Top 5 Benedict Cumberbatch Roles

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

By Brock Cooper (doddleNEWS)

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the big up and coming stars, first in Britain and now in the United States. His upcoming movie The Imitation Game may boost him up to Oscar potential, but while he is known for a few plume roles (“KHHHAAAAAANNNN!!!!!!!”), he has actually had a wide and varied career in Britain. In honor of his upcoming movie, let’s take a look at some of his more memorable roles both here and abroad. (No, Star Trek Into Darkness won’t be in it.)

Hawking (2004)

You’ll hardly recognize the young Cumberbatch in this tale of the great physicist Stephen Hawking. Long before Eddie Redmayne wore those signature glasses in The Theory Of Everything, Cumberbatch starred as the young Hawking, who unravels the theories of the universe while dealing with Motor Neuron Disease. Despite his youth, Cumberbatch does an amazing job bringing the heartbreaking yet uplifting character to life. He imbibes Hawking with a youthful vigor and excitement that evolves as his disease progresses. Even today, Hawking may be unable to move, but his eyes are still filled with that same energy and search of knowledge. The movie showed Cumberbatch’s range as an actor, and you could tell he was destined for great things. His portrayal earned him a BAFTA nomination, which was well deserved.

Wreckers (2011)

While we caught a glimpse of a threatening Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness, he goes completely off the scale in Wrecker. The movie is about a couple played by Cumberbatch and Claire Foy that moves back to the husband’s hometown, and they come into contact with his brother, a veteran seemingly with PTSD. On the surface, the couple seems happy, but as the brother makes some moves on the wife and begins telling all of Cumberbatch’s dirty little secrets, things go south very quickly. Cumberbatch isn’t his usual clean cut self, and while he has made a name for taking on strange roles, Wrecker is something completely different. You can watch him come unglued as the narrative plays itself out. Cumberbatch’s usually calm and cool demeanor is shot down as he spirals deeper and deeper into depression and anger.

Starter For 10 (2006)

Why is this on here? I had to include this, because I have never seen Cumberbatch play a character like this ever. The film actually stars James McAvoy as a new student at the University of Bristol set in 1985. The movie is okay, the plot it pretty blah, and despite a slew of amazing actors including Catherine Tate, Dominic Cooper, James Corden, and Mark Gatiss, it’s just not much to write home about… except for quiz team captain Patrick Watts played by Cumberbatch. He is the most uptight, nerdish person on the planet, and a complete departure from the usually cool and collected Cumberbatch. Anyone that has seen his work in Sherlock Holmes or 12 Years a Slave won’t believe it’s the same person. The one word that comes to mind when I think of him in this movie is simply flabbergasted.

The Fifth Estate (2013)

The movie tanked at the box office, but thankfully the budget wasn’t all that large. Cumberbatch played Julian Assange, the co-creator of a whistleblower network Wikileaks, which allowed people to privately and anonymously post secret and sometimes classified data in order to watch and provide transparency to the rich and powerful. Also known as Blonderbatch, because of his bleach blond mane, he channeled Assange to a T and it was almost scary how close he came. If you take a look at the real Julian Assange and his mannerisms, then you’ll see how Cumberbatch emulated him. The movie itself isn’t that great by any stretch, but it showed how deep into a character Cumberbatch can go. He has tremendous range as an actor and this expresses that.

Sherlock Holmes (2010)

This is the role that made Benedict Cumberbatch a household name. The consulting detective has been played by some of the best actors in history, including Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Brett, Michael Caine, and Robert Downey Jr. As a fan of all things Steven Moffat, I was eager to see this modern adaptation and how Cumberbatch would portray him. Sherlock Holmes is a difficult character to play, with a plethora of layers from genius and social awkwardness to psychosis. With only a small number of episodes per season (or ‘series,’ in Britain), it’s amazing how attached to the characters you can become. I think this portrayal is the closest to what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle intended for him. It’s no wonder that fans of the show wait impatiently for the next installment.