Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman always had a ‘frosty’ relationship


As we discussed yesterday, Sherlock Season 4 was absolute garbage. While many fans left the series after Season 3 – which I understand, although I didn’t think Season 3 was THAT bad – I expect that the discussion around a potential Season 5 will go nowhere. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (who created the series & write the scripts) completely ran a once-brilliant series into the ground with Season 4. Even with the last episode, you could feel like everyone involved just wanted to put a bow on this thing and never make another episode. Well, perhaps part of the problem was that Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch don’t get along at all?

A frosty relationship between Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman may have ended hopes for another series. Pals say the pair are “hardly close” while filming the BBC detective drama and spend their time apart in between shoots.

Co-creator Steven Moffat has already said the future of the show depends on the two actors’ busy Hollywood schedules and their willingness to return. It comes as the series four finale pulled in the show’s lowest-ever audience with a peak of 6.2million on Sunday.

A source said: “Benedict and Martin aren’t mates and they don’t spend time together away from the show. They’re professional and very polite to each other but there’s not the warmth you’d expect after filming together for six years. There isn’t a huge desire to come back for another season.”

Last week, Martin, 45, who plays Dr John Watson, admitted he and Benedict, 40, barely spoke away from the show.

Fans are also suggesting there will not be a fifth series after the latest did not end on a cliffhanger like the previous ones. Moffat said: “We really don’t know about the future.”

[From The Sun]

Yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me at all? Martin and Benedict did seem to have a mostly professional relationship. As much as the hardcore Tumblr Johnlock fan-fiction people wanted to believe that the Sherlock and John characters would eventually end up together, it was always pretty clear that Bendy and Martin weren’t particularly close. I suspect that Martin sees himself as more avant-garde, more willing to try out weird projects, independent films and such while Benedict seems to want to go on the “movie star” track. Besides that, there’s no rule that costars have to be best friends or anything. Martin and Benedict didn’t have that much in common, so what? And considering the total sh-t show that was Season 4, Martin and Benedict probably won’t want to carve out any time to film a Season 5.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and BBC/Masterpiece.

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52 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman always had a ‘frosty’ relationship”

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  1. Spiderpig says:

    I thought everyone knew they were never BFFs. Doubt their professional relationship would affect the show one way or another.

    • Onika says:

      This! (And getting your info from ‘The Sun’ is always a mistake).

    • Becky says:

      I thought it was obvious too, esp as Freeman didn’t attend C’batch’s wedding.

    • Caro says:

      They’re not buddies of screen they don’t live near each other, however Cumbers saw Martin on the last day of filming The Hobbit – they went to each others stage plays and Cumbers has always spoken of him warmly and that Martin is grumpy and he likes trying to shake him out of it. Judging by other co-stars reactions to BC I would think perhaps MF is a bit chippy and doesn’t want to be friends with a public schoolboy!

      Cumberbatch is attached to about 3 indie films by the way.

      • spidey says:

        Turn that round and imagine the uproar if someone said that Ben didn’t want to be friends with a state schoolboy!

    • Mae says:

      Not everyone distinguishes all that well between the characters an actor plays, and the actor’s actual personality. Some over-enthusiastic shipping spills over onto the actors.

      Didn’t season 3 actually start with some Sherlock-Moriarty fan-fiction? I thought it was funny, but YMMV. Never really saw much evidence of Johnlock in the show, but fandom is about wishful thinking a lot of the time lol.

    • SM says:

      Complitely agree. That is a billshit excuse and so low of someone on Sherlock production blaming it on actors. They are not supposed to be besties in real life. The show turned crap due to crap writing and big gaps beteen seasons. I bolted after the premiere of first episode of season 3.

    • Janet R says:

      I believe it’s called acting! And I don’t think any of the criticism of the show is on the acting….

  2. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    TBH they were never exactly friends to begin with – they were friendly but Freeman was always quick to say that he never socialised with Bendy out of work.

