with characteristic mimicry managed to make a screen Sherlock truly guineas.
Further CareerThe «Sherlock» was approved without hesitation for the next season. However, Benedict could have a sheer amount of spare time due to the project management policy. They preferred to delight fans with the new series rarely but aptly. Nevertheless, they didn’t allowed the actor to bore for a long time. The «Sherlock» star received offers from prominent filmmakers of the United States and Europe.
In 2011, he had already brilliantly played with Johnny Lee Miller. He shared with him one body in the movie «National Theatre Live: Frankenstein». Then he appeared with Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy on the shooting stage of the detective thriller «Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy». The role of the British Intelligence Assistant was appreciated at the Raindance British Independent Film Awards (the British equivalent of Sundance) by the nomination Best Supporting Actor.
He then starred in the Steven Spielberg’s picture «War Horse» and the drama «Wreckers» by the independent British film director Dictynna Hood.
In 2012, he played in the mini-series «The Hollow Crown». Dedicated to Shakespeare plays, the project gave bread to many popular British actors such as Tom Hiddleston (played Henry V), Jeremy Irons (Henry IV), and Benedict Cumberbatch (Richard III).
In 2012, the first part of the trilogy «The Hobbit» was released, where the main antagonist Sauron (also known as Necromancer) talked with Cumberbatch’s voice. In the next episode, the actor voiced over Sauron and Smaug, the Dragon. Although the character was drawn on a computer, a giant lizard got mimicry of the actor due to the motion capture technology. That is why the Smaug’s physiognomy reminds Benedict Cumberbatch’s one.
In 2013, Cumberbatch again turned into a baddy in the sci-fi action «Star Trek into Darkness». His character named Khan Singh gets into the hands of Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine’s heroes team.
Benedict Cumberbatch voices over Smaug, the Dragon
In the same year, Benedict Cumberbatch played the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange in the film «The Fifth Estate». Then he played the role of an intelligent slave-owner William Ford, favorable to blacks in «12 Years a Slave».
In the movie «August: Osage Country», released in 2013, he had to fend off psychological attacks of Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts characters at a family dinner. Both actresses were nominated for an Academy Award. Ironically, Lupita Nyong'o, who starred in the picture «12 Years a Slave», «stole» the statuette from Julia Roberts.
In August 2014, the premiere of the biographical film «The Imitation Game» was released. The picture is devoted to the great cryptanalyst Alan Turing. The film received eight Oscar nominations. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley were nominated in the category The Best Actor and the Best Supporting Actress. Despite the fact both actors failed (Benedict was beaten by Eddie Redmayne starring the «Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking», and Keira was defeated by Patricia Arquette performing in the «Adolescence»), the picture won in the nomination the Best Adapted Screenplay and has become one of the major events in the cinema world in 2014.
In 2015, Cumberbatch played with Johnny Depp in the crime drama «Black Mass», and also played Hamlet’s role on the stage of the Barbican Theatre in London. The performance was broadcasted live in many countries around the world, including Russia.
Benedict Cumberbatch speech to fans before «Hamlet»
In 2016, Benedict Cumberbatch starred the picture of Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller's «Zoolander 2». He played the role of model-transgender, which outraged many fans of the actor. All this led to the creation of the virtual petition, which was eventually signed by a few thousand users.
However, the discontent quickly passed when people revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch together with Tilda Swinton was approved for a lead role in the superhero action «Doctor Strange».
The Private LifeWhile studying at the Manchester University, Benedict Cumberbatch met an actress Olivia Poulet. Their love affair lasted for more than 12 years. However, the press posted articles about their split at the beginning of 2011.
Later on, the actor had been dating with a designer Anna Jones for a few months.
In 2013, Benedict Cumberbatch topped the list of the sexiest male actors on Empire Magazine. Editors were especially fascinated by his image in «Star Trek into Darkness». His character Khan Singh was printed on the cover of the February edition.
Benedict has been noticed in the company of Russian model Katia Elizarova in Ibiza after the shooting in the final part of «The Hobbit». Later on, the girl admitted to the press that she has been dating with Cumberbatch since 2012. However, the actor has not confirmed this information.
Some time the media actively posted information that Benedict Cumberbatch is a gay. The actor did not hint on that in no way, except perhaps, the role of Alan Turing. The love affair with Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter put the end to the rumors.
Benedict and Sophie met on the shooting stage of the film «Burlesque Fairytales» in 2009. Five years they were just good friends, and began dating in 2014. They concealed their love affair from the mass media for a long time.
In November 2014, the Times wedding section posted about the engagement of Benedict, son of Wanda and Timothy Cumberbatch, residents of London, and Sophie, daughter of Katherine Hunter from Edinburgh and Charles Hunter from London. Today the tradition to report on the upcoming wedding in newspapers is considered by the British as an anachronism. However, the actor stressed that he considers this particular custom to be extremely nice and he would post the notice all the way, even if he were infamous.
The wedding of Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter was held on February 14, 2015. Only relatives and close friends of the newlyweds were allowed to the ceremony, including Martin Freeman and Tom Hiddleston. There were 40 persons in total.
The actor’s female fans noticed that the bride was pregnant at the time of the ceremony. Indeed, Sophie got married on the fifth month of pregnancy. Benedict Cumberbatch's firstborn came into life on the first day of summer and was given the name Christopher. «I became a father and a husband, and I did it in the right order. I'm ready to make some more Cumberbabies», confessed the actor.
By the way, Benedict has an excellent sense of humor. He never ceases to delight his fans with its manifestations. For example, in November 2016, the actor starred in a parody of the legendary commercial for the Macintosh «1984», shot by Steven Spielberg for Steve Jobs in 1984.
Benedict Cumberbatch imitating the Apple commercial
Benedict Cumberbatch TodayNowadays Benedict Cumberbatch is the most recognizable British actor in Hollywood. He was the star of "The Current War" (2017), where he played Thomas Edison and Nicolas Holt was Nikola Tesla. In 2018 mini-series "Patrick Melrose" with Benedict Cumberbatch as the main character was released.
He appeared as Dr Strange in "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame", and than gave his voice to Satan in British series "Good Omens".
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