Benedict Cumberbatch on Playing Geniuses: “Brilliant people have private moments of self-doubt and things which we could all relate to”

benedict-cumberbatch-sherlock

Whether it’s his distinctive voice or his bearing, Benedict Cumberbatch has been a go-to actor for intelligent characters like Sherlock Holmes or British mathematician Alan Turing. In a conversation with the Los Angeles Times, Cumberbatch spoke about what’s on his mind when he’s playing such characters… and he admits it isn’t quite brilliant.

Cumberbatch admits that while he often plays highly intelligent characters, what usually goes on within the characters’ brilliant minds isn’t what’s going on in his. He explains, “It’s about the character. I’ve been very, very fortunate that there’s something going on behind my eyes so that it looks like I’m … encompassing the brilliance of their minds and ability to concentrate. But you know I have a very superficial, skin-thin understanding of the science. … It’s just about finding the humanity in all of that. Brilliant people have private moments of self-doubt and things which we could all relate to, but they also have these extraordinary moments of discovery or pioneering brilliance that pushes the envelope in how we view the world. I try not to pull faces — if I do, it has to be something with the character.”

In fact, Cumberbatch points out that actors have to be careful that real-life thoughts don’t intrude on their performance. He says, “Actors often have that kind of a feeling, especially on stage when you’re struggling through the weirdness of your day and you’re doing the play for the umpteenth time in a long run, that’s very often something that happens: Your mind drifts and you think, ‘I forgot to buy the cheese in the supermarket!’ You have to be careful of those mundanities creeping in because they can play havoc with your concentration.”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jake-gyllenhaal-demolition.jpg
Jake Gyllenhaal on ‘Demolition’, Working with Chris Cooper and Directors Who Want Nothing to Do With Him
"I think storytelling is the most important part of movie-making over performance." - Jake Gyllenhaal
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/don-cheadle-miles-davis.jpg
Don Cheadle: “Be scared. Be on the edge of your creativity”
"Be willing to fall flat on your face and be in an unknown place. If you're doing that, you're probably growing" - Don Cheadle
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jessie-eisenberg-louder-than-bombs.jpg
What is Jesse Eisenberg’s “Most Fulfilling Acting Experience”?
"My absolute favorite thing to do is to write a play and then, after I finish, do the first reading of it with my friends around the table"- Jesse Eisenberg
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Lupita-Nyong’o-eclipsed.jpg
Lupita Nyong’o on Her Broadway Debut: “When we get up on that stage, you do not know what will happen”
"I think theater offers a chance to flex muscles that then only help to sustain cinematic work." - Lupita Nyong'o
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/jake-gyllenhaal-demolition.jpg
Jake Gyllenhaal on Missed Superhero Opportunities and Portraying “Antisocial” Characters
"I’ve always wanted to have the opportunity to play a number of different roles, and I knew it wasn’t necessarily the role, but how you played them" - Jake Gyllenhaal