Ah, Cumby. We’ve managed to have two Fassbender posts this week, and yet we haven’t checked in with Benedict Cumberbatch yet. Just so you know – I got this as a request from a Cumberbitch. So there! People actually request news on Cumby. It helps that there’s some actual news and new interviews with our beloved Cumby. As we discussed a few weeks ago, Cumby got into trouble recently for complaining about his “posh” label, and for disrespecting Downton Abbey once again. In a recent magazine interview, Cumby had said, “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.” Well, in an interview conducted last week, Cumby took some of it back. Sort of. Incidentally, he looks really, really good here. I love him in plaid.
Cumby basically says that he “used language that he shouldn’t have used” and that his answer in context was about the comparisons between Downton’s use of war and the use of war in his new miniseries, Parade’s End. He says “I would never say about the whole series, I’ve got friends and family in it.” He says Downton is “good” and that it “deserves all the success that it’s getting.” So, once again, this is a repeat of a previous controversy – Cumby bashes Downton, then takes it back, then Cumby bashes Downton again, then has to take it back. Maybe we can make it a three-fer.
Meanwhile, Cumby let out his inner bitch (it doesn’t take much, honestly) and spoke about the new CBS show, Elementary, which is basically the Yankee knockoff of Cumby’s Sherlock. Elementary stars Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock, and Lucy Liu stars as Watson. It looks like a turd of a show, and that’s basically what Cumby says too. Only in a much bitchier way. It’s especially harsh because The Batch and JLM worked together on the London stage recently, and they’re friendly in real life:
There is no mystery here. Benedict Cumberbatch is not 100 percent on board with CBS’ take on the legendary Sherlock Holmes.
Cumberbatch, who currently stars in the BBC hit Sherlock, talked to Shortlist.com about being the villain in the new Star Trek sequel, his rise to fame, and his initial impression about Jonny Lee Miller’s turn as Sherlock on Elementary, a modernized tale about the detective.
“I got hold of the pilot script just to check it out. I don’t know, we’ll see,” Cumberbatch says in the interview. “I think there’s room for us both to coexist. I don’t feel threatened by it and I wish him the best, which is as diplomatic as I can be.”
He continues: “It’s very odd. I did say [to Miller], ‘Well, I’d prefer you didn’t do it but you’ve got a kid to feed, a nice house in LA and a wife to keep in good clothes.’ I think Jonny was like, ‘Mate, I’ve got the f–king mountain to climb here, you’ve got nothing to fear.’ I wish him the best of luck, but I’m a bit cynical about why they’ve chosen to do it and why they cast him.”
During the TCA Press Tour last month Miller told reporters that he had a “private discussion” with Cumberbatch after he took the role, and had nothing but respectful things to say about his work.
“I love the work that Benedict has done with Sherlock. I would call him up like a groupie after every episode had come out. I’ve been able to reassure him about how different this script was.”
CBS president Nina Tassler also praised the BBC series, calling it “wonderful,” and adding: “I think there’s plenty of room for another Holmes in our world.”
Rough. But I actually don’t blame Cumby too much for being a bitch about this one. Apparently, American producers went to the men who created this modernized Sherlock Holmes, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, about a possible “American version” of their Sherlock, because American producers think Americans are too dumb to watch the UK version of the show. Moffat and Gatiss turned down the Americans, and the Americans just went ahead and did it anyway. And now Jonny Lee Miller is probably making more money as Sherlock in two episodes than Cumby has made for two seasons. So… I say, go ahead and be a bitch, Cumby.
UPDATE: Ah, Cumby released a statement to THR:
“I am both bemused and upset at this misquote. I never said that Johnny took the job for the paycheck nor did I ask him not to do it. What I said is I would have preferred not to be in the situation where we will again be compared because we are friends. I know for a fact his motivations were to do with the quality of the script and the challenges of this exceptional role.
“It is baffling because I have only been supportive of an incredibly talented actor who I am proud to call a friend taking a job I know he is going to enjoy immensely and be wonderful in.
“Over 70 actors have played this exceptional character before us. To say that there can be only one Holmes would be ludicrous. We’re both thrilled to get the opportunity to play him in a modern context. The world of Sherlock Holmes and the world that we live in now is big enough to take more than one interpretation. As a genuine Sherlock Holmes fan I am greatly looking forward to his series.”
Whatever, dude. It’s kind of ridiculous that every single interview with Cumby contains some kind of “misquote” right? At some point, we just have to admit that he’s actually saying this stuff and then he feels bad afterwards.
Photos courtesy of WENN.