I can’t even take these people.
OMG YOU KNOW IT’S NEW BECAUSE SHERLOCK HAS A RED SCARF.
IT HAS BEGUN.
Up until that point, John almost seems in denial about what is obviously about to happen. But he clearly knows- the first thing out of his mouth when he sees where Sherlock is standing is “oh, God.” Not once during their conversation do they bring up the fact that Sherlock is standing on a ledge or that John is trying to talk him down. Even when Sherlock says, “It’s what people do, don’t they? Leave a note.” John naively asks, “Leave a note when?” when he clearly knows the answer to that. After all, their first case together revolved around a woman committing suicide and leaving a note. But John seems unable to accept that his friend is about to kill himself. When Sherlock says “Goodbye, John”, he replies with a denial. Because he refuses to accept that this really is ‘goodbye’.
No matter how many times I watch this, or even just see it here, I always get that pit in my stomach. Every time. It’s just that well acted.
this is mildly terrifying
I’m really glad this exists holy fuck what
once I figured it out I had a mini freak out because oh my god the things I don’t notice
Jesus I didn’t think there were any original Sherlock gifsets any more
Interview with Benedict in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (8./9.05.2013, German broadsheet). Click here for unscaled hi-res (sorry for the crease, though that wasn’t my fault, it was part of the printing roll, it seems). No spoilers for John Harrison’s identity or major plot points of the movie.
Interview: Roland Huschke
Star Trek Into Darkness is, after more than ten years in the business, his first big motion picture. But in interviews in Los Angeles, the name Benedict Cumberbatch is even now already accompanied with appreciative/respectful murmurs from his American Enterprise colleagues; the quality acting and flashing intelligence of the BBC series Sherlock’s star have long since made the rounds. The conversation with the SZ, he passes in a tailored suit and with a pert lock of hair. Both underscore his charisma as a modern dandy, just ‘very british,’ which also goes for his dust-dry sense of humour. In the corner of the suite there’s Carolyne, his publicist, “who’s going to have to intervene if I talk rubbish.” She’ll remain silent during the next half hour, but what’s working continuously: Benedict Cumberbatch’s motor mouth.
SZ: How did you get the idea to record your audition scenes for Star Trek Into Darkness on an iPhone?
BC: I just didn’t have a choice. Director J.J. Abrama only knew me from Sherlock and wanted to see more. I’ve never seen my agent as excited as at that offer! But it had to be quick, and I only had the Christmas holidays. Professionals were unavailable over the holidays — and then my camcorder’s batteries died. Anyway, one night I was standing in the kitchen with a couple I’m friends with, to record dramatic Star Trek scenes on the phone. It took another day to compress the files.
Was your agent that nervous because, for English actors, playing the villain in a blockbuster is a road well travelled?
À la: take the pale Brit und put him in a cape, he can do theatre and he’s got an accent! I’ve always been aware of that cliché, and something one-dimensional wouldn’t have interested me. But the character of John Harrison is wonderfully complex. He’s a terrorist who absolutely knows how to engage others’ sympathy.
How does terrorism fit into the Science Fiction world of Starship Enterprise?
J.J. Abrams wanted a strong antagonist, a sort of sinister shadow of Captain Kirk. The fact that we’re all living in an era of terror and the manipulation of opinions has certainly had an impact on his script. The film begins with a bomb attack, and I have studied the role of the attacker as well as reading about terrorists would allow. You try to understand how, in a minority, justification builds itself up to shed blood for an ideological objective. For Harrison, too, Star Fleet is a superpower that he seeks to weaken with intelligence and violence — he sees himself as a freedom fighter.
Although you’re not using an accent: wouldn’t Hollywood be flat on its back without British talents?
Tell that to our damn government, who give newcomers a hard time by cutting funds and support for cultural institutions everywhere. They don’t understand that the arts are one of our character features as a nation, and that British actors tend to hit their mark. I’m very proud of that legacy, which I would never sacrifice for Hollywood. I’m 37 years old now, and I’ve played one villain. It’s possible that it was the first and last.
