Benedict's Palpable Presence

 TEXT of the series of Twitter posts by @CinematicSavage on his experience working the 12 Years a Slave set (from Nov. 21)

Witnessing an actor's process on set, seeing how they get in and out of character fascinates me.

They're like real life action figures.  However, Benedict Cumberbatch's intensity was damn near unmatched whether shooting or not.

At Ford's plantation.  It was like 1:00a.m. on a Saturday and we had been there for over 13 hours ... in a fucking marsh

I'm talking insects the size of GI Joes, bats in trees, just horrible conditions for the crew.  Steve and Benedict were inside of the mansion blocking the  scene directly after Benedict cuts Chiwetel down.

We're all waiting on the porch ready to shoot and get the fuck out of there. Now normally while a scene is being blocked everyone must be silent.  But since we were outside and tired, most of us chatted just to keep from falling asleep. 

In the midst of our talk, Benedict kicks the fucking front door open.  Everyone immediately shuts the fuck up. We're thinking he's upset cause we weren't respectful of the process you know, like Christian Bale esque, (mind you he's holding a large shotgun).

However dude was still in character.  He's standing on the  front porch slowly staring out into the night, looking over the 75 member crew, then creeps back into the mansion, closing the doors. 

LOL we were shook!  Or at least I was.  Here I was whining ready to go the fuck home and Benedict comes out looking ready to kill with the most immaculate hair lol.

Just goes to show how professional and talented the guy is. To hold that level of concentration that long is impressive.  Yeah, believe the hype, he has a palpable presence on set.


Little Favour - available on iTunes Nov. 5th, pre-order now
 Leeds International Film Festival November 21st, 2013
August: Osage County - US Release - Dec. 26th 2013
SHERLOCK Series 3  - U.S. premiere January 19th, 2014

WHO IS Benedict Cumberbatch?


He is the incredibly savage and cosmically damaged John Harrison/KHAN in Star Trek into Darkness. 


He is the courageous Cambridge physics student Stephen Hawking, diagnosed with a fatal, debilitating  illness and fighting for life and joy in Hawking.

He is William Pitt the Younger, Prime Minister at 24, stealing the movie Amazing Grace from an all-star cast.

Paul Marshall


 He is the creepiest character on film, Paul Marshall in Atonement.

Sherlock Series 3

He is the greatest detective in literature brought alive in modern times in "Sherlock."


The Creature

He is both Doctor Frankenstein and his Creature, in the stage production Frankenstein


Captain Tietjens


He is a man out of time who became an unsung hero for his time, the heartbreaking Christopher Tietjens in "Parade's End."


Martin Crieff

He is a comic genius who gave us Martin Crieff in the BBC radio comedy "Cabin Pressure" and the deadpan perfection of Will Parker in Broken News.


Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch is an actor possessed, in his 37th year, of an astounding list of accomplishments and performances, nominations and awards in theater, film, radio, television, voice-over and motion-capture.  (His works at the time of this writing can be found here.)

He is also one of the most impossibly, ridiculously, astonishingly photogenic human beings ever rendered in pixels.  The undisputed king of Tumblr,  his image has been reproduced more often than any other single individual.  He was named the "sexiest man in Great Britain" two years running. 

He is also one of the most beloved of actors, generating a cult-like devotion amongst his rabidly loyal fans because of his humanity, accessibility, humility and general air of 10-year-old at a birthday party persona.  He is articulate, brilliant, well-bred if a bit nerd-like, completely charming, courteous and openly displays his affections and emotions seemingly without regard for cameras or possible criticism.

"It was one of those slightly move-y things."
— Benedict Cumberbatch trying to describe a gif of himself as a Zoolander car passenger.

Yet, Benedict Cumberbatch also evinces a simple British reserve of self-respect and an unmistakeable (if unacknowledged by the actor himself) air of the Alpha-male.

And then there is The Voice.  If you have not heard it -  here's one example, check the Playlists for more:

Benedict Cumberbatch is "one of the best actors alive:"

"People have asked my why I chose Benedict for this and I would answer that by saying, ‘why not Benedict for everything?’ He is so crazy good. ...
I think Benedict is one of the best actors alive."  JJ Abrams when asked why he cast Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness

Read this article by Caitlin Moran for a fuller picture of who Benedict Cumberbatch is. 

What he isn't is an "overnight success."  He is a man who earned with literal sweat and  tears and blood, with an incredible work ethic and complete dedication to craft, the respect and admiration of his peers and his fans.


JJ Abrams on Benedict Cumberbatch in STID

“Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers hailed Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays [John Harrison] Khan, as “a villain for the ages—he’s really terrific.” On why he cast Benedict, considered one of the “it” actors these days, J.J. joked, “He paid me extraordinarily well.” Then he said, “We were only looking for the great actor. When we cast him in this movie, it was about a year and a half ago. He wasn’t the hottest actor yet. He was a guy who was on a TV show (‘Sherlock’). But we didn’t cast him at a point where he was this white-hot actor. He was just a guy who was the best actor.”

“Yes, Benedict has darkness ... He has light, brilliance, wit, sophistication, an imposing presence. He’s threatening; he’s physical. He’s also sympathetic. He does these things and makes it all look so damn easy. And the other actors … it was so funny. Every time we were doing a scene with Benedict, they were standing a little bit taller. He has a presence that is ridiculous and that voice, oh my God. There wasn’t a day working with Benedict that I didn’t think, this is insane. He elevated that moment. He made that thing that I thought was going to be really hard, authentic.

“He’s not like his character in any way, physically or
emotionally, but he transformed himself physically. He was suddenly this wildly intimidating big guy. And he’s not. When you talk to him, he’s sort of slight. But in the movie, I spent a year editing him (Benedict’s footage). So it was like I got to see him every day. I got so used to him as that character. So when I saw him again recently, I thought, God, he’s so small, compared to how he is in the movie—he’s so epic. He is an utter chameleon who I think can do anything. He’s one of the best actors I’ve ever seen, let alone worked with. He was able to bring all of these incredible nuances and attitude to a role that in lesser hands would not have worked remotely that well.”