I never understood the appeal of Benedict Cumberbatch.
That is, not until January 1st. 2014 has been the Year of the Cumberbatch.
Previously, I had heard the tales of the perfection of The Cumberbatch, but I just didn’t see it. All of my friends consistently talked about him, reblogged him on Tumblr, pinned him on Pinterest, all but stalked him. I just didn’t understand. Sure, he has a nice accent, but doesn’t all of England?, I thought stupidly to myself. It was like I had a veil over my eyes that made me woefully unaware of the truly important things in life.
So what happened on January 1st, you may ask? I was quite tired and lazy from the festivities the night before, so I decided to plop on my bed and watch Netflix. I had just finished the last season of Parks and Rec and was in dire need of a new show. As always, my roommate came to my aid to soothe my heartbroken soul. “Watch Sherlock!” she insisted. “It’s the perfect time for you to get into it because the new episode is airing tonight!” Fine, I thought to myself. But Benedict Cumberbatch is no Amy Poehler.
That’s right. He is no Amy Poehler. He is God.
First, a disclaimer: I haven’t seen everything that BC is in. In fact, I haven’t even seen most things he is in. However, in my journey to watch Parade’s End, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and rewatch Star Trek: Into Darkness, I’ve realized how selfish I’ve been. It’s not enough to hoard the gospel of The Cumberbatch to myself. I must share it with my readers.
And here we GO.
1. We all are Sherlocked
Let’s get the most obvious reason out of the way. Holy balls, can this guy play Sherlock. I used to be a massive fan of the Sherlock movies with Robert Downey Jr. I mean, nothing against RDJ, but The Cumberbatch blows any previous performance out of the water.
Photo by sh3rlock3dheart221b (fan girl to da max)
I’m not even going to get too far into this reason because you need to watch Sherlock for yourself. But here’s the thing: BC is so much more than Sherlock. Sherlock is what alerted me to his acting talent, but that only scratches the surface. So go ahead: watch Sherlock, please. But don’t despair when you finish the only available three seasons, and not only because more will be coming out—but because there is a reason why BC has been hailed as the King of the Internet.
2. He is a dragon
Yeah, you read that right. The Cumberbatch is known for his sultry, velvety baritone voice, so you’d think the casting directors of The Hobbit Part II: The Desolation of Smaug would come running to him for the part of Smaug. However, BC went out of his way to approach them, put himself on tape, and get an audition himself. And he got it, because apparently, he is so versatile that he can either sound like sex on a stick, or an incredibly awesome dragon that gives you chills down your spine. (Or maybe both.)
Photo by Tolkienerd
However, that’s not all. BC insisted on using motion-capture so he could crawl on the ground and act the part of Smaug as he delivered his lines (as pictured above). When watching the film, you can even see some of his expressions in Smaug’s face. In other words, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH CAN BECOME A DRAGON AT WILL. Enough said.
3. He can do hilariously on-point impressions
Alright, folks, get ready for some heavy link-age. BC does a very convincing Chewbacca (which, by the way, he adorably pronounces “CHEW-backa”), Obi-Wan Kenobi, Graham Norton, Bruce Willis (lengthy, but I’ll make you search for it because it’s such a great video in general), Martin Freeman (their bromance has inspired an adorable “Freebatch” Tumblr), Alan Rickman, and…Alan Rickman singing. It’s important to differentiate the two of those, because both are equally amazing on their own.
4. As previously mentioned, he is sex on a stick
In case you weren’t totally sure why The Cumberbatch is drop dead sexy, I have created an incredibly scientific and official diagram, as pictured below.
I mean really. Dem cheekbones.
5. He’s all for women’s rights
Rightfully so, BC has many fans. But some of those fans can get a bit extreme. And those fans have labeled themselves “Cumberbitches.” Ha, punny.
The Cumberbatch does not abide. But not because he doesn’t love his fans—in fact, quite the contrary. In an interview for The Times, BC claimed, “I won’t allow you to be my bitches. I think it sets feminism back so many notches. You are…Cumberpeople.”
Oh sweet Jesus. Nothing’s sexier than a man who makes women’s rights a priority.
6. His wonderful presence on Reddit
The Cumberbatch is on Reddit, and he openly answered the questions of hundreds of excited fans in this adorable thread. For example, here’s how he feels about fame:
“You can’t imagine fame. You can only ever see it from an outsider and comment on it with the rueful wisdom of a non participant. When it happens to you, it doesn’t matter what age or how, it is a very steep learning curve. The imprtanot*** thing to realize in all of it is that life is short, to protect the ones you love, and not expose yourself to too much abuse or narcissistic reflection gazing and move on. If fame affords me the type of ability to do the kind of work I’m being offered, who am I to complain about the downsides. It’s all relative. And this are obviously very high class problems. The way privacy becomes an every shrinking island is inevitable but also manageable and it doesn’t necessary have to get that way…”
***You should check the rest of the thread out not only to see BC’s clever wit and deep responses, but also to check out his typos, because it’s nice to be able to say, “Hey, I fuck up sometimes when I type, too!” (Yes, even his typos are perfection.)
7. He critiques his own memes
There are many memes out there featuring celebrities, i.e. Ryan Gosling’s “Hey Girl” and Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” memes. Likewise, there is also an otter meme featuring BC, as pictured below:
Photo by Cheezburger.com, naturally
What adds to BC’s perfection is that he didn’t just acknowledge the meme, but actually critiqued it. When an interviewer showed him the meme, BC immediately says, “there’s a massive continuity error here.” He points out that the otter on the top left has his hands in a slightly different position than BC himself does, then claims that the meme is “meh.” (Check out him saying that line here, and expect to watch it about 15 times in a row.)
A celebrity who critiques the continuity of his own memes? Swoon, goes the internet.
8. He handles the paparazzi in an ingenious way
Okay, so it’s pretty obvious that quite a few celebrities hate the paparazzi. There’s the time when Britney Spears went apeshit all over a guy with an umbrella, or when Justin Bieber was accused of battery after roughing up a photographer. And let’s not forget Kanye, who wrestled a photographer and then even finished off his camera.
The Cumberbatch, however, takes a different approach.
Photo by Softpedia
BC doesn’t get physical, but rather, humble. He diverts attention away from himself and onto more important issues in the world. Because again, perfection.
Oh, and this might not have to do with paparazzi directly, but we can’t forget about the time when he took advantage of the large amounts of people and cameras gathered to watch the Sherlock finale being filmed. He held up four handwritten sheets of paper that read:
“Questions we have a right to ask in a democracy – Cameron, Theresa May, GCHQ, teachers, parents, each other. Hard drives smashed, journalists detained at airports. Democracy? Schedule 7 Prior restraint – is this erosion of civil liberties winning the war on terror? What do they not want you to know? And how did they get to know it? Does the exposure of their techniques cause a threat to our security or does it just cause them embarrassment?”
What a guy.
9. HIS NAME.
Finally, we can’t forget the beauty of BC’s name.
Okay, firstly, the name “Benedict Cumberbatch” is the most English name ever to the point of insanity. Even better? His full name is Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch. Yep, really. Towards the beginning of his career, he went by Benedict Carlton. According to him:
“It didn’t ride very well. I had sort of six months trying to get work, and I moved agents, and she went, ‘Why on Earth aren’t you calling yourself Benedict Cumberbatch?’ I said, ‘Well, because it sounds like a fart in a bath.’”
A fart in a bath. The definition of perfection, ladies and gents.
Featured photo by natsuko106s