Does Benedict Cumberbatch owe his success to Sherlock? He thinks not….

by Anna Howell
benedict cumberbatch graham norton 4

sherlock benedict cumberbatch 1

We already know from the great man himself that Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t planning on retiring any time soon, in fact he is planning on still acting in his seventies.

But has there ever been a time when he wanted to throw in the towel?

Acting is, arguably, one of the most glamorous and self-gratifying professions there are, especially when you are as famous as Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard work.

In fact none of us would ever be able to appreciate the immense stress and pressure that stars are put under when working to a set budget, scene after scene, while hundreds of people all watch and criticise their performances, hour after hour.

It is also easy to forget that the huge stars around today didn’t always arrive to set in stretch limos with a dressing room stocked with champagne and unicorn bathwater. Everyone has to start somewhere and the rise to the top in the acting world can be a very gruelling and daunting one at times.


This is a journey that Benedict Cumberbatch is only too familiar with, but as gracious as ever, his rise to fame has meant that the moment he felt he had arrived has stayed with him, as the super-famous film and TV star has been explaining in a recent interview.

When asked at what point of his career he considers to be a turning point, Cumberbatch answered:

“I know what people would jump to say, but it was a whole stretch of time actually. Sherlock hadn’t aired by the time I was doing After the Dance at The National in Middleton. Then I went straight on to do War Horse which Steven Spielberg cast me in without even seeing me in Sherlock, and Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy which, again, the producers cast me in without seeing Sherlock.

“There was a whole momentum about that point in time, but I don’t ever feel like it is one particular role, but if other people around want to graffiti on my gravestone and just say one character’s name on it, that’s fine.”


Undoubtedly Cumberbatch can safely relax in the glory of his own success, but has he ever considered throwing in the towel during his rise to fame?

“No, there was never a point where I considered giving it up. I have two parents who lived with all the perils and I had been witness to them so I knew what the negatives were so when they hit I was sort of prepared for them and just grafted on.”

Finally Cumberbatch, who recently announced his engagement to actress and director Sophie Hunter, had this to say about his choice of career:

“It is a great time [to be an actor], both sides of the Atlantic really. There is a lot of great diversity, and there is a huge volume of work through various outlets on television as well so film as a medium, not just two odd hours in a cinema, is just thriving, and I think television has just flourished as a result of that.”

Benedict’s new film, The Imitation Game, is due for UK cinema release this Friday, November 14 – Watch the official trailer for it in the clip below: