Benedict Cumberbatch complains about his ‘posh’ label, ‘so domestic & dumb’

Benedict Cumberbatch has another new interview, but this one isn’t as charming as his lovely interview in The Telegraph several days ago. In these two new piece – with Reader’s Digest and the UK’s Radio Times – Cumby comes across as bit more… surly? I’m not sure if that’s the right word. It’s almost like they got him during a moment of very concentrated bitchiness, and he was so far along in his hissy fit that he just decided to alienate all of his countrymen. Which I don’t mind at all, because I’d love to see Cumby move to America. Anyway, some highlights:

On his new miniseries, Parade’s End versus Downton Abbey: “We’re remembering that there was a world before the First World War. We’re living in a culture now that’s revering, or having a nostalgia trip with, the beginning of the 1900s. Although Downton traded a lot on the sentiment in the last series… but we won’t talk about that series because it was, in my opinion, f**** atrocious.”

Comparing Parade’s End to Downton: “This is so much more sophisticated, so much more unusual. You rarely see a piece about this class of people that’s this accurate, funny and pointed. We’re not making some clichéd comment, ‘Oh, isn’t it awful the way there’s this upstairs-downstairs divide’. Everyone was held in their place, but what was honourable about it was that there was a duty of care from the top down. That shouldn’t be tied in with any sort of fat-faced, flatulent Cameron effort at what Toryism – horribly – is now.”

He hates when he’s called “posh”: “I wasn’t born into land or titles or new money, or an oil rig. It’s just so predictable, so domestic and so dumb. It makes me think I want to go to America.”

On getting attention from the ladies: “It puts a bit of a spring in your step,” he said. “It’s nice, you swagger a little bit; it’s enjoyable. But think about it – the actual reality of, ‘Will you pull every beautiful woman in the room every night?’ Nah. They come up to you and go, ‘Oh. Umm, maybe.’ The point is, I can’t take it seriously, because it’s all through a filter of them knowing much more about me than I know about them. So yeah, it’s kind of weird. But it’s to be enjoyed. I’ve punched well above my weight this year.”

Becoming a celebrity: “It was just extraordinary,” he said. “I remember being really quite scared at the Twitter thing [a global army of online fans call themselves “Cumberbitches”]. I literally did expect [someone in] a helicopter with a Swat light to abseil down over my house. It was just, like, ‘Whoa, the whole world is suddenly interested, and a bit obsessed.’ Just because I’m in my thirties, it doesn’t make the weirdness of no longer being private any less. I don’t think it matters whether it happens when you’re 25 or 55, it’s just very odd. Something is suddenly taken away, and it’s weird.”

[Via The Express & The Telegraph]

I should point out that Cumby has bashed Downton Abbey before – sort of. He’s friendly with the producer of Downton, and he complained that the second season of Downton did not deserve any awards. Cumby later said he was “joking” and that he’s friends with all of the people involved with the series. Probably not so much anymore, right? Because here’s Cumby calling Downton “f—king atrocious”. Love it. As for Cumby bashing the posh-bashers… whatever. That’s a culture and class debate for the UK, I couldn’t do it justice.

Photos courtesy of Radio Times.

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88 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch complains about his ‘posh’ label, ‘so domestic & dumb’”

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  1. sanna says:

    Every time he speaks I like him less and less. The fact that he looks like a lizard doesn’t help.

    He seems obsessed with Downton Abbey too.

  2. Lindsey says:

    I am confused as to the general appeal of this guy. I mean, I would rather be a Fassdangler than a Cumberbitch.

  3. Amelia says:

    The Cameron comment …. join me Cumby, and we’ll go egg Number 10 together ^^
    The Batch is funny when he’s bitchy, I think we need a bit more of this.

  4. Incredulous says:

    He could always pull a Colin Farrell and use a different accent than the one he grew up using.

  5. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Another ‘Acorn-dong’ post?

    Where’s Fassy?

    • Genevieve says:

      OK…I am lost and clueless about that reference, lol.

