Benedict Cumberbatch may be one of the best actors in Hollywood. He has appeared in some of the biggest TV shows and movies including The Imitation Game, Sherlock, and Doctor Strange. Despite all of his success, Cumberbatch knows his limitations. He was interviewed recently for Interview magazine. In the conversation, Cumberbatch speaks about how he felt when he feels overwhelmed by a role and how he maintains a successful work-life balance.
“Lots of times. But if you can’t fail, you can never get better,” Cumberbatch explains. “And these weren’t total failures, these enterprises, but there was a lot that wasn’t right about them. One of the first roles I had on stage was with a brilliant director in a brilliant play with a brilliant cast, but I just couldn’t find my way into the heart of the character. I found myself straining a lot.”
Cumberbatch continues by providing a specific example of when he felt lost in an acting job. He says, “I felt lost. That was [the Eugène Ionesco play] Rhinoceros. I don’t mind saying the name because I’ve talked about it. It was partly because of where my head was at, and it was a big leap of discipline. I don’t think I was prepared for that. I don’t think I had the full toolkit to do it justice. It’s a very difficult play, it’s an extraordinarily difficult part, and I never felt I really got it right. Far from it. To a degree, Hamlet was the same. But not to do with the production or anything else—the challenge of doing that night after night was just the most extraordinary.”JStone / Shutterstock.com
Nevertheless, Cumberbatch explains that he does manage to put work aside when filming is over. He explains, “When I walk through that door, it’s about home. If I didn’t do that, I’d become consumed by one thing only and damage the people who love me. And it would damage the work.”What do you think? Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.