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If anybody ever doubted that Benedict Cumberbatch is a gigantic sweetheart, they should listen to the first few minutes of NPR‘s interview with the actor. (And also they should question what they are doing with their life and how they got to this dark and terrible place.)
Before Cumberbatch sat down with NPR‘s Eric Deggans to promote Sherlock‘s new box set — released on Tuesday — he asked his assistants about the fans waiting for him outside of the hotel where he was conducting the interview.
“I’m really worried about those Sherlock fans, because they have been here, probably, for a while,” he said, wanting to make sure the fans knew he would come greet them after the interview.
It was an unscripted, unguarded moment of pure Benedict Cumberbatchness, a moment of genuine concern caught on tape.
The interview itself is a treat for Sherlock fans. It reveals how the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes came to be so socially awkward, influenced by Cumberbatch himself.
“Immediately as an actor I wanted to understand who [Sherlock] was, what his parents were,” Cumberbatch says in the audio clip. “[Show producer Steven Moffat] was just talking about, ‘Can’t this guy just be good at what he does and he’s your age and he looks like you and he’s doing his thing?’ And I went, ‘No, no Steven, there’s a process I’ve got to go through. I’ve got to understand how I became this person.’ “
The actor also talked about adding a weakness to Sherlock’s character. “And [Moffat] said, ‘But can’t he just be really good? Can’t he just be good at it? Why does he have to have a flaw or an Achilles heel?'” recalls Cumberbatch. “Because I said, you know, ‘Where’s his weakness?’ Because no human being doesn’t [have one]. And however much [Sherlock] tries to convince himself he’s not human, he is.” (Correction, BC: Not every human has a weakness. Exhibit A: You.)
Cumberbatch then talks about the season-three finale and how it exposed more about Sherlock. “This is a really Freudian drama,” he says. (True, although it could always get a little more, er, Freudian.) Listen below.
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