May I tell you about the time I spent almost an entire day with Benedict Cumberbatch? I’m going to anyway.
(Though I do apologise for how long it is…I’m just happy that I can finally tell the whole story, and I felt Tumblr was the place to do it :P)
I was working as a volunteer at Comic-Con here in Adelaide, and I never thought things would work out the way they did. I got there early. I was assigned to work on the autograph queues, and then I was picked as part of a small group to look after Benedict’s line, and then they put me next to his table.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Basically, I felt as though I had downed an entire bottle of Felix Felicis.
Hundreds of people were lining up and my group had to try and contain the madness before he arrived. We were not prepared for the amount of crazy that was in that crowd! (BTW If you were one of those who thanked me and apologised for the angry people around you, you have my eternal and undying love.)
All of a sudden he appears from behind a curtain and people LOSE THEIR MINDS. Girls start sobbing, screaming, hyperventilating etc. (We, of course, had to be professional, but I was silently going crazy, too, because HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK HE WAS THIRTY CENTIMETRES AWAY FROM ME)
Anyway, the first autograph block went by smoothly, then he went to the photo area. I’m totally not ashamed of the fact that I got to cut in front of the line to get my photo (volunteer privileges, fuck yeah!) As anyone who has been to a convention knows, you have all of fifteen seconds to say hi and take the photo.
I rushed in and shook his hand, “Hi Benedict, it’s so great to meet you… Glad to see you haven’t passed out yet!”
Don’t ask why I said that.
I. DON’T. KNOW.
He laughed though, (hence his expression in the photo) and said he was hanging in there. I said “See you back at the autograph table,” before I left and he suddenly held out his hand. “Oh my God, yeah, thank you so much for looking after all of that!”
Cue uncontrollable giggles and almost tripping over on the way out.
About forty minutes into the next block of autographs, he started apologising to fans about his voice getting croaky, and then he caught my eye so I told him it wasn’t too bad because he sounded like Hannibal Lecter. (Hopkins, not Mikkelsen)
This was his reply: “Really? Mmm, I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
Not. Even. Joking. I was almost crying with laughter. “That. Was. Amazing. Do another one.” I gushed. Can’t remember the other quotes he said but it was fucking hilarious.
A couple of hours later he returned for the last autograph block, and he was about twenty minutes late. When he finally rushed back to the table, I exclaimed, “He’s alive!” (internal facepalm) and he burst out laughing before replying “Yep, still here.”
He stayed about an hour later than he was supposed to, because there were so many people who still waiting for their autographs. We were all exhausted because we had been on our feet all day, and we were the last group of volunteers to hang around because the others had finished for the day.
He kept thanking us over and over. “You guys are the best, seriously. Thank you so much. You’re my “Cumber-Team!”
“Oh my God, did you really just say that?”
“Yes. Yes I did.”
He wanted to write “Cumber-Team 2014” on our shirts but our supervisor wouldn’t allow it.
The next day I was placed in a completely different section of the convention, which I was pretty pissed off about, not gonna lie. I got over it eventually, though, because I had such an amazing time the day before. I saw Benedict once more, at the very end of the day as I was leaving, and he strolled out of the other building after finishing his final panel. I spoke quickly as I walked past, because his security guards weren’t letting him stop and talk to fans. “Hi Benedict, it was great to meet you yesterday!”
He smiled and waved, “Nice to meet you as well! Thanks so much for your help, seeya.”
That weekend was so important to me, even more so now that I’m looking back, because it happened right in the middle of one of the most difficult times in my life. My depression was bad. I was so unhappy at home and at uni, and I had retreated so far back from everyone and everything that I loved because nothing was making me feel good anymore. So after this happened, I woke up on the Monday morning feeling happy & grateful, I had made some new friends, and I had rediscovered why I love the things that I love. Obviously I’ve had more rough patches since then, but I just think back to those moments and remember how it helped bring me out the cave I had put myself in. If I ever get the chance to meet Benedict again, I’ll make sure to tell him exactly that, and to thank him properly.
If you read the whole thing, thank you, and hopefully I didn’t bore the crap out of you.