Benedict Cumberbatch: ‘I probably have cried on the toilet. I try not to…’

Producers Guild Awards

The Current War won’t be coming out this year. Harvey Weinstein was going to release it this month, and it was going to be the centerpiece of The Weinstein Company’s Oscar season campaigning. Once Harvey was ousted from his company, they pushed back the release date. Still, Benedict Cumberbatch had done some interviews to support the film before all of those stories broke, which is how he ended up on the cover of Interview Magazine. The photoshoot is… odd. Like, Bendy as a rockabilly, which doesn’t really suit him, but it’s not terrible either. The interview was conducted by none other than Thom Yorke from Radiohead. Shockingly, this is a fairly interesting Q&A session, and it’s not all about sonic reimaginings of Proust, which is how I imagine Thom Yorke spends his days. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

On Nikola Tesla: “He was such an outsider in New York. People didn’t understand his Serbian accent. It didn’t help that he was speaking like a prophet. He was talking about things he’d formulated in his mind, but didn’t have models for: the wireless delivery of energy, let alone communication. Like all visionaries, he dared to formulate beyond the constraints of the status quo. The awful lesson of history is that we too often ignore these people, just because they’re foreigners or different from us.

Whether he’s a good driver: “I think I’m a very good driver. Apparently, the cause of road rage—as with most anger—is some kind of superiority complex, which, god knows, cars foster.

Whether he trusts very easily: “Yeah. You [have to], and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes during a conversation with a journalist— where you are answering things you never normally talk about, not even with some of your closest friends—you end up being quite confessional, and you don’t think about the amplification of that. No matter how fancy these journalists are, they have editors or political leanings behind their publications, which means that, basically, they’re going to shape what you’ve said into an article they’ve already written. So you have to be really careful with your words. I still find that difficult, as any person who deals with the press will tell you. That’s why it’s nice, with this one, to talk to a friend. But sometimes with a coffee and a friendly smile, I suddenly start talking without thinking about how it’s going to be read.

Being emotional & mouthing off: “I think I’ve had very knee-jerk emotional reactions to things, and sometimes I’ve said things without thinking. Being overly emotional clouded my judgment… [In interviews,] stuations where what I say echoes much further than what is healthy. I would love to just have the work do the talking. We’re in positions where people ask us questions; they want to know about more than just the work. And it can go into areas where I’ve completely shot my mouth off, whether it’s too much about my private life or being too opinionated about things in the world. I think the better thing to do—I’ve learned this from people far wiser than me—is to do very good, quiet work behind closed doors.

Whether he has reading glasses: “No, but I am shortsighted. I need them for watching movies or concerts. It’s not a hipster affectation; I do have poor eyesight. This is how ridiculous my life is: I’ve had the test for contact lenses, but I haven’t found a half-day where I can go to the optician.

Whether he practices laughing & crying for a role: “I probably have cried on the toilet. I try not to, though, because I have people in my house who would be disturbed by their dad having such a strange, isolated mood swing. I think it’s important to be able to do some of that in some kind of enclosed space. It’s about finding triggers and trying very hard to find that within your characters and their backstories, and not within your life, because that can get out of control. Laughing and crying are really similar—what happens to your body. It’s a very similar process in your diaphragm. Like a musician, you have to do your scales once in a while and warm up your voice.

[From Interview]

Benedict looks really good in glasses, so I’m fine with him keeping the glasses and not getting contacts for now. As for crying on the toilet… he’s talking specifically about practicing his lines and preparing for a role. Meaning, he weeps on the toilet because he’s trying to figure out how he’s going to cry on-camera for a role or whatever. He’s not just weeping on the toilet because he’s dropping the kids off at the pool. I’ve never cried on the toilet, but I have wept in the shower more than a few times in my life.

Photos courtesy of Mikael Jansson for Interview Magazine.

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34 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch: ‘I probably have cried on the toilet. I try not to…’”

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  1. ellieohara says:

    Love this interview. He’s winning me back around. Marrying a women his own age really helps.

  2. Des says:

    I actually like this?? It’s something different and new compared to his usual posh boy stuff.

  3. camomile says:

    ” Shockingly, this is a fairly interesting Q&A session, and it’s not all about sonic reimaginings of Proust, which is how I imagine Thom Yorke spends his days.”

    OMFG, I just died laughing!!

  4. manta says:

    Good interview but I admit the other headlines “Gary Oldman by Jack White ” or “Ezra Miller by Erykah Badu” are more intriguing to me, especially the latter one.

  5. lightpurple says:

    Those pictures. I nearly choked on my Comet Sophie, I was laughing so hard. Don’t ever change Benny the Bouncer.

