Submit: Benedict's Charming Personality IS An Act...
Yeah, you heard me.
I’m someone who has defended Benedict for so damn long and I’m just sick and tired of doing it anymore! So here I am, chiming in and saying that the public persona Benedict has given us for the past few years up until November 5th cannot possibly be his real self.
Okay, enough of that. I’m only half-joking here.
I think all the faces of Benedict that we’ve seen in public have been only part of his real self. As someone said once, he is in fact part dork, part charming unicorn prince, and part pretentious asshole. He is a people pleaser, but he also can be quite ambitious and selfish. He’s a complicated man. Why? Because he’s human.
But is the real Benedict as charming as people are led to believe? To that, I say no.
Not because he’s a dick- though he does have some dickish tendencies like we all do. I also don’t think the real Benedict is boring either, like some people have said. With the experiences he had in life (what was it, 3 near death experiences?) I don’t think someone could be all that boring.
No. There is in fact a part of Benedict that he is ashamed of showing, but it creeps up at times nonetheless. Some people have embraced it and call it a part of him being “dorkybatch” but I can understand why he would want to hide it.
You see, the real Benedict Cumberbatch can be painfully awkward.
Let me give you an example: I first came to know about Benedict in January 2012, but I didn’t actually “fall in love” with him until I saw the livestream of the PBS Q&A around spring of that year. There were several times during that event where that version of Benedict came out to play. And quite frankly? Those parts were the ones that did it for me, because they reminded me so much of myself.
TMI without even realizing it.
Also, there was one part where a fan asked him if there was any character he woud like to have tea with. Benedict rambles on about how he’s had tea with Stephen Hawking already, so he can’t answer with that. All of the sudden the audience starts screaming “Martin Crieff” (from Cabin Pressure) and he mistakes what they’re saying as “Martin Freeman”. So he goes “I don’t PLAY Martin Freeman! And I definitely know him well enough to have a cup of tea with him.“ But the audience keeps on shouting because he just didn’t get it, and he stares at them blankly for a good minute until Rebecca Eaton finally stops to tell him what they are saying. This is on youtube, if anyone wants to see for themselves.
This is also the part of him which Simon Pegg and Alice Eve jokingly described here:
“The Benedict that everyone knows and sees is a little different than the Benedict we know… He’s very ungainly.”
Yes, the part about keeping him to let him play with a toy while they go out is an exaggeration but I definitely believe there’s truth to Simon’s claims. Also notice how Alice Eve was a little surprised that all the girls were giving Benedict the attention and not so much Chris Pine. This is because the Benedict they know is sort of awkward and unassuming at times.
Sometimes not taking direction on how to do simple tasks like where to stand well.
Or stepping on co-stars dresses.
I also think what Simon Pegg said is (partially) true because Mark Gatiss has hinted on something similar in a PBS interview:
“He’s very different. Sometimes we get so used to seeing him on the set and watching the rushes and then in real life he’s much less sure of himself, much less certain of how he interacts with people and the rest with the world. It must be quite liberating to put the coat on and the hair dye.”
So. Benedict’s charming persona? It is, in a way, an act.
Otherwise he does stuff like this:
Or even this:
Some people might find this awkwardness endearing because they can relate to it, but I’m sure he finds it incredibly embarrassing and tries to prevent himself from doing these things at all costs.
And since Ballsy said that videos of him before he was really famous will show what might be the closest to how he is in real life… My favorites are this one of him with Tom Hardy during an interview of Stewart: A Life Backwards (where he spends the entire time playing with some type of clip and a crack in the picnic table- it’s sort of mesmerizing to watch his hands) and this one where he’s like an excited little puppy at the Starter for 10 premiere and gets into a conversation with the interviewer about wanting free shoes.
Anyway, that’s my two cents.
it was the interview with Tom for Stewart ALB that I was thinking of, and some
bits from Last Enemy as well. He’s very
unsure of himself and awkward in them.
That kind of awkwardness is part of the charm that suckers folk in and
also the reason he gets Nannied - the “aw shucks” little boy thing makes them
all want to take care of him. There was
also someone in theatre who posted on DL that he was extremely awkward. And we all know how he brain farts.