      “Acorn-dong”? I ADORE Cumby (and Fassy as well). But his comment in the article Kaiser referenced, ” I’ve punched well above my weight this year”…kind of disturbed me. Is he talking about how many chicks he’s nailed this year, or do I just naturally have a mind that goes straight to the gutter? ;)

      Also, I responded to you and Bella in the KStew post which I believe has gotten a bit buried by now…

      • Eve says:

        Stellalovejoydiver mentioned (on that previous post about him) that someone on ONTD said the follwoing: “Having seen Cumberbatch in the altogether at the National, I regret to announce that if he lay down naked in a forest clearing a squirrel might mistake his manhood for an acorn and bury it”.

        You can see the whole conversation here (it starts with my comment # 24):

        As someone said on that very same ONTD board…I NEED TO SEE RECEITS!!!

      • iseepinkelefants says:

        I thought he was talking about the number of girls he’s pulled too.

      • Eve says:

        By the way, the reference I was clarifying was the one by OriginalKitten, the “acorn-dong” one. Not sure anymore if that’s what Genevieve was asking.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Thank you, Eve! :)
        I’m sure his dong is fine, I was just being sassy :)

        @genevieve-I’m hoping to FB Obella and then if you want to, you can FB me. I’ll give you my initials (you can just check who she has recently become friends with) and hopefully that will work. If you want that is! (I won’t be offended if you don’t because I get the privacy thing 100%) :)

        And I do think the comment was in reference to the number of girls he’s gotten with. I mean, I don’t have a problem with that comment, personally. It’s a bit frat boy-ish but…*shrugs*

      • Eve says:

        Love that I wrote in all caps, and misspelled “receiPts”. FML.

      • LAK says:

        @Genevieve – ‘punching above one’s weight’ is an expression that in general terms means one is engaging in activities/results that are beyond expectations based upon who/what they actually are. In other words, depending on how it is deployed, it means over-reaching. In this case, he is pulling girls who are far better looking/more attractive than him eg most rock stars punch above their weights with their partners.

      • Genevieve says:

        @ Eve and Iseepinkelefants…

        Thanks for the info and the links, ladies! I totally missed that reference in the previous article. Although, I must say that this news about Cumby’s manhood is MOST disturbing. Not that I would ever get a shot at it, but, still…:(

        @ O Kitten…absolutely!!! I don’t have any FB info on you guys at all, so that would be awesome. Are you going on Celebitchy’s FB page to do this? I just “liked CB today, and I’ll be glad to give you my initials or whatever, as well :)

  6. ruby says:

    At first I really couldn’t see the appeal, then he grew on me, I love his accent and thought he was clever and funny and different… But now I’ve read this interview… Yeah, I think that was petty and arrogant and just not very open minded. I’m a little sad :/

  7. Lisa says:

    I love his performances, and I find him unconventionally attractive, and I respect his right to share his opinions on stuff (and I’m no fan of Downton Abbey, either). However, I find that the sorts of remarks he seems to make constantly in interviews are more effective when they’re made sparingly.

    For example, most of the time Matt Damon is quiet about most everything but his work (whether it’s acting or his charitable work), so when he *does* say something about another topic, it sticks, and it comes off as though he’s put more thought into it. Granted, there are exceptions to this, and this may not be the best example, but I think you get my meaning.

    I think Cumberbatch should be a bit more careful about what he decides to talk about, mainly so he can come off as classy as I want to think he actually is :)

    • grabbyhands says:

      This. He must give his publicist (if he has one) nightmares lately. He can be extremely funny and charming and then there are times like this when I feel like, “just stop saying words”. You can only use the ‘it was taken out of context, I was misquoted, people don’t understand me because I’m British’ excuse for so long. And I say that as a fan.

    • Ann Emmess says:

      Oh yeah.

      I really like his acting.
      I really like his voice.
      I really like his whole presentation as Sherlock. He’s exactly the sort of actor I get interested in and follow closely, onscreen and off.

      Except that he’s not. Because I read about three old interviews and got the exact same vibes as this one has. So I stopped reading him, ever, because I would like to still enjoy his acting after he embarrasses himself horribly one day.

      Calling it now: When he dates publicly, it will be with the sort of flashy-trashy, artificial women who will give all his intellectual fans the vapors.

