Benedict Cumberbatch’s friend talks about what it’s like to photograph him


In the current issue of GQ Style, there is a photo feature with Benedict Cumberbatch and Alice Eve. The photos looked more than a year old, and they likely were older pics, repurposed for GQ Style. As it turns out, Benedict’s friend Tertius Bune took the photos. Because Benedict Cumberbatch would naturally have a childhood friend named Tertius Bune. It’s like finding out that Benedict had a childhood friend named Lord Higginbottom Fancypants. So, Benedict and Tertius are BFFs and Ben invited Terty to come stay with him in Venice Beach. Wait… Benedict was living in Venice Beach for a while?!?!?!

It’s photographer Tertius Bune’s longstanding friendship with British Actor, Benedict Cumberbatch that was the catalyst behind their seminal photoshoot for the latest issue of GQ Style. Shot on Los Angeles’ iconic Mulholland Drive we see Cumberbatch and his Star Trek Into Darkness co-star Alice Eve transformed into a modern day Bonnie and Clyde.

His relationship with Cumberbatch is demonstrated through a truly unique and unfiltered way of representing his friend. “I do believe I can cast him in a light that shows him as he ultimately is,” Bune says of the actor. “I’m talking about his versatility as a human being.” In fact the shoot is testament to the spontaneity that comes from real friendship – an invitation to stay for a few days in LA provided all the inspiration Bune needed. “It was such an amazing time…but most importantly to witness this truly awesome moment in Benedict’s career. Such a gift to be able to share that with him”.

GQ Style: Tell us about your shoot with Benedict Cumberbatch. Where were you?
Tertius Bune: I had come to L.A. for a couple of shoots whilst Benedict was promoting a movie. Benedict invited me to stay with him at his house in Venice Beach. I met Alice the first night I arrived while at an Oscars party. The three of us just clicked. As we all hung out in the following weeks, I thought to myself; here they are after over ten years from first meeting and working together, both of their careers had really picked up steam in the prior few years. This is where the inspiration for the story came. Benedict and Alice both seemed to be grabbing or if you will, “stealing” all these roles in Hollywood. The story was shot on Mulholland Drive, a road in L.A. that has a certain outlaw quality and history to it.

We understand that you and Benedict are old friends – is there a particular trick to shooting someone you know so well?
Yes, Benedict and I have known each other since I was six and he eight years old. There is no particular trick to photographing someone you’ve known your whole life but I do believe I can cast him in a different light due to the fact that I know him as well as I do. This shoot in particular I wanted to show his edgier side. Which is not something I contrived, he has it. I see the media painting Benedict as the proper British boy (yes this is part of him), but he has a vast range. And I’m not just talking about acting or character range.

What was it like working with Alive Eve?
Alice was Amazing to work with. She came at me throwing idea after idea with lots of excitement. I love collaborating like this with subjects. It’s what makes for something special.

How easily did Benedict make the transition from actor to model – did he have a ‘blue steel’ moment in his locker?
Benedict is a master in front of any lens. He just gets it.

[From GQ UK]

I’m doing the math… Benedict would have been living in Venice Beach in early 2012. Bune mentions meeting Alice at an Oscar party – Benedict was in LA a lot during the 2012 awards season. So, these photos of Alice and Benedict are from February or March of 2012. Okay. Fine. But answer me this: were Alice and Benedict banging back then? Because I kind of wonder if they were.

As for all of the nice stuff Bune says about Benedict… yes, Cumby is a proper British dude and yeah, he probably has a little bit of an edge. I think of it more of his “inner bitch.” I think Benedict’s instincts veer more towards bitchiness and smack-talking, and he’s had to learn how to be more professional, more of a gentleman over the past few years.

Photos courtesy of GQ Style, via Tumblr.

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106 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch’s friend talks about what it’s like to photograph him”

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  1. Lindy79 says:

    He sounds like he’s in love with him.
    He should have done the shoot instead of Dead Eyed Eve

  2. freebunny says:

    Benedict and Alice have no chemistry at all. I can’t see them as a couple or lovers, I’m not even sure they’re good friends.
    I really don’t think there is or there was anything between them.

    • Delorb says:

      I can’t either. She always seems the type to only get with someone who can help her career. I’m thinking that Benedict didn’t have much juice early in their friendship, so that nixed any ‘relationship’ between them. Now that things have changed, she’s managed to be seen with him a lot. And yes, I’m probably wrong about her and how she feels about Benedict.

