22 Facts about Benedict Cumberbatch That Will Make You Love Him Even More
by Jasmine Gordon
Benedict Cumberbatch has had one hell of a year. Not only has the 39-year-old actor gotten married and had his first child, he’s also poised to blow up box offices and TV screens in his roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Strange. Cumberbatch isn’t just blessed with a name that NYMag refers to as “British word soup.” The unconventionally handsome star has droves of fans who go wild over his “cheekbones” and British accent. Whether you’re a longtime Cumberlover or new to crushing on Benedict, here are 22 facts you need to know.
He’s a Second Generation Star
Acting is in his genes. Cumberbatch was born to actor Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton.
Things Are About to Get Really Strange
Cumberbatch is dipping his toes into the ever-popular world of Marvel superheroes. He’s been cast as Doctor Strange for the newest installment in the franchise’s movie empire. Cumberbatch’s character is a surgeon turned world-saving sorcerer.
He Almost Wasn’t Sherlock
Well known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, Cumberbatch nearly turned down the role, fearing that it would be “cheap and cheesy.”
He Hasn’t Always Wanted to Share the Stage
Benedict’s first stab at acting was a role as a “very bossy” Joseph in his school’s Nativity play. Bossy, because he ended up pushing Mary off the stage because “she was taking too long.”
He’s Genetically Gifted
Benedict has a rare genetic condition called heterochromia iridis. It means that his eyes are actually two different colors.
His Fans Love Him a Little Too Much
Benedict is known for his particularly adoring fans. However, they’ve been known to cross a few lines. Once, a fan was found live-tweeting his every move inside his house. That’s a little much.
He’s Well Traveled
In between his years studying at the University of Manchester, Cumberbatch traveled to Tibet to teach English at a monastery.
He’s Been Abducted
While filming in South Africa in 2005, he was kidnapped. However, Cumberbatch actually managed to talk himself into being released.
He Gets Starry-Eyed
When he meets fellow celebrities, Cumberbatch still gets starstruck. He suffers from “the same butterflies and inability to be cool” as the rest of us mere mortals.
He Loves Kubrick
His favorite director is Stanley Kubrick. In fact, the director was the subject of Cumberbatch’s college dissertation.
He’s a Little Self-Conscious
Cumberbatch thinks that he’s “weird” looking, at least when compared to stars like Brad Pitt and George Clooney. However, many thousands of his fans think he’s super handsome.
He Dieted to Play Sherlock
When prepping for the role of Sherlock Holmes, Cumberbatch lost some serious weight. For him, it was meant to show that Holmes’s intelligence outweighs his “physical limitations.”
He Collects Oddities
Cumberbatch has a collection of stuffed owls that he keeps in his “boudoir.”
He’s Played More Than One Great Mind
One of Cumberbatch’s first career successes was playing a very young Stephen Hawking, who was struggling with the early stages of neuron disease.
He’s (Sadly) No Longer Single
In 2015, he married actress Sophie Hunter. Cumberbatch and Hunter now have a child together.
He’s No Fan of His Fans’ Moniker
Droves of female Cumberbatch fans call themselves “Cumberb1tches,” or sometimes “Cumberlovers.” Benedict himself detests the first moniker, saying that the women should empower themselves more and choose a different name.
He Wasn’t Always Sold on His Name
Cumberbatch was once among the scores of actors who change their names. Fearing his real name to be too “fluffy,” he changed it to Ben Carlton. However, at the advice of an industry friend, he changed it back—thankfully.
Benedict is both an art lover and an artist. He has been known to donate his self-portraits to charity.
As one would expect for such a monumental actor, Cumberbatch has won many awards. The greatest honor, perhaps, was being included in the annual list of 100 Most Influential People by Time Magazine in 2014. Friend and costar Colin Firth wrote the blurb about him!
His Parents Didn’t See His Stardom
Cumberbatch’s parents provided him with a well-rounded education and actually urged him to become a lawyer prior to diving into his acting career. Lucky for us, he didn’t heed his parents’ words.
He Has His Own Coloring Book
In 2014, I Love Mel released a Cumberbatch coloring book as part of their Colour Me Good series. The book features 16 drawings of Benedict in some of his iconic roles and simply being sexy.
Even the Queen Is a Fan
In November 2015, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Cumberbatch with the Commander of the British Empire award in a traditional ceremony at Buckingham Palace.