Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 31 January 2015

Cumberbatch: It's fun to be rude

Benedict Cumberbatch reckons fans of Sherlock like the fact that his character is 'slightly sociopathic'
Benedict Cumberbatch reckons fans of Sherlock like the fact that his character is 'slightly sociopathic'

Benedict Cumberbatch says one of the joys of playing Sherlock Holmes on the small screen is that it allows him to be really rude to people.

The actor is back for a second series as the calculating detective, whose powers of deduction have really captured the audience's imagination.

"I think people love the idea of someone who's that hard-nosed and purposeful," said Cumberbatch.

"A man who's slightly sociopathic, who has the ability to read the world as a continual series of linking adventures and potential outcomes."

Benedict admitted he enjoyed the chance to be devastatingly rude. "Because you can't be in real life," he explained. "That's one of the thrills of watching him. We love the outsider who kicks against bureaucracy, is impatient with mediocrity and strives for a level of brilliance which is achievable through hard work.

"He's not a superhero, he makes superhuman effort, but it costs him" - a hint that in this series Holmes could be heading for a fall as his list of enemies grows longer.

When the second series started shooting, the actor admitted it took him a while to find his character again. "I felt like I was impersonating something I'd seen on telly last year. It felt a bit odd that it now had this life outside what we'd done in front of a camera."

He also found it a struggle to match the detective's frenetic pace. "Sometimes there are days when I have to neck a couple of espressos, but others it has to be more of a maintained energy.

"I'm very lazy in comparison to Holmes and I operate at a far lower speed. His kind of neurotic, thin, high-end pitch is not me."

:: Sherlock returns to BBC One on New Year's Day.

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