    And I think the reason they are not keen on doing any more Sherlock is the pretentious sh!t writing from Gatiss and Moffat. Sherlock had soo much potential but became a vehicle to massage the ego’s of the show runners.

  3. shelly says:

    What on earth is Johnlock ?

    • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

      LOL….some people think there are subliminal messages, etc that Sherlock and John are secretly gay–the subliminal messages seem to come from the scene in the first episode when John asked Sherlock if he was gay and said “it was ok”, etc.

      • shelly says:

        Ah, gotcha…

      • Sixer says:

        I first found out the true extent of otherworldly online fandoms by seeing Larry Shippers trending on Twitter one day. I had no idea this sort of thing even existed before that.

        I want to be a proper fan of something some day before I die. But it’s hard to summon up that level of enthusiasm for something you can’t touch.

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        For me—it’s one thing to write fanfiction and say that the characters are gay i.e. anything goes in fanfiction (and there are a ton of really good, amazing writers, writing this stuff)………….and another to throw a fit when someone says it’s not canon. IT IS NOT. Those are the creepy people.

      • shelly says:

        Just Googled Larry Shippers…Yikes, I’ll stick to TH and his Furry Slippers…

        Just Googled Johnlock too, I appear to missing out on a whole world of weirdness…
        I’m all for gay love, but as the old song goes, ‘Don’t push it, don’t force it, let it happen naturally’

        I shall now put the kettle on and reflect on my lack of modern cultural knowledge.

      • Sixer says:

        Yes to Virgilia! Fan fiction I knew about and it’s a fun thing if you enjoy it. But I had no idea that people actually LIVED this nonsense until the 1D realisation. That’s just ridiculous.

        Shelly – it makes me feel OLD.

      • Becky says:

        The 1D shippers? Not really surprising for boy band fans. The Sherlock lot, a whole lot of nope.

      • Sixer says:

        I don’t distinguish, Becky. Any fandom in which the fans have fantasies they believe to be real life events are equally ridiculous to me.

      • LAK says:

        I’m still coming to terms with the existence of fanfiction as a proper literary genre and i work in media…….

      • Fluff says:

        The weird thing about the ‘Larries’ is that it’s mostly middle-aged women (same as the Cumbercrazies), not the teens/tweens you’d expect to make up 1D’d fanbase. I’m sure they do have plenty of obsessed teen/tween fans, but they’re not the ones spending hundreds on RealDolls just to take pictures of for a Larry blog, or phoning the guys’ girlfriend’s university trying to get her kicked out.

      • ichsi says:

        @Virgilia Aye. There’s some really amazing fanfiction out there and fandom actually can be a quite nice, creative place sometimes but there ALWAYS are some people who take it too far. Putting too much value on their own interpretations, bullying those who don’t agree, shipping that spills over unto the actors in some seriously effed up ways and what not. It’s such a pity.

        As for Cumberbatch and Freeman I am not surprised. They do seem like profoundly different people.

      • Gloriosky says:

        It’s more than just the John/Sherlock conversation in the cafe in Episode 1. Fandom, more specifically a lot of women in fandom, have this thing where they ‘make’ or ‘interpret’ featured characters as gay or bi. Kirk/Spock. Mulder/Krycek. . James Bond/Q. Merlin/Arthur. Xena and someone. (I don’t remember the character’s name; I never watched the show.) No matter if the characters are depicted as, for all intents and purposes, canonically straight, or asexual, or the 2 characters actually have huge conflicts in the story, somehow they wind up in bed. Some women do not like female characters as depicted in modern TV and movies. Or they’re just more ‘into’ or sexually excited by the male characters. I do not understand it. I’ve tried for years. Nope. Someone else can explain it. I don’t hate it, not one bit, but it’s not my thing.

