I know I’m an especially lucky blogger. I get to do interesting and exciting things far more often than I ever dreamed of doing.
But last week was a new high: I had the opportunity to interview Benedict Cumberbatch for Marvel’s Doctor Strange.
I’m a serious fan of Benedict Cumberbatch
and his cheekbones. In all seriousness, he’s one celebrity I never dreamed I’d have the opportunity to interview. I have him on a very high pedestal and I didn’t even consider the possibility of our paths crossing.
But my path did cross with Benedict Cumberbatch when I sat down with him and some other mom bloggers to talk about Marvel, Doctor Strange and a few other things.
My interview with Benedict Cumberbatch:
On acting in a Marvel film:
Sometimes with Marvel you have cameras with 360-degree frames. Other days you are literally in a green room. Where the walls, the floors, everything but the ceiling is diffused light and green or blue. Then, you don’t know what time it is. You can’t get horizons or space right. It’s very confusing.
But you have this incredibly complex premise. This cartoon format. It’s all sort of story boarding.
So you know exactly where you are, exactly what elements or environments are be moving around you, and then it’s the same old game of acting. You just turn up to eleven.
Everything we do as actors is imaginary circumstances. It’s a form of artifice and smoke and mirrors. Even if I would walk into this room with a hidden camera, at some point you understand that you’re a character. So there’s always in the back of your head the idea that you’re being watched or you’re performing.
You have to sort of make believe. You really do. There were days when it was more childish belief and there were other days when an awful lot of stuff was there. The hardest stuff is sometimes doing the movement, or the spells, or anything to do with what are his powers involved or the weapons he used. It’s just magic stuff out of the air, literally.
Then I’d have to just take a leap of really of faith.
On getting the role of Marvel’s Doctor Strange:
This started with a conversation when a journalist said, you’d make a great Doctor Strange. Then Kevin from Marvel called and we had a proper discussion about it. I was concerned about the character being acerbically arrogant. I wanted to make him more human.
When Marvel said they wanted to film it “now”, I couldn’t. I was doing Hamlet and I was committed to a theater and a director. So it went away for a bit and I was heartbroken.
Then Marvel came back and said “we can’t make this film without you. We need it to be you.” For the first time in Marvel’s history they postponed the making and release of the film. That was a particularly amazing thing. It meant I had a huge amount of responsibility to live up to. Their faith in me was a huge motivation.
On A Doctor Strange Sequel, or Doctor Strange 2
Question: We saw that Doctor Strange will be back. What’s the wildest thing you’d love to see your character do in future films?
Benedict Cumberbatch: The sky’s the limit. This guy defends our reality against other dimensions. It’s hard to stop at one thing. This might be a leading question to see who I’d like to work with in “The Avengers” movie.
The truth is I’d like to work with all of them. I know a little bit about who I’ll be working with and I’m very excited about that. It’s hard to stay without giving stuff away or [the audience/viewer] being really disappointed.
I’d love to see Mordo come back, however that happens. Whether it’s in an Avengers or something else. I think that’s going to be a fantastic standoff between those two characters.
I adore Chiwetel Ejiofor [who plays Mordo] and it was great fun working with him. He’s a friend. So that alone would be great. But I think in terms of the story and the character it would be fun to do.
I did have a fantasy about the cloak sort of turning me into a human drill and drilling through something. That’s not a spoiler for something they’ve got planned. I don’t know…I’ve been having very odd dreams.
Personally, I can’t imagine being disappointed by anything Benedict Cumberbatch says or anything Marvel does! See for yourself: Go see Doctor Strange on November 4th!
Marvel Studios Hero Acts is doing something extraordinary right now. They’re donating $5 to Save the Children for every fan who uploads a picture at MarvelStudiosHeroActs.com.
Marvel has pledged up to $1 million dollars for the cause, so go upload your photo now and make a picture like mine!
About Doctor Strange:
From Marvel Studios comes “Doctor Strange,” the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands.
When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place—a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality.
Before long Strange, armed with newly acquired magical powers, is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
Photo credit: Dusty Pendleton
Disclosure: Marvel and Disney flew me to LA for this event and others. All opinions are my own.