    • detritus says:

      i’m lolling at the ciggie photo.
      Yes, suck back that cig, just like a regular bloke, our Bendy.

      • Trashaddict says:

        I wonder if his wife will give him hell for that one, since they’re parents now. I know I would. Benedict, you failed to think on that one, too. (daughter of tobacco fatality).

    • Karen says:

      These are loads better than the Redmayne in bed and the Hiddleston in pleather ones this mag did, probably because you can tell he’s not taking it too seriously. I believe Cumberbatch is/was (?) a smoker though, and he looks super thin to me in these for some reason (maybe it’s for a role, IDK lol).

  6. Lindy says:

    He’s winning me back, too! I like the rockabilly look here and I think his interview reads very well.

  7. Miss Jupitero says:

    He’s won me back. And he sounds like a good dad.

  8. Imqrious2 says:

    By the headline, I thought it meant he was crying on the toilet because his Weinstein movie was pushed out of this year’s Oscar contention. All I could think as I started reading was, “What a selfish twat!” Good to know it was wrong in this instance.

  9. Ginger says:

    No comment on Weimstein? Interesting. You would think that the interviewer would have asked about the influence that old Harvey had over Ben’s career the last few years…Ben was nominated for an Oscar for The Imitation Game, which waz a Weinstein film. I would have liked his take on all this mess. This interview seems to have studiously avoided it.

    • manta says:

      Let’s see:
      “Still, Benedict Cumberbatch had done some interviews to support the film before all of those stories broke, which is how he ended up on the cover of Interview”.

      The author of this post answerd your question just above the interview.

  10. grabbyhands says:

    I don’t hate it, surprisingly. He seems to experiencing some rare self-awareness.

    The pictures crack me up, and in the ciggie one even he looks he’s trying not to laugh.

  11. Danielle says:

    When I saw the crying on the toilet headline my thoughts were that he should try prunes.

  12. Clairej says:

    Love him.

  13. Pandy says:

    I’m not a Bendy fan – in fact, I’ve rarely seen him in anything and seldom read his interviews etc. But I think he looks GREAT in rockabilly get up! This I find handsome.

  14. Meggles says:

    It’s a great interview but he does have an awkward turn of phrase. “People who live in my house” lol.

    • Bianca says:

      I think it’s a cultural thing. British (posh) people don’t like to be very personal. He avoided saying ‘my family / my children’.

  15. Hazel says:

    Loved the photo-shoot. Rockabilly & B/W suit him.

  16. Curious says:

    Cumby’s ascent did slow down recently. Dr Strange wasn’t really a good choice for an actor like him. So I suppose he is trying to reconnect to Bendy-the-sensitive-emotional-intellectual-type.

    Rockabilly?
    Grease?
    Costume party?
    Downplaying his elite background to appeal to the masses?

    • Karen says:

      It was the theme of the mag–they paired actors with musicians and did similar photoshots for them.

      IMO Marvel was the right call because it likely meant security. This dude’s got actual projects off the ground with his production company now, and I think that’s the smart way to go given the state of the industry. That’s why so many actors and actresses are starting their own companies.

      • curious says:

        I don’t mind big-paycheck security movie choices in actors. Income from acting can be very irregular and fickle.

        I just wanted to point out that Dr. Strange might not have been the best choice for a prime character actor like Cumberbatch.
        I think Tom Hiddleston’s career took a bit of a dive because he is always busy playing Marvel’s Loki. He is brilliant but in Loki he can’t show his full potential.

      • third ginger says:

        Not in total disagreement about the time and effort taken away by franchises, but almost every actor wants one, even the serious, talented ones. Next year we will see Tom Hardy, one of the best around, as Venom.

  17. You Are Not Your Selfie says:

    ‘ Shockingly, this is a fairly interesting Q&A session, and it’s not all about sonic reimaginings of Proust’

    😅 Or Samantha from Sex and the City through the eyes of Schopenhauer.

  18. Anyway says:

    “Meaning, he weeps on the toilet because he’s trying to figure out how he’s going to cry on-camera for a role or whatever. He’s not just weeping on the toilet because he’s dropping the kids off at the pool.”
    I have never laughed so hard…I bow to you.

  19. SJhere says:

    Cumberbatch in the 1st season of Sherlock was amazing. The later seasons went completely off the rails, IMO.

    These days at the cost of going to the movies, I really need a decent plot to get me outta the house.
    Cumberbatch, while talented, seems to pick odd films to be involved in. Nothing I’d go out for. Netflix and Amazon are turning out some entertaining original series.

  20. Petrichor says:

    I’m just here to say that in this day and age I think it’s really irresponsible to portray smoking as cool like we see in the photo above. I thought we’d come farther than that?