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Strange days as Benedict Cumberbatch recalls 'superhero moment'

Published 24/10/2016

Benedict Cumberbatch with Rachel McAdams and Tilda Swinton in the foyer of the Odeon Leicester Square
Benedict Cumberbatch with Rachel McAdams and Tilda Swinton in the foyer of the Odeon Leicester Square

Benedict Cumberbatch has recalled having a "superhero moment" when he tried on his Doctor Strange costume for the first time.

The star plays Doctor Stephen Strange, the master of the mystic arts, who made his first appearance in Marvel comics in 1963.

Cumberbatch, 40, said seeing himself in his superhero outfit was what made him get into the character.

Speaking at the film's launch in the cloisters at Westminster Abbey, he told the Press Association: "It took me until the costume fitting with the cloak on for the first time to go ... I sort of stopped and smiled in the mirror and Alex Byrne, who's our very seasoned and brilliant costume designer, she went, 'Yeah, I've seen that look before - you're having a superhero moment'.

"And she totally caught me out. I was just smiling ... it just does something to you the minute it happens."

The Sherlock star also recalled a scene filmed on one of Manhattan's most famous streets as particularly memorable.

"And then there was another moment when we were filming in New York and just running down Fifth Avenue in the shadow of the Empire State (Building) which is where, of course, a lot of these comics were originally drawn ... another kind of pinch myself moment," he said.

Cumberbatch, who received a humanitarian award last week and has been a vocal campaigner for tackling the refugee crisis, said he would never tell people what they should do in relation to the issue.

"I wouldn't want to tell people what to do. I'd never try to do that. I did ask people if they felt compelled after talking to them about it to give some money after a performance of Hamlet, but I'd never tell people what to do

"I'm not in a position to do that. I'm not a politician nor am I an expert on the situation or a charity worker. All I would try and do is guide a light on to people who can maybe give advice, whether it be a charity such as Save The Children or Unicef or any of the other NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and citizen groups that have been set up in Calais and around the whole crisis that has been happening there for years now.

"I wouldn't be the one to tell people what to do, but definitely I think, I think people know what to do," he said.

Cumberbatch, who is expecting a second child with his wife Sophie Hunter, launched a passionate attack on politicians' response to the refugee crisis on stage in London last year.

Following a performance of Hamlet, the actor criticised the Government's "slow response" to Syrians fleeing war and was reported to have said "f*** the politicians".

Cumberbatch was joined at the London launch of Doctor Strange by co-stars including Tilda Swinton and Rachel McAdams.

Press Association

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