The 5-minute Interview: Benedict Cumberbatch, Actor

'People should take the time to notice, enjoy and help each other'


Cumberbatch, 30, is best known for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the BBC drama 'Hawking', for which he received a Bafta nomination and won Monte Carlo's Golden Nymph award. Since then, he has appeared in a number of films including 'Atonement', which is out to own on DVD, and 'The Last Enemy', which will be available in March

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Probably making a long list of things to do around the house and then doing them. I've just moved house so there are plenty of menial tasks, like painting, plumbing and shifting boxes of things.

A phrase I use far too often is...

"Sorry I'm late!" I'm a terrible time-keeper.

I wish people wouldtake more notice of...

Each other. Metaphorically speaking, it's easyto bump into one another on the journey from A to B and not even notice. People should take time to notice, enjoy and help each other.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was...

Landing the role of Stephen Hawking was the most positively surprising thing that has happened to me. In terms of the negative, I was car-jacked in South Africa. It was a terrifying experience: I felt completely out of my depth and helpless.

A common misperception of me is...

If I get something wrong or if I'm late it's an act of wilfulness. This is not the case; it's disorganisation on my part.

I am not a politician but...

I would like to see a dialogue between the Arts Council, the Department of Sport and Media and the practitioners. It would be great to see some sort of continual, transparent dialogue between these three.

I'm good at...

I'm good at being self-critical. I've also been told that I'm good at taking up new sports. I'm a fast learner and pick things up very quickly. I was recently in Mozambique and did scuba diving for the first time. I took to it immediately and obtained my Padi diving certificate. I also took to snowboarding very quickly.

I'm very bad at...

Remembering birthdays and prioritising things.



The ideal night out is...

A group of friends going out for dinner. The place would be quiet enough to chat, but fun also.

In weak moments...

Try to imagine myself on top of Hampstead Heath, breathing in the fresh, cool air in order to calm myself, as opposed to the norm which would be losing my temper.

In another life I'd have been...

Some sort of eco-warrior or tree surgeon.

My philosophy is...

Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I'm also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.

Lucy Kinnear

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all