Actors’ Spotlight #39: Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch SDCC 2014.jpg

Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch CBE (born 19 July 1976) is an English actor and film producer who has performed in film, television, theatre and radio. The son of actors Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham, he graduated from the University of Manchester and continued his training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, obtaining a Master of Arts in Classical Acting. He first performed at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park in Shakespearean productions and has portrayed George Tesman in Richard Eyre’s revival of Hedda Gabler in 2005. Since then he has starred in the Royal National Theatre productions After the Dance (2010) and Frankenstein (2011). In 2015, he played William Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre.

Cumberbatch’s television work includes appearances in Heartbeat (2000), Silent Witness (2002) and Fortysomething (2003) before playing Stephen Hawking in the television film Hawking in 2004. He has starred as Sherlock Holmes in the series Sherlock since 2010. He has also starred in Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Parade’s End (2012) and The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses (2016).

Cumberbatch’s first film appearance was in the 2003 film To Kill a King and he went on to appear in the films Atonement (2007), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), and War Horse (2011). He has starred in the films Amazing Grace (2006) as William Pitt the Younger, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) as Khan, 12 Years a Slave (2013) as William Prince Ford, The Fifth Estate (2013) as Julian Assange and The Imitation Game (2014) as Alan Turing. From 2012 to 2014, through voice and motion capture, he played the characters of Smaug and the Necromancer in The Hobbit film series. Cumberbatch portrays the Marvel Comics character Dr. Stephen Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; first appearing in the film Doctor Strange in November 2016.

Cumberbatch has received numerous awards and nominations for acting including three Laurence Olivier Award nominations, winning Best Actor in a Play for Frankenstein. He has also received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Sherlock. His performance in The Imitation Game earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In addition, he has received six British Academy of Film and Television Arts nominations, five Screen Actors Guild Award nominations and two Golden Globe Award nominations among others. In 2014, Time magazine included him in its annual Time 100 as one of the “Most Influential People in the World”. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in June 2015 for his services to the performing arts and to charity.

One of the top rising actors in the business today, Cumberbatch has already gotten himself in a ton of really solid roles in his career and there’s also been some not so good ones too so let’s start with those, these are the 5 worst Benedict Cumberbatch movies:

5. Creation

A really lackluster film centering around Charles Darwin and his relationship with his wife while struggling to write On The Origin Of Species. Paul Bettany & Jennifer Connelly are the main stars and Cumberbatch doesn’t really do all that much in this to make an impression.

4. Amazing Grace

A typical historical biopic that doesn’t really have a whole lot to work with here, kind of generic, kind of meh, the performances are okay but the movie itself is kind of a drag.

3. War Horse

One of Spielberg’s laziest movie attempts, really generic, really boring, and a really stupid premise to it.

2. The Fifth Estate

Cumberbatch as Julian Assange sounds like it would have a lot of potential to work with but the movie just doesn’t work, there’s never any point in The Fifth Estate where you feel for the characters at all.

and the #1 worst Benedict Cumberbatch movie is…

Zoolander 2

To Cumberbatch’s credit, he has one of the few funnier moments in the film with a small role he has but the whole movie itself just sucks.

Those are the worst, now here’s the best:

5. 12 Years A Slave

It’s at the bottom of this list because Cumberbatch only had a small role in the film but it was a really good role as William Prince Ford.

4. Star Trek Into Darkness

Bad third act aside, Cumberbatch seemed to be perfectly cast as Khan in Into Darkness but I just wished the film was better handled especially in its’ third act.

3. Black Mass

A movie where the performances were better than the actual film, Cumberbatch has a really good role as Whitey Bulger in this film.

2. The Hobbit trilogy

Easily the best part of The Hobbit movies, Cumberbatch as Smaug is pitch perfect, the mocap work on the dragon is nicely done and attributes well to Cumberbatch’s performance.

and the #1 best Benedict Cumberbatch movie is…

The Imitation Game

Definitely an Oscar bait movie but one of the better ones, Cumberbatch really held this movie together nicely.

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Posted in Actors' Spotlight

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