Benedict Cumberbatch found himself in the middle of a robbery on the streets of London last November and helped stop a confrontation that could easily have turned violent.
Reports of the run-in only emerged this June, and until now Cumberbatch has refrained from talking about the incident. But when he appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show just yesterday (September 24), the modest actor finally opened up. He told Degeneres he hasn’t wanted to get into it before because “it became this huge furore” and he “feels a bit weird talking about it.” But, the charming comedian got it out of him.
In the below clip, Cumberbatch explains that he was in an Uber when he saw a bicycle delivery man being surrounded by “some guys on a very cold November night.”
Cumberbatch was driving by, safe and warm, and could’ve easily kept going, but… he didn’t.
He goes on to say, “I stopped the Uber that we were in and got out. And tried to intervene. And tried to calm the kids down, who were riled up. Tried to calm him [the bicyclist] down, who looked like he was about to fight for his life.”
In hindsight, Cumberbatch didn’t think about what could have been waiting for him — “knives,” or “acid” — and admitted jumping in it was a “bit foolhardy.” But, that’s what people often do in alarming situations: act first and think later.
You can hear the full account of what happened from Cumberbatch himself:
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