Since today is Benedict’s birthday, I thought to share my story.
So, there it is.
I’m an Italian girl studying in London, and the important thing about this, is that Benedict Cumberbatch brought me there.
I started watching Sherlock three years ago, and the problem was that it didn’t just become my favorite tv show ever, but it also changed my life in a significant way.
I was already familiar with the Sherlock Holmes movies, but when I saw Benedict’s version, I was completely blown away, because I had never been impressed by an actor in that way before. I started reading the novels, I fell in love with the English Literature and theatre, I fell in love with London and everything related to that city.
Since that moment, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that my country may not have been the right choice for my future.
Therefore, two years later I sent my application for a university in London, and it was accepted. Then, on September 2016, I left Italy, my family, my friends, and everything that had been part of my life up to that point. It was one of the most frightening and challenging moments of my life. And so were the following weeks, because I kept feeling out of place and lost, and I missed my family.
Then something happened.
Benedict was announced as guest at the Sherlock convention two days before the actual convention took place. Nobody was expecting that announcement.
I immediately bought a photo with him, using the money I received for my 18th birthday. For the first time since my departure, I was happy to be where I was, and for the first time I didn’t feel homesick.
That day was surreal. I didn’t eat or drink anything all day, the only thing I could think about was what to do or say once I’d reach him. My hearth had never beat faster.
After thinking and overthinking, I finally found the perfect phrase: six words, six simple words that would have summed up what he represented for me, so I kept repeating those six words in my head.
When the moment came, and once I entered the room, I had ten seconds to realize that the person who somehow brought me to that point of my life was right in front of me, smiling and posing for everybody. Everything else stopped, I don’t remember anything, I just remember looking at him and being happy.
When my turn came I said those six words out loud with my trembling voice.
“Thank you for being my inspiration”, I said to him.
He said a quick thank you before the picture was taken. But right after that, he looked at me in the eyes and said: “Thank you for telling me that”.
Benedict Cumberbatch didn’t know me at all, I was just a fan as everybody else, and yet he listened to me, he really listened to me and thanked me.
He was kind and nice, as you’d expect him to be.
I was completely overwhelmed.
Benedict Cumberbatch was the first person who made me feel at home in a city which wasn’t my own.
Is he simply an actor? Yes.
Does he know me? No.
Do I really know him? No.
And yet, in that day I felt truly happy for the first time since I had left my family.
In a moment when all I wanted to do was give up and go home, Benedict Cumberbatch was the only person who was able to make me feel like if I was in the right place, at the right moment, doing the right thing. So I didn’t give up, and now I’m about to begin my second year.
He inspires me everyday as an actor and as a human being, and there’s no way I could possibly explain my gratitude to this man, but I hope that one day I will be able to tell him how profound his impact on my life was.
So, happy birthday Benedict, you’re an extraordinary actor and a wonderful, wonderful person. You deserve the world and more 🎂 ♥️