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Top 10 Things you Didn't Know About Benedict Cumberbatch

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Marc Turner
Think you know everything about BC? Let’s put that to the test. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Benedict Cumberbatch. For this list we’re looking at the most interesting and unusual facts about one of the UK’s most popular and charismatic actors. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Things you Didn't Know About Benedict Cumberbatch


Think you know everything about BC? Let’s put that to the test. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Benedict Cumberbatch.

For this list we’re looking at the most interesting and unusual facts about one of the UK’s most popular and charismatic actors.

#10: He’s Licensed to Marry You


Cumberbatch’s friendship with TV’s Judge Rinder goes back to the time when they both studied at the University of Manchester. So when Rinder and his partner Seth Cummings wanted a friend to perform their 2013 wedding ceremony in Ibiza, Cumberbatch stepped into the breach and got ordained online by the Universal Life Church. Cumberbatch is himself married to playwright and theatre director Sophie Hunter, and when the two of them tied the knot in 2015, it was Rinder who acted as Cumberbatch’s best man. Close friends indeed.

#9: He Can Be a Little Gullible


It’s fair to say the cast of “Star Trek Into Darkness” got on well during filming, with Cumberbatch once joining his co-stars for a 3am drive along Broadway. But where there is friendship there is pranking, and whilst filming in a nuclear facility, Simon Pegg reportedly tried to convince Cumberbatch that the actors were in danger of radiation poisoning. And it seems that poor Benedict fell for the windup, once blaming a headache – and his failure to get his lines right – on “the ions”. Nice one, Simon.

#8: He Has a Genetic Mutation


Don’t worry, it’s harmless! Cumberbatch was born with a rare condition called Heterochromia Iridis, which causes his eyes to appear either blue or green depending on the light. His irises always match, though, unlike some people with the condition who can have one eye of each colour. Cumberbatch is in good company in this regard, with the likes of Kiefer Sutherland and the aforementioned Simon Pegg sharing the mutation. And clearly, Cumberbatch himself is not concerned by the condition, once describing his eyes as his favourite part of his body.

#7: He Once Stopped a Mugging


If you thought Cumberbatch only fought crime on screen, think again! In 2018, the actor was in a taxi with his wife when he reportedly jumped out to rescue a Deliveroo cyclist being attacked by four muggers. Fittingly, the incident happened close to 221B Baker Street, and the assailants tried to attack Cumberbatch himself, before running away when they appeared to recognise the actor. Well, if they’re fans of Cumberbatch’s work, they’ll know that this man is perfectly capable of defending himself. What a legend!

#6: He’s a Gifted Visual Artist


Cumberbatch may be a world-renowned actor, but it seems his artistic flair is not limited to the stage and screen. A former teacher once claimed that his painting talent eclipses even his acting, with a young Cumberbatch gaining an arts scholarship to Harrow School. Benedict now draws as a way to escape the pressures of fame, and he occasionally creates self-portraits for charity – such as this sketch for the Affordable Art Fair. Who better, then, to play Vincent Van Gogh in the 2010 drama documentary “Painted With Words”?

#5: He Once Played a Very Bossy Joseph


Cumberbatch’s acting debut came in very humble surroundings: as Joseph in his primary school’s nativity play. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go to script. Benedict was apparently upset that his co-star playing Mary was stealing the limelight, so he gave her a nudge to hurry her along – and ended up pushing her off the stage. It seems Cumberbatch is making quite a habit of spoiling Christmas for those around him, like his 2018 turn as the grumpy green Grinch intent on ruining the festive season for the inhabitants of Whoville.

#4: He Has Impressive Ancestry


If you ever thought Cumberbatch was born to play Sherlock Holmes, you may be on to something. In 2017, it was revealed that Benedict is distantly related to the famous detective’s creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Remarkably, Cumberbatch is also connected to another man he has played on screen. Benedict is the seventeenth cousin of Alan Turing, the Enigma code cracker portrayed in 2014’s “The Imitation Game”. As yet, though, no link has been found between Cumberbatch and the character he believes he most resembles: Sid the Sloth from “Ice Age”.

#3: He Almost Became a Lawyer


Benedict’s parents are both actors, yet, surprisingly, they didn’t want him to follow in their footsteps, believing showbiz to be an insecure career. Benedict thought becoming a barrister would make the best use of his talents, including – in his own words – “a love of showing off”. Cumberbatch claims there is a crossover between the two professions, with barristers playing to a jury much as an actor does to their audience. And it seems Benedict hasn’t completely turned his back on the legal world, like when he starred as a heroin-addicted lawyer in “Patrick Melrose”.

#2: He Almost Didn’t Play Sherlock


Steven Spielberg once claimed Cumberbatch was “the best Sherlock Holmes on screen”, but did you know that Benedict almost passed on the role? When he first heard about the series, he feared it would be a “cheap and cheesy” money-grab – before subsequently learning that Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss were involved, and falling in love with the script. Amazingly, the BBC wasn’t sold on Cumberbatch either when he was lined up for the part, believing he wasn’t “sexy” enough, and that his name would confuse people. How wrong could they be?

#1: He Was Once Kidnapped in South Africa


Yes, this really did happen. In 2005, Cumberbatch was filming the BBC miniseries “To the Ends of the Earth” when he and two co-stars were ambushed by six men. After being frisked for valuables, Cumberbatch was bundled into the boot of a car, leaving him genuinely believing he would be killed. Fortunately, he was able to use his acting skills to talk his way out of trouble, convincing his captors that he had health problems with both his heart and his brain. Thank goodness this particular drama had a happy ending.
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