The kidnapping that changed Benedict Cumberbatch's life.

Benedict Cumberbatch made headlines this week after he stepped in and saved a delivery cyclist from being mugged in London.

But it’s not the first time the 41-year-old has played the role of a real-life hero.

A 2012 interview with the actor has resurfaced, where he spoke about being kidnapped in South Africa, and how the terrifying ordeal ultimately changed his life.

According to The Telegraph, Benedict was in South Africa filming the 2005 mini-series To the Ends of the Earth at the time of the incident.

Taking advantage of a day off from work, he decided to take a scuba diving lesson in Santa Lucia with British actress Denise Black, 60, and a South African friend.

The trio were returning to their hotel at the end of the day when their car got a flat tyre, and they were forced to pull over on the side of the road.

To the Ends of the Earth
Benedict Cumberbatch was in South Africa filming the 2005 mini-series, To the Ends of the Earth, when he was terrifyingly kidnapped. Image: BBC One

They were in the middle of changing the tyre when six men set upon them and forced them into another car, before driving away with them.

"They said, 'Put your hands on your head, don't look at us,' and were frisking us for drugs, money, weapons. Then they bundled us into the car," Benedict told the Daily Star, as reported by The Telegraph.

"I could see the headlight beams bumping over the dirt track and I thought of shallow graves."

He said the men tied them all up, and after eventually stopping the car, forced him into the boot.

"But I argued my way out," he continued.

"I said, 'If you leave me in here, it's not the lack of air, it's the small space. There's a problem with my heart and my brain.'

"I just tried to explain to them, 'I will die, possibly have a fit, and it will be a problem for you. I will be a dead Englishman in your car. Not good.'"

Benedict said the men shut the boot on him anyway, but after a brief argument amongst themselves, they opened it back up and let him out.

He said his quick thinking may have been what saved them all.

"I kind of thank God I had the presence of mind to give them the idea that it would be better to keep me alive. And the other two hadn't been harmed," he added.

Benedict said the whole experience ultimately made him reassess how he lives his life.

"It taught me that you come into this world as you leave it, on your own," he said.

"It's made me want to live a life slightly less ordinary."

As if we didn't already love this guy enough.