When actors share stories about their lives, it’s often focused on either their craft or stories that highlight how they’re just like other people. Magazines show them picking up their groceries or sitting in restaurants. During a recent interview on Marc Maron’s podcast, WTF, Benedict Cumberbatch shared a story from his early travels, when he was kidnapped, locked in the trunk of a car, and robbed. The event happened in 2004 when he was traveling with a friend in South Africa, long before he was known for playing Sherlock or Doctor Strange.
Benedict Cumberbatch was in South Africa filming To the Ends of the Earth, a mini-series for BBC. He and his co-stars had the weekend off. They decided to go SCUBA diving. They were driving back from their adventure in the dark of night when a tire blew out on their vehicle. They stopped alongside the road. They were then ambushed by men with guns. The story went on to reveal a frightening few hours for the young actor.
We stopped and out of the bush, these guys came and threw us back into the car, drove off the road, and plundered the car…There were intimations of a gun but I didn’t turn around to see it because at the time I was out of the car. I was then put in the boot of the car and at one point my shoelaces were bound to my wrists…They eventually left us alone once we gave them cards and money. But because of needing to take the card to a bank machine, it lasted for two and a half hours.Benedict Cumberbatch
The actor says that he and his co-stars were afraid and shocked after their ordeal, but ultimately they were physically unharmed. Still, Benedict Cumberbatch says that he felt lucky after the experience and that it changed his perspective. He said that he wanted to make sure his life wasn’t ordinary after that, he wanted to pursue new things.
So far, Benedict Cumberbatch has definitely had an unusual career. If that was his goal, he’s definitely made it. The star has played in many well-known roles. He has a dedicated fanbase from the BBC series Sherlock. He played Khan for the modern Star Trek movies. He was nominated for Best Actor when he played Alan Turing in the 2014 release The Imitation Game. Today, he is most well known for his Marvel role where he played Dr. Stephen Strange. Fans are waiting to see him again play this character in Spider-Man: No Way Home. He’ll have a solo sequel movie shortly thereafter when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases in movie theaters on May 6, 2022.
In Benedict Cumberbatch’s current round of interviews, he’s promoting his new Western film for Netflix, The Power Of the Dog. He’s starring in the film opposite Kirsten Dunst. The stories that he and his co-stars have shared from the set all highlight some of his strange behaviors as he has dedicated himself to method acting. For example, his character hates Kirsten Dunst’s character in the movie. As a result, the pair never spoke to each other on set. While they worked in close quarters for a long time, they avoided each other, both seeming to make the decision for the best of the film without ever agreeing to do so. [We were] repelled by each other,” Benedict Cumberbatch told NME.
The Power Of The Dog also saw Benedict Cumberbatch smoking so many cigarettes he gave himself nicotine poisoning three times as part of his effort to stay in character. He also learned to play the banjo, lasso like a real cowboy, and ride horses. Certainly, he is living out his dream of a life that isn’t quite ordinary.