Martin Freeman: More 'Sherlock' Would Make Show "Lose a Lot of its Appeal"


The actor said the intense fandom that surrounds the hit BBC show meant shooting was "like trying to act at a premiere."

The success and appeal of Sherlock proves the adage that less is more, at least according to co-star Martin Freeman.

The actor who plays John Watson told The Independent that he is only able to keep coming back to Sherlock because of its "intermittent" nature and that if there was more, he wouldn't be as keen on it. Fans of the show usually have a two-year wait for new episodes — a fourth season will hit screens next year — however, as an added bonus there is a planned Christmas special at the end of this year. 

"It's so intermittent. That's what for me makes it doable," said Freeman, adding: "I don't know about [Benedict Cumberbatch], but certainly for me it would soon lose a lot of its appeal if we were schlepping that around for eight months of the year, every year. A bit of the sheen would have gone off it."

In a wide-ranging interview, Freeman also talked about the difficulties shooting Sherlock on location. #Setlock has become a phenomenon that sees hundreds of fans, particularly young women, hang out at Sherlock location shoots in London as well as shoots in other parts of the U.K. 

"When we're [filming at] our stand-in for Baker Street, it is hard to do your job. And I don't love it," he told The Independent

Freeman added: "It's like trying to act at a premiere. … I wasn't in The Beatles. But I've never seen anything like it. There's such a heightened sense of excitement, so every time we come out, there's applauding — and it's like, 'No, can you n—.' Or, if we do anything — 'Cut!' — applause. … It's like, 'No, this isn't a gig.' "

The Fargo actor, however, is appreciative of the support and the interest in the show and welcomes the change in pace Sherlock affords him after playing Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit trilogy. Speaking of his time in Middle-earth, Freeman says that he doesn't miss playing Bilbo. "That's the question I was asked 40 times a day: 'Do you miss Bilbo?' No, I don't, because I'm not mentally ill. Well, I am, in many ways! But I'm not deluded. I don't think he's real, and I don't think I am him."

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