      And one of these days, he may really put his foot in it over privilege, because he’s unable to react to the topic in a humble or empathetic manner, and it constantly comes up.

      He got famous so fast, and it seems to have inflamed a lot of old wounds. He plays geniuses, but his real celebrity life is going to go in a very different direction.

  8. MissMary says:

    I think he really tries to be dry in some interviews and it comes off as a being a jerk. Maybe IRL he IS a jerk lol and it’s the nice interviews that are a front but yeah esp with Caitlin Moran defending the Hell out of him on Twitter, I think he just interviews poorly. He doesn’t grok, even after all these years, soundbites and remarks are almost always used out of context and to mind his p’s and q’s.

  9. Fassy and Cumbie….would make a cute couple…
    Him talking ’bout getting swarmed by fans..See him all looking scared and all.But if it were al boy fans….
    Fassy, come help out a fellow ;)

  10. silken_floss says:

    Yeah, just keep on adding tears to that river, buddy. He needs to shut his fecking trap. Boo hoo, will someone please think of the downtrodden, priviledged people??!! The more I see this alien-esque looking man, the more pissed off I get

  11. TQB says:

    “I’ve punched well above my weight this year.”

    Why does this make me want him EVEN MORE??

    He is a fantastic bitch! And Downton IS ridiculous – I love it, but it’s just soap opera trash with better costumes.

    I don’t think we in the US can really appreciate the “posh” business and the class divide in England. In the US, if you’re rich, you’re posh. In the UK, you can be rich, but there is still that “landed” class of earls and such above you.

    • sanna says:

      It makes you want him even more when he brags about banging women who are hotter than him (a group that includes basically even female in the world)? Ok, I think I’m starting to understand his fans more…

    • Amelia says:

      The class divide is really weird over here. Essentially there’s working class, middle class and upper class, but the lines have become ridiculously vague. There isn’t really an upper class anymore (ie, earls, barons etc) apart from the Royal family and their close relatives/friends. The titled upper class have all but fallen into obscurity.
      Quite often, class is loosely determined by accent or behaviour over here. So if you say ‘BARTH’, instead of ‘BAFF’ you’re often counted as posh. Which is why I got the p*ss ripped out of me when I was at school (if you’re looking for a comparison I have a very similar accent to Cumby). I’m not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m apparently counted as posh by a lot of my friends because I have that stereotypical accent. But, I have a friend from Manchester who’s rolling in dough yet she’s been called ‘as common as muck’ because she has a heavy accent.
      There’s also the North-South divide, but I won’t get into that.
      Also, if you support the Tories you are (and I quote what my friend said the other day) ‘a stingy, money grabbing, elitist bastard’. Not true btw, but they’re policies have fallen into the crapper recently if you’re interested.

  12. TQB says:

    And I feel no need to choose btwn Cumby and Fassy. I can be a bitch and a dangler!

  13. Bellydancer says:

    I think Cumby should do his own version of Downton where he is shagging all the maids and any other female staff wandering about until he has no dialogue left yep I would love to see 8 weeks of that on PBS or maybe F/X channel (lol)
    Yep just shagging em wherever he finds them, making the bed, whoops you getting shagged, bending over to light a fire, whoops you getting shagged, doing laundry, whoops you get the picture. No other male co-stars except for a gay butler and he is shagging the gay chauffer whoops Cumby is on the make! Have Fassbender show up and shag Cumby’s favorite maid while he glowers nearby and then he shags the maid too just to her know who’s boss. Damn I am going to write this and send it to his managers (lol)

  14. Eve says:

    He doesn’t sound bitchy here (not to me anyway). Still love him.

  15. Leen says:

    Posh doesn’t necessarily mean you own lands or have titles or anything. That’s very posh but it’s not limiting. I went to university and stayed at a ‘posh’ dormitory- some people did have lands, were filthy rich and were from a ‘certain’ class, but a lot of them lived in little villages or the outskirts of London (Surrey and the like), went to Grammar, public (not in an ‘American’ public, but English public) and other posh like schools. Being posh has a lot to do with with lifestyle, location, education, and yes, accents. He comes off as a posh kid from the way he carries himself to the way he speaks.
    Well I’ve had a look at his wiki profile and sorry to say but he comes off Posh from his profile.

