I think he’s basically - he didn’t start this way. He’s brilliant, he was obviously a prodigy at school, and an outsider because of that, and I think what happened is that through dint of that isolating experience, he started to hone these very concentrated skills. And they require certain cut-offs, and I think, ideally, what he’s trying to fashion himself into, because he has possibly been hurt, because he does, possibly, have a heart. He’s someone whose robotic, almost, in his illogical capacity to deal with people, problems, like a machine. What this series is about, in the gestation of his character and the relationship with Watson, that very much humanizes and grounds him, is his growth from this sort of impervious, uh, almost superhero-level of intelligence acquired through dint of hard work, but almost unreal. He protects that to a point whereby he can’t anymore, he has to - and his guard’s let down by his feelings. The fact that he’s revealed to be human. So we see eventually a humanization of him, I guess. And, um, I think that’s his biggest problem, is wanting to be more than human, and escape the frailties of being human, while at the same time being human.
From Public Radio International’s Bullseye with Jesse Thorn:
Benedict Cumberbatch is a British actor, and the man currently responsible for instilling life into a modern Sherlock Holmes on PBS’s Masterpiece series Sherlock, alongside Martin Freeman of The Office as John Watson. While Cumberbatch and Freeman are the latest in a long line of actors to play these characters, there is something fresh about their adaptation: Sherlock takes place in the present day, updating the classic detective to our modern era. In the past year, Cumberbatch has memorably stolen scenes in period dramas like War Horse and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and is currently filming his first major villainous role as Khan in next summer’s J.J. Abrams Star Trek sequel.
Benedict joins Jesse to discuss bringing a new take to an iconic character, and what keeps Holmes relevant to both writers and audiences all these years later. He also opens up about how a life-threatening altercation while filming in South Africa in 2004 left him changed as a person. The Series Two finale of Sherlock airs this Sunday, May 20th, on PBS Masterpiece. Series Two will be available on DVD just two days later, on Tuesday the 22nd.
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Oh this is helping my draw come together rather nicely. His voice is soothing.
Brilliant interview. They let Benedict talk at length, which is brilliant, and we get a more in-depth of the hijacking in South Africa as a life-changing experience for him. Extremely moving, go listen.