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

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