  16. grabbyhands says:

    Oh Benedict, I used to defend you, but this interview makes me cringe. Quit whining about how hard it is to be a privileged white male, already. We get it.

    I’m hoping that he’s joking about the move to the US-we have major class issues in this country and I feel like he’s smart enough to figure that out. Of course, with the remark about how much tail he’s gotten since hitting it big, maybe Hollywood is the right choice. I don’t care that he’s banging hotties all the time now-he’s gotten super famous and he’s hot(in my opinion) so it stands to reason, but I could have gone without hearing it so crudely put. Save that shit for Playboy-in this interview it just makes you sounds like a douchebag.

    • MissMary says:

      Caitlin Moran was all over defending him on Twitter earlier and saying his remarks were meant as jokes (re the shagging beautiful women and moving to America) but even if so…He really needs some *serious* interview skills. Maybe they need to offer some sort of seminar to actors, lol, or get their publicists to sit them down and go “dont’ talk about ANYTHING other than your movie/show/etc” when they’re proven to be so bad at interviews.

      • Lisa says:

        I agree with both grabbyhands and MissMary here.

        I am starting to get the impression that BC is either inconsiderate or completely oblivious of how his remarks will be perceived.

        It’s not the candidness that’s the issue. Tom Hardy (whose acting is just … wow, IMO) is pretty candid in interviews, but his remarks are almost always fun to read. I don’t get the impression that he’s trying to belittle anything. Even when he says that he doesn’t like certain things, he does it in a decent way.

        Some mistakes you can chalk up to unfamiliarity with the media, but some remarks just make you look inconsiderate/unaware. BC is starting to fall into the second category, and that bothers me.

    • iseepinkelefants says:

      I’m guessing, by your comment, you have never experienced any other class system outside of America, because if you had you’d know that we are very, very tame. In fact we are one of the few countries where someone who grew up dirt poor can become a billionaire and become one of the upper classes. In fact most people in our history came from such upbringings.

      England is almost caste in their system. What makes it even worse is that they can identify you by your accent and the way you carry yourself. It is really bizarre. Not to mention they have this weird fascination with what school you’ve been to. That’s always a question you get when you make conversation with people. Eton, Harrow, Oxbridge, etc. these all signify who you are and where you’re going. Not like in America where a lower middle class kid can go to Harvard and become one of the elite. It’s much harder in the UK.

      But then again it really is of their own making. Luckily we do not recognize titles in the US so we will never have this (landed gentry) problem and upward mobility stays a possibility.

      • marigold says:

        I’m not sure where you’re from but if you spent a little time in parts of the northeast, you’d realize parts of American are still very antiquated when it comes to classes.

      • grabbyhands says:

        I get what you’re saying, but while our class system isn’t quite as entrenched as it is in the UK, we still have one. For instance-If you are educated, then you’re an elite that is out of touch with the middle class and think you’re better than everyone else. If you’re poor, you’re probably stupid and racist and therefore suspect. If you’re a person of color, you are probably a drug dealer or here illegally, etc. At any rate, people in this country don’t like listening to someone who has been lucky enough to have distinct advantages in life whine about how tough life is anymore than they do across the pond.

      • LAK says:

        Being asked what school, meaning high school, you went to is a very, very, VERY loaded question……

  17. Eleonor says:

    I don’t get his appeal. He scares me.

  18. Birdie says:

    Even though this Cumberbatch post is a bit negative, I’m still happy you post about him. He is gorgeous and everyone has a bad day.

  19. iseepinkelefants says:

    Moan, moan, moan, whinge, whinge, whinge. So tired of hearing him complain about being posh. Pull a Christian Bale and change your accent if it holds you back so much. Geez.

    He does sound very bitchy and condescending lately. Maybe Hearst broke up with him.

  20. Rose says:

    He can’t speak his mind without people ripping into him for it? I don’t think he sounded that bitchy. Also, these are probably some of the best photos I’ve seen of him.