        Fanfiction can be enormously creative, well done, intelligent, intriguing, funny, tragic, romantic, weird and exciting. It can also be terribly poorly done. Some of the really great fanfic I’ve read came from The X-Files. The stars were aligned – A geeky/cerebral show bursting onto the scene with 2 awesome leads when there was usenet, mailserves, and the beginning of web archives. Those were good days.

  4. Mia4S says:

    Yeah this seems like a nothing story. They got along fine, worked well, but didn’t summer together on the Riviera? So….? Why would that stop them coming back if there was money to be made?

    FFS it’s not like they had a romantic relationship that went sour. Dramatic British media is dramatic.

    • Bread and Circuses says:

      This is what I was thinking. I get along great with my coworkers, but I don’t hang out with them.

      I guess it’s easy when personalities appear, on TV, to get along well, to assume they’re close in real life. For example, I was honestly surprised when I heard the two guys on Mythbusters aren’t friends, but just polite coworkers, because they create such a pleasant dynamic.

  5. Miss Grace Jones says:

    I completely forgot about this show after the second season and didn’t even realize they’d had a fourth one. I don’t mind spoilers but what made this last season so horrible?

    • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

      Tumblr. The writers need to stay off of it, and stick to the actual source material. I’ve started “Elementary”, and it is such a palette cleanser because of how “real” it is–it makes the deductions seem less like a magic trick, and something more integral to the mind of an addict. I enjoy “Sherlock” too–because of how OTT it is………..but they need to just stahp with some of the mess they write. I could write better for a fraction of the cost, please hire me BBC!

      • original kay says:


      • Felice. says:

        I’ve started Elementary too.

        Some of the episodes of season 1 are kinda meh but I’m enjoying it overall.

        I really dislike the hostility that BBC Sherlock fans have towards Elementary.

      • shelly says:

        I covet Lucy Lui’s wardrobe (and her trim figure) My Husband hates her clothing choices and gives me the stink eye every time I wax lyrical about what she’s wearing.

        Jonny Lee Miller is not difficult to look at either. But shallowness aside, its a good show that cracks along at a steady pace.

      • Ankhel says:

        Elementary is quietly great. The characters are endearing, and I love the emphasis on actual crime mysteries.

      • Carol says:

        I cannot stand Lucy Lui’s inability to act and therefore refuse to watch anything she is in. I like Johnny, but she even stinks up the previews so no Elementary for me.

      • SusanneToo says:

        @shelly. Glad I’m not the only one. I like Elementary, but one thing that keeps me tuning in is seeing what Lucy’s wearing. I love her clothes, her whole look.

      • Lightpurple says:

        ElementaryForever! And for those who just started watching- the Moriarty appearances are brilliant

      • Adrien says:

        Yay to all the Elementary love.

      • Gloriosky says:

        I just can’t ‘do’ Lucy Liu. She’s not ‘real’ to me in any way. JLM is brilliant. As are John Nobel and Rhys Ifans.

    • Timbuktu says:

      They started messing with the formula too much. Tried to “humanize” Sherlock (too quickly, IMO), made all the cases about him and messing with his head. Tried to make it personal and dark. Turned a fun “procedural” show into a psychological thriller, and ruined a bunch of things along the way (female characters, Sherloc’s likability, etc.).

      • Gloriosky says:

        This show tripped itself up creating a ‘mytharc’ (the main characters’ own weird personal histories and events). This show needed more of The Blind Banker and less of The Baker Street Boys’ Angsty Bullshit.

        For an example of a mytharc that really mostly worked – Battlestar Galactica. For one that did not work – Moonlighting. For a mytharc that was contradictory, dragged on, convoluted and batshit insane – The X-Files.

  6. Crox says:

    There’s a difference between not socialising outside of work due to lack of shared interests (probably quite common with actors); and having a frosty relationship,implying they don’t like each other. Is there any reason to suspect that?

    • Fluff says:

      There’s never been any indication they have a tense relationship, and by all accounts they get on fine. They’re just not close friends.

