Benedict Cumberbatch is on the cover of the latest edition of Vanity Fair magazine. The usually very private actor gave a candid interview about family, travel, his need for adrenaline, so-called ‘Cumber-bitches’ and the danger of being typecast.
In the course of the interview he’s asked about being ‘the Internet’s boyfriend’, in reference to the legion of fans who have an intense admiration for him.
Vanity Fair journalist, Michael Schulman writes, “Cumberbatch greets the fan deluge—some of it creative, some of it creepy—with a practiced amusement. On my way to meet him in Santa Monica, I check online for the latest haul. A Twitter user has posted: ‘Sometimes when I’m sad I picture a shirtless Benedict Cumberbatch slowly eating an apple fritter. Try it!’
When I read this to Cumberbatch, he blushes on cue and says, 'Have you tried that? It wouldn’t work for me.' He laughs, a little uneasily," the piece reads.
'"There are people who believe that my wife is a P.R. stunt and my child is a P.R. stunt,' he says, unsure if he should even be bringing this up—he knows that there’s no arguing with conspiracy theorists. 'I think really it’s to do with the idea that the ‘Internet’s boyfriend’ can’t actually belong to anyone else but the Internet. It’s impossible he belongs to anyone but me. And that’s what stalking is. That’s what obsessive, deluded, really scary behavior is.'"
It's much more of a gentle rebuke than you might expect. You'd forgive Cumberbatch for an angry response to what is, in reality, an utterly outrageous and offensive claim.
Cumberbatch's wife is Sophie Hunter, an acclaimed theatre director. The couple met and had a quiet relationship and engagement before they married in February 2015. Hunter was in the early weeks of pregnancy at the time. Their son, Christopher, Kit for short, was born in June.
Cumberbatch says that becoming a father has given him a new insight into life, his own father and even his characters.
Again, in Vanity Fair; “'Having a baby—it’s massive,' he says. 'And on a very unexpected level. Suddenly I understood my parents much more profoundly than I ever had before.' Fatherhood gave him counter-intuitive insight into the most challenging role in the theatrical canon. 'I was expecting, with Hamlet, that it might be a hindrance to be a father, because it’s all about being a son. But it’s the opposite. You understand much more about being a son, becoming a father.'"
If you're a fan of his work, it's an enlightening interview. You can read it here.
Cumberbatch's new film, Doctor Strange will be released in Australia later this month.