  3. Beth says:

    I’m fairly sure Ben’s been quoted as saying he and Alice are good friends. And she spoke of him affectionately when promoting STiD. They’ve been in at least three films together, including “Hawking” and “Starter for Ten.”

    Anyway, I love him. It’s unhealthy.

  4. AG-UK says:

    All her ideas still didn’t make it an amazing photo shoot, they/she looked bored. As if she is thinking ummm what time is my pedicure?

  5. Sixer says:

    My word, GQ really do write the MOST obsequious, puke-tastic articles ever, don’t they? Truly unique and unfiltered? The spontaneity that comes from real friendship? Deary, deary, me. They should just stick with the pretty pictures, which I’d be quite interested in seeing.

  6. T.fanty says:

    I think they were. Good for him. She’s a pretty girl. She actually looks a bit like his mother did. Eeew.

  7. TorontoGal says:

    I’m sorry. I’ve tried really hard to get the physical attraction to this guy, but I can’t. I think he’s a great actor and a very nice person, but I think he’s kind of odd/creepy looking. I don’t get the love fest.

  8. Hubbahun says:

    Can someone please explain the appeal of Alice Eve? I don’t get it.

  9. MonicaQ says:

    I finally watched an episode of Sherlock after avoiding everything this guy was in like the plague (because tumblr) and his voice sounded nothing like I expected it.

  10. Kelly says:

    His inner bitch, ahahahha, Kaiser I think I’m falling for you way more than for him, another fab commentary as always <3

  11. Granger says:

    Cumby’s been described by other friends as goofy, and that does comes across (like when he imitates Chewbacca, or makes silly faces for the camera, or photobombs U2). He also swears like a trucker in a lot of interviews. So I think his edge is less inner bitch than inner 12-year-old boy who’s trying really hard now to act like the successful, mature adult he’s supposed to be but who just can’t stop himself every now and then from saying the F-word and acting like an idiot.

  12. Katie says:

    Not a fan of this photoshoot either, although they both look nice.

    I do think it’s a good thing he’s got so many friends from his childhood still, since that usually means the celeb hasn’t turned into an ass, but Tertius is a bit of an odd duck lol.

    In other news, if I got what I read on Twitter correctly, a journalist fan in Malaysia wrote a guide on how to stalk Benedict at his hotel. I am hoping I’m wrong though.

  13. HoustonGrl says:

    To me, there is nothing special about this photoshoot. It’s sooo cliche to do a “bonnie and clyde” on mulholland drive. But benedict looks so handsome as always!!

  14. Felice says:

    Apparently it was a tough crowd in Malaysia

  15. Emma - the JP Lover says:

    @Kaiser, who wrote: “I’m doing the math… Benedict would have been living in Venice Beach in early 2012. Bune mentions meeting Alice at an Oscar party – Benedict was in LA a lot during the 2012 awards season.”

    I didn’t see a date in the article so do you mean instead the ’2013′ Awards season? That hair cut Benny is wearing in the ‘car’ photo with Alice looks like the hair cut he wore in “Star Trek: Into Darkness” (2013) and he would have been promoting that film and “12 Years a Slave” in 2013 rather than 2012. I still can’t believe he sat next to Angelina Jolie at the 2013 Oscars! I’m sure he was invited to all the Oscar parties this past February.

    His friendship with photographer Tertius Bune from such an early age reminds me of the Ben Affleck/Matt Damon friendship, with Ben being 8-years old and Matt being 10-years-old when they first met. :)

  16. Jana says:

    Personally I don’t think he and Alice have ever hooked up. Rather she, much like Lydia Hearst, seemed to suddenly become much closer to him than they did before after his star started rising.

  17. Abby says:

    Oh god the sport awards thing was bad overall. I mean no one laughed at his jokes, was the crowd too dumb to understand it or were his jokes that bad. Some were good others were meh. But I hope he learned his lesson and doesn’t host such shit again.

    Even if he wanted to host it woul be better to do it with Oliver awards or something regarding the industry he is in. This sports mix up wasn’t the best idea.

    Though I can’t blame him entirely, whoever wrote his script effed up and honestly Cumby was the only lively thing keeping this boring award show alive but the crowd was so not responsive which made it more awkward to watch.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Language and cultural differences are probably the biggest reasons his jokes fell flat. And the mood of the country doesn’t help at all.