    • squeezeolime says:

      Martins wife kinda shat all over Cumbys wife on twitter when they first got married, so I’m assuming the feelings are mutual.

  7. third ginger says:

    In the history of Hollywood, this doesn’t even register on the tense relationship scale. Now, if you want true hatred, read about Olivia De Haviland and sister Joan Fontaine. I can’t wait for Ryan Murphy’s show FUED. First up, Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon as arch enemies Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Of course, co-stars who can’t stand each other sometimes make fun projects. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD,anyone?

    • shelly says:

      What ever happened to baby Jane is one of my all time favourite films. It used to scare the sheet out of me when I was a kid.

      Now I love it for its grand guignol campness

    • SusanneToo says:

      One of the saddest things I ever read was when Bette D. said that Christina Crawford’s Mommie Dearest was horrible, but at least Joan wasn’t alive to read it. She added that her daughter would never do that to her. Shortly after, BD Davis published a scathing attack on her mother and Bette was still alive to hear all about it.

  8. Timbuktu says:

    I thought season 3 was the worst – didn’t like a single episode. In season 4, I enjoyed episode 2, and I thought episode 3 was mesmerizing, but the resolution ruined it.

  9. V.L.719 says:

    I will have to admit, my husband and I didn’t enjoy this season at all and he loves a good mystery show or book. Now he’s even wondering when that writer girl I spoke about a while ago will ever show up.

  10. hermia says:

    Didn’t Cumberbatch moan at some point (may have been at the Sherlock con) that Freeman never texts him back or returns his phone calls? It way be Freeman more than him in that case.

  11. Chantal says:

    I am not a sherlock fanatic. I only saw 2 episodes last year from series 2. I always wanted to watch all of them but never got around to do it. My cumberbitches co-workers kept me updated. I only saw the last 2 episodes of series 4 last night and I was mesmerized and entertained. I am a fan now. Great acting! But I am not that invested in it like some people, so I can appreciate it more maybe. My co-worke liked series 4 fine. They are not crazy about it. Martin seems like constant grouch to me. I really think he does not appreciate Ben’s fame over his. He was more famous before.

  12. Bee says:

    Half the problem with Sherlock was that they gave key roles to relatives and friends. It almost became parody. The beginning of the end was the introduction of Mary, it threw off the entire vibe. But yeah, Season 4 was messier than could have ever been expected. The storyline was terrible, the interesting mysteries were gone, and it was all simply too far fetched and full of enormously distracting plot holes.

  13. Gloriosky says:

    I don’t think that 2 accomplished busy actors, with wives and kids, necessarily have time to hang at the pub and such. Is that ‘frosty’ necessarily? No.

    I could be profoundly wrong here, and I kind of hope I am, but from the few glimpses of non-acting Martin, real life Martin if you will, he seems rather unpleasant. Just a feeling. (cough split with AA cough)

  14. North of Boston says:

    Seems like simply a click-bait article from the Sun.

    I’ve followed some shows before where there were “frosty relationships” in the cast, and there is no indication something like that is going on here. They seem to support each other’s non-Sherlock projects, seem to work well together and enjoy each other’s company at work, going by BTS footage from Sherlock, and public appearances together. (For example, they both have related stories in interviews about calling each other with excitement when they are given new scripts)

    So what if they don’t go on joint family holidays together? I don’t spend my spare time away from work hanging out with all my co-workers either; it doesn’t mean we’re frosty, just that we’re work colleagues who have different interests and different ways to spend our down time. Also just because the characters they play are besties for most of the show, doesn’t mean the actors who play them have to be.

    Lastly, there is a world of wiggle room between “best mates” and “frosty”, and as far as I can tell, their relationship falls somewhere in the middle, which is true of most work relationships I’ve seen.

    Oh, and I loved S1 & 2, have a complex relationship with S3, but loved the Victorian Special and the last two episodes of this recent season.