  21. Lindy says:

    Aside from the ugly comment about punching above his weight (which I *think* he meant to be self-deprecating, i.e. he doesn’t think of himself as the kind of guy who is terribly attractive to women and yet he finds himself attracting them, much to his surprise), I think he’s just funny and bitchy, in a good way. I mean, from a publicist’s perspective, he should probably tone it down. But I like the fact that he has opinions and doesn’t just natter on in PR cliches constantly.

    I love him. I really do. It’s an addiction.

  22. Halfmydadsage says:

    I think he’s just sarcastic as hell and a bit too verbose for simple, easy sound bites. But if he keeps getting slack for these interviews he might stop doing them. I adore him. I don’t think he’s moving to America and so despondent over his posh life. Yay Cumbercrush!

  23. Memphis says:

    I don’t get his appeal at all. He gives off a creepy vibe. I think ‘Serial Killer’ every time I see him.

  24. tripmom says:

    I wasn’t getting it with this dude, but every word of his that I read makes me come around more and more… starting to develop a little crush.

  25. frankly says:

    I don’t want to hear anyone bashing DA when they were willing to participate in that episode of Sherlock with the mysterious nerve gas valley/giant dog experiment. That was incredibly stupid.

  26. Angi says:

    I want to marry him. Don’t even care if he is bitchy. I f*cking love it!

  27. Peachy says:

    Love Sherlock! Where do I get in line for this guy, and is it called the Queue-Cumber?

  28. Cazzee says:

    Great analysis of why this interview is so unexpectedly off-putting:–all-actors-have-a-class-range-8049557.html

    The author starts off by describing the above quotes, his expensive boarding school education and old money family, and then writes,

    “The reason all this rankles with us non-Harrovian ranks is that the one pleasure you forfeit as product of a very comfortable background and a splendid education leading to a deservedly glorious career is the right to whine.

    For you are not the ones losing out in the great unfair race of life: Gray’s Elegy to a “youth to fortune and fame unknown” in that country churchyard was not written with this sort of plight in mind.

    It is also a remarkably quick way to put off even your most ardent fans, me included. The equally gifted Helena Bonham Carter had precisely the same effect when she complained about the roles she wasn’t getting, on the curious grounds that being Asquith’s great-grand-daughter and a gorgeous product of South Hampstead High School was a terrible cross to bear.

    This elicited the unbeatable riposte from the earthy actress, Kathy Burke: “As a lifelong member of the non-pretty working classes, I would like to say to Helena Bonham Carter: shut up, you stupid ****.” I would not indulge in Ms Burke’s lively mode of expression but the sentiment doesn’t half ring true.

    ..It isn’t so much birth that matters as a comfortable range. The best actors understand that, so Daniel Craig never tried to compete with Sean Connery on class: he simply reinvented Bond as a more awkward and angular character.

    I’m sure something like this will befall Mr Cumberbatch. He has the great gift of his trade; mesmeric watchability and the capacity to disconcert as well as entertain audiences.

    The one thing he might lose along the way is the inverted chip. It never sits well on any shoulder.”

    • grabbyhands says:

      Love it!! I hope he sees it and takes it to heart so I can go back to adoring him unconditionally.

    • Bunny says:

      Oh my god…Kathy Burke rocks. You should look up her acceptance speech from the British Comedy Awards…classic. These posh actors need to stop acting like they have a cross to bear.

      Colin Firth has a wonderful sense of humor, a sharp wit who comes off as classy. If I could only find my own Colin/Mr. Darcy.

    • dooliloo says:

      *head bangs desk*

      He hasn’t been going ‘on and on’ about being typecast. He mentioned it once in an interview, that perhaps as an actor he doesn’t get the range of roles he would like due to being pigeonholed. He wasn’t complaining as such, but he said it was a drawback. He wasn’t about to march on parliament or start up a charity, he was just saying. And if he was a working class actor in the reverse situation, nobody would’ve batted an eyelid. Another example of inverted snobbery at it’s finest.