Your parents are both actors as well. Were you destined for this job since your childhood because of that?
They rather kept me away from the theatre, so that I’d find sensible interests, but that that didn’t work. I remember how my mother talked to the manager backstage at the Royal Shakespeare Company and then stepped through a low door into the blinding light of the auditorium. I was five or six years old and only thought, wow! That’s the romantic way of describing the beginning of my fervour, but in fact I enjoyed a privileged education that my parents worked very hard for. Even if they’d preferred to see me as a doctor or architect later.
Why the disaffirmation?
My parents wanted to spare me the traps of the business. Never knowing where the next job’s coming from, or the impact on one’s social life — acting is the exact opposite of the stability that parents want for their children. But I followed my passion while studying dutifully; and after I’d played Salieri in Amadeus one night, my father pulled me aside in the parking lot. He said, ‘You’re better than I ever was, and you’ll live a good life with acting.’ I was moved to tears.
What’s the secret behind the popularity of your titular Sherlock?
Holmes is always larger than life and, apparently, has been fascinating audiences since his invention 120 years ago. But our series lives on the BBC’s courage to modernise the character. I wish I could claim all the praise for its success, but the thanks belong to our authors, who take a lot of time with the scripts and write the hottest lines in television for us.
You’re being modest. Sherlock brought you fame far beyond England’s borders, and it even made you a sex symbol. Your fans proclaim themselves ‘Cumberbitches’ on the Internet.
It’s great, isn’t it? Every cactus can attract fans nowadays, but my fans have the best sense of humour. Even though their dubious taste amuses me, ‘cause what’s supposed to be sexy about my long alien face, I still haven’t figured out.
After Star Trek Into Darkness, the audience will also see you next to Brad Pitt, as Julian Assange. Your fame will be inevitable.
Well, so far I can still cross the street unmolested, although I recently ended up in a throng of fans for the first time, in Japan. It’s a strange experience when all you see is people screaming your name; but I certainly won’t be much good as an idol, in the long run.
Do you let your characters and the pressure of others’ expectations get to you?
The panic attacks start when I get a job. During casting, I can still prepare, cool and concentrated — without a certain method. But when I got the Star Trek role, I had many sleepless night because the material is so laden with legends and one can disappoint to many people. That’s the madness of the profession: you’ll never satisfy anyone. Least of all yourself.
But you always seem like the incarnation of Cool Britannia. Do you have a tried and tested remedy for panic attacks?
I’ve been interested in Buddhism for a long time, and I’ve spent a few months in Darjeeling as a youth, in the border area at the foothills of the Himalaya between Tibet, India, and Nepal. Back then, I learnt how to meditate. The ability to blank out everything on the periphery of a scene surely stems from that time.
You also taught English at a monastery for exiled Tibetans, right?
Yes, after my studies, I was adventurous, and my plans to excessively party my way through Europe fell through due to lacking finances. I got to the monastery through an exchange programme — though it wasn’t a very fair exchange, because I’ve doubtlessly learnt more from my hosts than they did from my amateur English lessons.
Can you imagine leading a theatre yourself one day, like Cate Blanchett or Kevin Spacey before you?
Maybe in 20 years, for now bureaucracy and the eternal fighting for funds aren’t my cup of tea. You need a thick skin to lead a theatre. Maybe I’ll grow it when I start putting something on the stage myself. In theatre years, I’m still a fledgling.
There will be three more cases of Sherlock. That’s supposed to be the end of it?
My Watson-colleague Martin Freeman and I have sworn each other that we’ll quit at the slightest suspicion of only continuing the series for commercial reasons. Since the quality of the scripts has been very high from the beginning, it’s getting increasingly more difficult to find new cases without sliding off into glib exaggerations. Generally, it says: never say never. But should Sherlock continue after these new episodes, I’d definitely argue for a long break. If you’re not careful, the weight of a popular character can also crush you.
