Benedict Cumberbatch Wants To Dumb It Down

Cumberbatch contemplates how dull life must be with an ordinary name. (BBC)

“Play a non-genius, you say? Fascinating.” (BBC)

Well, for a bit at least.

Having made his name as Sherlock Holmes—a very clever man—and as Stephen Hawking—equally smart—and as Julian Assange (canny) and Vincent Van Gogh (brilliant) and William Pitt (astute) and that rotter in Star Trek Into Darkness (Machiavellian) and now the wartime mathematician Alan Turing (preposterously brainy)… Benedict Cumberbatch has had enough.

Not for him the cerebral gymnastics of inhabiting another precision-tooled mentality, or tortured, brilliant mind. He told T Magazine (possibly with his tongue in his cheek) that this run of pretending to be an astonishing genius has left its mark: “I am so ready to play a really dumb character.”

And that’s dumb as in stupid, not dumb like The Creature in Frankenstein, or dumb for grownups but smart for children, as he was here:

He also makes two other points of immediate interest, the first being that Sherlock fans need to be aware that he’s not the hero we think he is: “I always make it clear that people who become obsessed with him or the idea of him — he’d destroy you. He is an absolute bastard.”

He also, brilliantly, refers to himself as looking like “Sid from Ice Age,” a comparison that is as unkind as it is astute. Which is, of course, yet another word for clever.

See more:
Five British Stars And Five Things They Should Give Up For Lent
The Worst Fashion Disaster Of The Oscars 2014
WATCH: Benedict Cumberbatch on ‘Sesame Street’
NTA Awards: Matt’s Thanks And Benedict’s Shorts

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser is a British writer, broadcaster and the the author of the book Stuff Brits Like. He is Anglophenia's resident Brit blogger, having written BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog, the Top of the Pops website, and for NME, the Guardian and elsewhere. Favorite topics include slang, Doctor Who and cramming as much music into Anglophenia as he can manage. He invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
View all posts by Fraser McAlpine.