      He hasn’t mentioned it again until this Radio Times interview, where he said ( in ONE paragraph) that he was fed up with some people perceiving him to be a posh boy who moans about only getting posh roles. He wasn’t declaring an imminent move to the US due to people getting at him for being posh, as the newspapers fatuously and erroneously put it.
      Oh and I really don’t think he’s handsome but there is something about his voice that makes him attractive somehow…

      Anything said by people in the public eye will be open to criticism and that’s fine..all’s fair in love and war, but at least get what they say right in the first bloody place before you go steaming in both feet first with the flaming torches and spears.
      Seriously, the capacity of people to be led by the media and abandon all autonomous thought and action is utterly terrifying.

  29. dooliloo says:

    LE sigh…now am waiting on Tom Hiddleston to make a “faux pas” then…

    • Bunny says:

      I love Tom’s voice. I saw Colin Farrell on Alan Carr and he has such a wonderful self-depricating wit that comes off as charming.

      He said being from a large Irish family they don’t allow him to take himself too seriously. Others should take note.

      • dooliloo says:

        Tom voice is nice indeed, adds flavour to his eloquence and intelligence indeed. He’s been to Eton but anyway he never complained about it per se, he said he despised the fact that every social class had to be brought up when someone is successful and it’s a pity. By “faux pas” I mean with his crazy fangirls who worship him and how he indulges them a tad way too much (then again it’s his right, good on him!)… I just hope he won’t pester one day as they keep stalking him to his hotel and film studios and how they beg for a hug, not giving a toss that the man has been working 16hrs straight and just want to rest etc… *snap* and oops!

        Colin and Fassy are my 2 fave Irish actors! They seems very down to earth and indeed don’t take themselves too seriously eh.

      • cillyfilly says:

        You might just add the delicious Cillian to this list. Beats the lot of them as an actor in my opinion and doesn’t appear to have a snobbish or bitter bone in his body – aside from being just about the most beautiful creature I did ever lay eyes on.

  30. Alice says:

    I have a few questions. 1) Is a Jaguar to the UK what a Honda Civic is to the U.S., or is it a vehicle normally driven by the upper crust? I’m only asking because my first inkling(s) of Mr. Cumberbatch as posh came from his Jaguar ads. (To be fair, maybe he was a starving actor at the time and had to do the commercials to survive. And maybe Jaguars aren’t considered a big deal in the UK.) 2) How many of us have had to tackle projects at work/school that we weren’t jazzed about (or were worried we’d get pigeonholed into doing for years to come), but we did them without complaining because we knew if we did them well, we stood a better chance of moving on to bigger/better things? I’m guessing a lot of us. (So I’m sorry if being offered posh roles bugged him, but now he’s getting more varied roles, so might want to stop complaining and get on with it.) 3) Who’s Caitlin Moran? Actually, I guess I could Google that one…
    P.S. I agree with everyone’s “he’s either crude or clueless” comments. It’s one thing to be sarcastic or share TMI with your friends/family, who know you and the context. It’s another to do it in an interview. Be a professional, please…

  31. anya says:

    I don’t get it- is he saying that he’s an old school, anti-Cameron tory or that he hates the conservatives in general?
    I’m guessing it’s the former…

  32. spugzbunny says:

    I’m from the UK and I personally think he’s a lizard-arse faced whining public school boy.

    There’s a lot of pseudo class divide in the UK where people who have a chip on their shoulder whine about how hard it was growing up upper/lower class. The reality is that there is very little obvious divide these days.

    He clearly had some excellent opportunities in life as he went to Harrow (very posh school). keep your mouth shut and diversify. Many actresses have incredibly posh accents that you only hear when they interview. Half the cast of Eastenders for a start! What about the lovely David Tennant? I didn’t know he was Scottish for years!

  33. Kristen says:

    Is he really not gay? I’ve been thinking he and AC would be adorable.

  34. Faye says:

    I’m a big fan of Cumberbatch, and Downton Abbey (which I admit is kind of crappy, but it’s such enjoyable crap! It’s the french fries of TV). He’s entitled to his opinion, but I’m kind of blown away by how open and vitriolic he was with it. Especially considering that one of the exec producers of Downton, Rebecca Eaton, is an exec producer on Sherlock. So essentially, he’s trashing his boss’s taste in public. Not the most PC thing to do, but I guess an actor can get away with it?