Because Sherlock is glancing at John before he answers to Mrs Hudson’s “I wish you could have worn the antlers.” and then John is smiling and looks so happy.
Don’t know what I’m saying as always.
John doesn’t need to use his imagination. He’s seen Sherlock in the antlers.
The soft, broken strains of Sherlock practicing float out of the lounge, drawing John in. He leans against the door for a moment, studying Sherlock in silence. He must shift his weight and cause the floorboards to creak or something, because Sherlock pauses and looks up, smiling at him.
“You’re going to make her evening, you know that? You’re not as cold as you’d like people to think.”
Sherlock huffs, trying (and failing) to hide a smile. “Not for her. She’s different.”
“You going to wear the antlers, then?”
The look on Sherlock’s face is priceless. A mask of unguarded horror. “Certainly not. They’re ridiculous. Even for Mrs. Hudson.”
John grins. “Have you even tried them on? C’mon, humour me.”
Sherlock narrows his gaze, but John continues to smile passively, holding the antlers at arm’s length. He shakes them lightly, causing the bells to jingle. It’s a bit like playing with a cat.
Before John even has time to notice, Sherlock’s snatched the antlers out of John’s hand and pulled them onto his head. They’re mussing his curls in an entirely new way, and he’s right, he looks completely absurd. John can’t help the barking laugh that escapes his lips.
“See?!” Sherlock grumbles and pulls them off, throwing them onto the sofa. “There’s no way anyone is ever going to see me wearing them.”
There’s a playful glint in John’s eye. “Someone just did, Sherlock?”
The irritation melts off Sherlock’s face, fades into something softer, indefinable. “Yes, but you’re different.”
It’s now been heavily hinted that series 3 of Sherlock involves a wedding of some sort, and although I’m trying to avoid specific spoilers, that hasn’t stopped my imagination from running wild and imagining Sherlock being coaxed into a bridesmaid’s outfit. Or indeed, more than one of them…
Say hello to the BA thesis. #Sherlock
Now that Series 3 is officially underway and filming has started, Benedict’s asked fans not to share filming locations/information and take unwelcome pictures on set. (This was an issue especially last night, what with a [spoilers] and God knows what else, which makes a night shoot really kinda dangerous.)
In the coming weeks and months, I will only reblog information and images that have been officially shared via the producers and crew members’ twitter accounts, for instance; and even then I will tag them ‘Sherlock,’ ‘spoilers,’ and ‘sherlockbbcspoilers,’ the same tag that we used last series for people to blacklist. If Benedict is comfortable with having a few shots taken by a Bristol newspaper during a break, but not with unsolicited snaps taken by fans intruding on the production or his concentration, then I’m going to heed that directive.
I don’t mind seeing the odd spoiler (I don’t even have tumblr savior installed), it doesn’t ruin the viewing experience for me, but I know that everyone feels differently about this, so if there are any other things that you’d like me to tag, just drop me an ask. I can’t promise that I’ll catch and tag every detail, but I’ll do my best. I’m not going to reproach anyone for taking a different stance on this—it is my opinion that we should be considerate and do as Ben asks, but in the end that’s everyone’s individual choice. (Just don’t be surprised if you get an angry tweet from Helen Rushbrook.)
The same tagging policy applies during the months leading up to the episodes airing (with promo material, trailers, etc) and when they eventually are broadcast. I usually reblog things pretty soon after/even while the eps are airing, but I’ll make sure to tag everything (though usually it’s wiser to just stay off the Internet, really) so you lot can blacklist. About a week after each ep, I’ll stop, though, since, usually, 7 days after the first broadcast, things should be fair game. I’ll also post links to my reviews without spoiler tag, so let me say it now: the reviews I post on my wordpress blog are stuffed with spoilers, always, so don’t read them if you’re not sure you want to know!
That’s all you need to know about my Sherlock blogging habits! Safe navigating the spoiler-y waters until Series 3!