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 has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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