      Bad timing all around.

    • Katie says:

      …I get what you mean, Abby, but it’s a charity for kids so I’m more lenient. I doubt they were hiring expensive writers if at all (it’s largely run by volunteers) and the location was just unfortunate given the timing.

    • Kelly says:

      I thought it was great. Admittedly, humor is such a sensitive thing, you can’t always win with everyone. And it does depend so much on the cultural background and mentality.
      But I think he did a good job, he can’t help what kind of crowd he gets.

      Personally, I feel the crowd weren’t really entertainment savvy people, it felt like two worlds colliding. At least it was fun to watch. Well to me at least.

      But I have to say one thing tho, how do you know no one laughed or got his jokes? Maybe they don’t have a culture of pre-recorded fake laugh tracks and generally loud audience reactions. I mean some people just smile or chuckle to themselves. Not every culture is like the anglophone countries.

  18. ZsaZsa says:

    I thought Alice had a long term boyfriend. I don’t think Benny is the sort to mix business and pleasure and she’s not his usual type.

  19. pru says:

    Benedict looked downright bored and uninterested in these photos and AE , well not like she was “throwing ideas with lots of excitement” (unless she is dead inside).
    I wonder if Benedict’s friendship with Tertius got him the gig. GQ probably has been holding this substandard pictorial in the vault, No point in publishing until they knew interest in him increased and they could sell copies no matter how bad the photo spread was.

  20. crayon says:

    I think they make a cute couple. I guess this Cumberdude likes blondes.

    • Becks says:

      And you come to that conclusion based on what?… Olivia Poulet was blonde. That’s it. His only other ACTUAL relationship was with Anna James. Lydia, Katia.. That was tabloid nonsense. So the ‘he likes blondes’ theory is a bit odd. A people really this easily misled by the media?
      And this is only a photoshoot. A photoshoot devoid of any spark or chemistry whatsoever. So there’s really nothing cute or coupley about this either.

  21. Ginger says:

    Cumby doesn’t do anything for me but he looks GOOOOOD in that first photo!

  22. MissScarlet says:

    If there was ever a more ridiculous name than Benedict Cumberbatch, it’s ‘Tertius Bune.’

  23. oothoon says:

    Here’s an old blind item supposedly about Alice Eve. Huge grain of salt, of course, etc. (I personally think she’s fine. Not exactly a great actress, but doesn’t seem that “cold” to me. Maybe she’s just shy.)

    29. ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER 05/03 **#7**
    I have said about ten words to this actress and all I can say is that she gave me a fake smile and quickly decided the wall over my head looked far more interesting. Normal reaction, but everyone else I know who has spent any time with her, finds her to be the most impersonal, cold and not too bright person they have met. People are astonished she is an actress. Foreign born. Probably a B- lister, but only because of an upcoming role, and not because of her past which would probably place her in the C list category. Mostly movies. There is no way she could do television because she really has the wrong expressions and timing for television. No one can understand how she got any of her roles. She has hit the casting couch before but apparently she was just as uninteresting in bed as she was in the role she won for her casting couch audition. Jessica Biel is a better actress, but people hear her name and for some reason I guess they think with that name and that body she is going to be great. SNL had thought about using her at the end of this season because she is promoting a movie but saw an audition tape of hers where she was supposed to be doing improv and couldn’t do anything. The only thing she can do is memorize lines. I’m sure she is probably a lovely person inside, but it does not come across on the outside. She dates no one, male or female, although people say she prefers the company of women and that she is uncomfortable playing a sexualized female lead which is what she usually ends up playing. She gave a speech once at an event and was supposed to interact as part of it with other people. She couldn’t. She had to keep looking at the teleprompter and it turned into the most awkward few minutes people had ever seen. She really does have a great name though. Alice Eve ” Star Trek Into Darkness”

  24. allheavens says:

    I could see Alice Eve being Benedict’s FWB. Both are public school educated, both of their parents were actors, they’ve known each other for years and I think she would keep her mouth shut. However, I think it’s in the past, they are not FWB any more but have remained friends.

    Outside of being relatively attractive I don’t see a type but the women he eventually puts a ring on will have to be smart. I don’t see him with someone who can’t keep up. Alice doesn’t strike me as the brightest bulb but what do I know she did read English at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University.