30 Greatest Benedict Cumberbatch Facts

The Eyes Have It

Like David Bowie before him, Cumberbatch has a condition called heterochromia.

Don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds - it means that he has different coloured eyes. Each of his irises has a different combination of blue, gold and green.

In the words of Professor X (James McAvoy) in X-Men: The First Class , groovy...

Mrs Hudson

In a case of art imitating life and vice versa, the relationship between Sherlock and Mrs Hudson is based on Cumberbatch's relationship with the actress who plays her. Una Stubbs is a friend of his mother's, and has known Cumberbatch since he was a boy.

Can she understand the sex symbol thing, though? “Yes, I can because he's just so unusual,” she told The Guardian . “He's joli laid . One minute, you think [ she breaks off and does a little moue of distaste ], but then the next minute you think, 'Oh, you're so gorgeous.'”

Casting Coup

The role of John Harrison in Star Trek Into Darkness was only offered to Cumberbatch after Benicio Del Toro reportedly declined the role over pay.

After that, Demian Bichir, Édgar Ramírez and Jordi Mollà were all considered – until J.J. Abrams thought of Cumberbatch.

“I decided to take the search in a different direction,” Abrams told the Daily Mail. “I’d seen Benedict in Sherlock and Parade’s End , as well as in the movies War Horse , Atonement and Tinker Tailor Soldier Sp y, and he’d blown me away with the power he brings to roles and his wry sophistication.

“I loved that combination of skill and magnetism that he injects into a part and thought he’d be perfect as John Harrison.”


His first trip to Los Angeles was for the Oscars, where he went to a party at Madonna's house and met a rather famous footballer at the bar.

“I met David Beckham at the bar and said, 'Hello, David, nice to meet you. I play Sherlock on television back home,'” Cumberbatch told the Daily Mail this year.

"He said, 'Oh yeah, nice, I think I’ve seen it.' People now look at me with the look I probably gave David Beckham at the bar. This is all new and bizarre for me, but I’m adjusting to it."

Positive Mental Attitude

Ever feeling a bit down and uninspired? Don't worry, Benedict Cumberbatch has enough positivity for everybody. Doubt it?

“Nothing is impossible,” the actor says. “The word itself says, 'I'm possible.'”

Which is just sort of lovely really, isn't it?


In January 2013, Tatler magazine ranked Cumberbatch as the fifth 'Most Fascinating Person in Britain'.

That ranking placed him higher than the Duchess of Cambridge... and Clare Balding. He was only just outranked by Queen Elizabeth II – which we're sure he wasn't too upset about.

Streep Wise

When Cumberbatch worked with the one and only Meryl Streep on upcoming drama August Osage County , he asked her for a little acting advice.

“I asked her how she approached the multiple layers of her part,” he told Vulture . “And she said, 'I don't know. I don't have a process. It changes with every job, doesn't it?' And I thought, 'Oh, thank God, to hear her say it.'

“This whole thing about technique or method? It's bullshit. People say, 'Oh, you're so precise.' But within that, I work very hard to give every part a heartbeat. I learned a lot from just watching Meryl in repose. It was a bit like a Sherlock deduction actually.”


He replaced Leonardo DiCaprio as Alan Turing in upcoming biopic The Imitation Game, which is a pretty hefty sign of just how much power the name 'Cumberbatch' now carries.

Cumberbatch has been snapped on set sporting a snazzy 1940s 'do and a tweed jacket as the infamous computer scientist, who created the Enigma machine during World War II to decrypt German messages.

Playing The Fool

He's surprisingly gullible, as an anecdote from the set of Star Trek Into Darkness proves. While filming at the National Ignition Facility in California, the sci-fi sequel's crew decided to play a little joke on their Brit star.

“Everybody, from the electricians right through to the actors, convinced me that I needed to slap on something called Neutron Cream in order to protect myself from potentially harmful lasers,” Cumberbatch says.

“I fell hook, line and sinker for it, as I did for the notion that a) I had to put it on in little blobs all over my face, and b) that I then had to jump up and down to nullify the threat of the lasers. I did all of this before I realised everybody was laughing and applauding. I’d been had, good and proper.”

Star Wars

So, Cumberbatch has made an indelible impression on the Star Trek universe with John Harrison, and now his sights are apparently set on another high profile sci-fi property – Star Wars .

When asked by Newsweek if he'd be up for a role in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII , the actor replied: “The man [ Abrams ] knows me now, and he knows where I live. I’ve got an iPhone, so I’m happy to audition for him on an iPhone again. I’ve told him I want to be a lightsaber, so if I’m not there somewhere as a lightsaber, I’ll be really mortified.”

Cumberbatch with a lightsaber would be more like it...

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.