Razberry Candy – Benedict Cumberbatch

 

NAME:  Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch

AGE: 37 (born 19 July 1976)

It’s Sherlock himself!  British Actor Benedict Cumberbatch has garnered himself legions of fans, both here and across the pond!  With the last series of Sherlock (although at just three episodes I think mini-series is more apt – we want more!) still fresh in our minds we bring you February’s Razberry Candy.

Benedict is a British actor, who grew up in London, in the extremely affluent area of the Royal Borough of Kensington and

Chelsea.  His parents, Timothy Carlton (full name Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch) and Wanda Ventham are both actors (for those of us who remember only Fools & Horses with great fondness, Wanda played Cassandra’s Mother), and Benedict attended boarding school from the tender age of just 8!   He went to Brambletye School, West Sussex and then went on to attend the very prestigious public school Harrow, where he was an arts scholar.  It was at Harrow, where his talent for acting really started to show, being part of the The Rattington Society, he had roles in numerous Shakespeare plays – his debut being in A Midsummer Night's Dream playing  Titania Queen of the Fairies, when he was about 13.

Spotting his talent at young age Harrow drama teacher, Martin Tyrell, called him

"the best schoolboy actor"

he had ever worked with.   Acting wasn’t the only feather in his cap, Benedict also played rugby for the school team. 

After leaving Harrow, he did as is so many do and took a gap year, however instead of travelling round Thailand or Australia (or just never leaving his bedroom) he went to Tibet, and taught English in a Tibetan Monastery.

University for Cumberbatch was the University of Manchester, where he studied, somewhat unsurprisingly, drama!  Not yet done with training he went onto train at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Benedict was a name and a face fairly well known before Sherlock and his acting career has always been a mixture of stage, television and big screen.  He first came to the attention of the television watching masses in 2002, when he played Freddy, in the stunningly good, and awfully rude Tipping the Velvet.  Before he gained his leading man status, he was a jolly decent jobbing actor, with small parts in a number of TV dramas, including Heartbeat, Spooks and Silent Witness.

However, it was probably in 2004 when he starred as Stephen Hawking, in the BAFTA nominated film Hawking.  Benedict himself won a Golden Nymph for the role, that brought him up to lead actor status , and his career after Hawking has been on a gradual up incline, with his first appearance on the silver screen in 2006.  It can be rather easy when an actor becomes known for a certain role to not remember or be able to picture them as anything else.   So here to surprise you is a non-exhaustive list of the all the theatre, TV and film appearances Benedict made BEFORE Sherlock!

THEATRE

  • 2005 – Tesman in Hedda Gabler            
  • 2010 – After the Dance  Theatre
  • 2010 – The Children's Monologues Theatre

TELEVISION

  • 2000 – Heatbeat
  • 2004 – Heartbeat
  • 2002 – Freddy in Tipping the Velvet
  • 2003 – Edward Hand in Cambridge Spies
  • 2003 – Rory in  Fortysomething
  • 2003 – Spooks
  • 2003 – Silent Witness
  • 2004 – Stephen Hawking in Hawking
  • 2005 – Edmund Talbot in To the Ends of the Earth
  • 2005 – comedy sketch show Broken
  • 2007 – A Life Backwards
  • 2008 – The Last Enemy
  • 2009 – Luke Fitzwilliam in Marple – Murder Is Easy
  • 2009 – Bernard in Small Island
  • 2009 – Burgess in The Turning Point
  • 2010 – Vincent van Gogh in Van Gogh: Painted with Words.

FILM

  • 2006 – William Pitt the Younger in Amazing Grace
  • 2007 – Atonement
  • 2008 – The Other Boleyn Girl
  • 2009 – Joseph Hooker in Creation
  • 2010 – The Whistleblower.

And then in 2010, came Sherlock!  And for many Benedict has made the role utterly his own.  Over the years there have been many Sherlock adaptations and the BBC has been responsible for a fair few, but bringing Sherlock into the 21st Century, with all its technology and advances was a master stroke and alongside Martin Freeman as the ever put upon Watson the show is undeniably one of the jewels in the BBC’s Crown.   Cumberbatch has recently confirmed that despite the call of Hollywood and a burgeoning Hollywood Blockbuster career, he has no plans to quit Sherlock  (“HURRAH”). There have been three series’ of Sherlock since 2010, and the last was rather a family affair, with Timothy and Wanda, Benedict’s parents starring also as Sherlock’s parents (and of course Martin Freeman’s real life long term partner Amanda Abbington took on the role of Mary Watson absolutely stunningly!).  Cumberbatch has been nominated for a BAFTA, Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role as Sherlock.

Sherlock has undoubtedly proved to be just the springboard Cumberbatch needed to put him up there as a ‘A’-list contender, and roles whilst he has been playing Sherlock have included:

THEATRE

  • 2011 – both Victor Frankenstein and his creature in  Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
  • 2012 – Royal National Theatre's landmark event for its 50th anniversary

TELEVISION

  • 2012 – Christopher in Parade's End
  • February 2014, Sesame Street with characters Murray and Count von Count

FILM

  • 2011- Peter Guillam in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • 2011 – Major Stewart in Steven Spielberg's War Horse
  • 2012 – Voice and motion capture as Smaug the Dragon and the Necromancer in The Hobbit  (and again in 2013 for The Hobbit –The Desolation of Smaug)
  • 2013 – Khan Noonien Singh in the Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
  • 2013 – Julian Assange (WikiLeaks founder) in The Fifth Estate
  • 2014 – William Ford in 12 Years a Slave
  • UPCOMING – Gary Oldman directed film called Flying Horse
  • UPCOMING – Voice role in DreamWorks  feature film Penguins of Madagascar
  • UPCOMING – Alan Turing in The Imitation Game
  • UPCOMING – lead role in Paramount Pictures and Plan B Entertainment's –  The Lost City of Z.

To say that our Bendict is busy is probably under-egging the pudding to a huge degree!  He is an incredibly talented actor who despite often being portrayed in the British press as a grumbling rich, privileged posh boy has managed to ignore all the posh-bashing and has earn his place in the ‘A’ List – fair and square.

WHAT MAKES HIM RAZBERRY CANDY: for playing everyone’s favourite high functioning sociopath with such aplomb!