Benedict Cumberbatch might be on his way to his first Oscar nomination, thanks to his role as Alan Turing in the film, The Imitation Game. While audiences won’t officially know about a possible nod from The Academy until Jan. 15, the British actor talked to Annette Insdorf at New York City’s 92Y Reel Pieces series about the role.
Turing’s decoding machine might have been an innovation of World War II that helped defeat the Nazis, but it eventually led to the invention of the modern computer. The film is also “utterly relevant” to today because Cumberbatch believes it deals with contemporary issues — women in the workplace and homosexuality.
“Everything that he experienced influenced his mind, which, again, amplifies the volume of the tragedy of his death,” he told Insdorf. “He’s become a gay icon because he was true to his identity.”
Turing was punished by the British government for his homosexuality which eventually caused him to commit suicide. The wartime inventor was eventually pardoned in 2013 years, but Cumberbatch admitted that it was “still too little, too late.”
The Sherlock actor was introduced to the script while shooting Star Trek Into Darkness. He loved Graham Moore‘s writing because of “how uncompromising it was — there was no vanity about the character. Graham was not trying to make you like him. He was introducing this extraordinarily difficult, diffident and different man with great humor. And that was a real relief because the minute you’re playing clever for the sake of being clever, or just demonstrating intelligence, it’s very dent as drama or anything that can engage you to further investigation or interest, I personally feel.”
The Imitation Game was released on Nov. 28.