“When I was about 25 years old, I worked with two very good actors.[…] Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton both embodied qualities which one is fogyishly tempted to look at with nostalgia. I didn’t know at the time that they were married or that they had a son of about 10 who was quietly gestating all the same attributes.
And now, 30 years later, the boy has been let loose. He has taken the form of Benedict Cumberbatch.
[…]It’s rare to the point of outlandish to find so many variables in one actor, including features which ought to be incompatible: vulnerability, a sense of danger, a clear intellect, honesty, courage — and a rather alarming energy. I take no pleasure in feeling humbled, but there’s no getting around it.
I’ve been very lucky at what’s happened in my career to date, but playing something as far from me as possible is an ambition of mine - anything from a mutated baddy in a comic book action thriller, to a detective. If anything, I’d like Gary Oldman’s career: he’s the perfect example of it. I’ve love to have a really broad sweep of characters - to be able to do something edgy, surprising and unfashionable. (May 2005)
You accomplished that Benedict and we are very proud
I used to go out with that boy. With that man. The sheriff. In high school. They day of the prom, his father got drunk and stole his car. Stole his own son’s car and went somewhere. Mexico. Dean showed up at the door, wearing this awful tuxedo. He’d been crying, I could tell. And he confessed he didn’t have a way to take me to prom. I just felt awful for him, so I told him we’d walk. About three miles. I busted a heel and we both got so sweaty and dirty. We gave up… got a six – pack and broke into the chapel, stayed up all night talking and kissing. And now he’s telling me… oh, it’s just surreal. Thank God we can’t tell the future. We’d never get out of bed. Listen to me: Die after me, all right? I don’t care what else you do, where you go, how you screw up your life, just… survive. Outlive me, please.
The present. Today, here and now. I think I spent so much of my early life thinking about what’s to come, y’know, who would I marry, would he be a lawyer or a football player, would be dark – haired and good looking and broad shouldered. I spent a lot of time in that bedroom upstairs pretending my pillow was my husband and I’d ask him about his day at work and what was happening at the office, and did he like the dinner I made for him and where we were going on vacation and he’d surprise me with tickets to Belize and we’d kiss – I mean I’d kiss my pillow and then I’d tell him I’d been to that doctor that day and found out I was pregnant. I know how pathetic that all sounds now, but it was innocent enough… Then real life takes over because it always does – – and then things work out different then you’d planned. That pillow was a better husband than any real man I’d ever met: this parade of men fails to live up to your expectations, all of them so much less than Daddy or Bill (you know I always envied you for finding Bill). And you punish yourself, tell yourself it’s your fault you can’t find a good one, you’ve only deluded yourself into thinking they’re better than they are.