Belfast Telegraph

Benedict Cumberbatch didn’t want ‘one-sided’ portrayal in Brexit drama

He stars in Brexit: The Uncivil War.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s next role is playing Dominic Cummings (PA)
Benedict Cumberbatch’s next role is playing Dominic Cummings (PA)

Benedict Cumberbatch was focused on playing Vote Leave mastermind Dominic Cummings with “sympathy and understanding”, the writer of his new TV drama has said.

The Hollywood star, 42, features as the man “behind the scenes” in the new drama about the successful, data-driven political campaign for Brexit.

James Graham, who penned Brexit: The Uncivil War, said Sherlock star Cumberbatch focused on finding “the humanity” in the role.

“He met Dominic, I think they got on really well,” he said.

“Benedict’s absolute obsession all the way through was to make sure that it wasn’t too one-sided. That the film wasn’t blaming him”.

The political thriller, due to air on Channel 4, is set in the run-up to the EU referendum.

It explores the “myriad tactics employed to swing one of the most surprising referendum results in living memory”.

The drama was announced amid controversy over the political impact of data-mining, with investigations examining possible links between Vote Leave’s campaign and data companies.

A mainstream audience, a popular audience, would not have heard of Dominic Cummings James Graham

Cumberbatch was vocal before the referendum in his opposition to Brexit.

He was one of almost 300 actors, musicians, writers and artists who signed an open letter urging voters to keep the UK part of the EU.

Graham said he had a “responsibility” to write about Cummings.

“A mainstream audience, a popular audience, would not have heard of Dominic Cummings,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have heard of Dominic Cummings throughout the entirety of the campaign and I consider myself reasonably engaged and in-tune.

“I think the responsibility, if you’re going to interrogate what decisions were made and who was responsible for those decisions (is) to put the strategist behind the scenes in the spotlight.”

In July, the Electoral Commission fined Vote Leave £61,000 for breaking campaign spending rules.

The elections watchdog found more than £675,000 spent with data firm Aggregate IQ via another campaign group should have been declared by Vote Leave. It meant Vote Leave exceeded its legal spending limit of £7 million by almost £500,000.

Brexit: The Uncivil War airs on Channel 4 in January 2019.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph