You know, I debated about writing this. I wondered whether I should focus on another actor or a different topic completely. "Do I want to contribute to this 'Hollywood machine'?" I asked out loud, alone, like some big-time journalist ala Citizen Kane. Did I want to add to the hype surrounding this poor Englishman and his incredibly successful career? Did I want to be responsible for all of you competing with me for his friendship and/or respect? Absolutley not. But I am a good person, and also a better Sherlock fan. So instead of keeping my favourite British actors to myself, I've opted instead to give you a guide. So here it is: your guide to Benedict Cumberbatch — by me, for you. And don't you forget it.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch was born on July 19, 1976 and that makes him 37 years old
I took grade 11 math for equations specifically like this. (No, really. Grade 11 college math only really prepares you for equations like this.)
2. He stars in the BBC series, Sherlock
This is not and I repeat not the show Elementary, starring Johnny Lee Miller (though he starred with Miller in Danny Boyle's theatre production of Frankenstein, which will be playing in movie theatres this Halloween). This is a show on the BBC created by Stephen Moffatt (of Dr. Who fame) and Mark Gatiss (who plays Sherlock's brother), and it is THE LITERAL BOMB. Do you like drama? Good acting? Martin Freeman? Three episodes per season at an hour and a half each? Of course you do. Which is why we all love Sherlock. It's returning …soon (?) and the mystery as to how Sherlock faked his own death will be revealed.
Get set, all of us.
3. He had a major theatre career before doing TV and movies
It's true: our best friend Benedict Cumberbatch has won an Olivier award (Best Actor), which is thee theatre award, thank you very much.
4. In 2005, he was hijacked in South Africa
AND IT'S FINE (now). He's fine, and everybody else is fine, but when filming To the Ends of the Earth, he and his castmates were nearly killed when a carjacking outfit, well, carjacked them at gunpoint. Afterwards, he went on an adrenaline bender, explaining to Jesse Thorn on his podcast that he basically earned a new appreciation for life.
5. This interview he has with Catilin Moran is one of the best interview of all the interviews (in the land)
Because if you're going to read about Benedict Cumberbatch, you may as well hear about Caitlin Moran mistaking Kate Moss' house for the Cumberbatch abode.
6. Benedict Cumberbatch's fans call themselves the "Cumberbitches"
Which I personally just don't love as a woman, you know? I mean, he doesn't call them that — he actually asks that they don't call themselves that. (Because you're not bitches, guys! None of us are! Or is it a reclamation thing?) Anyway, now you know. And when you hear it, you won't freak out thinking somebody just made up a name. (Well, I mean, somebody did. But we don't know who that person is.) Anyway. "Cumberbitches." Sure.
7. At TIFF, Benedict Cumberbatch will be promoting three films
Like wow okay we get it, okay? YOU'RE A GOOD AND BUSY ACTOR. But more seriously, he'll be promoting 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate (in which he plays Julian Assange), and August: Osage County which stars MERYL STREEP. No word on whether he's willing to arrange coffee dates for us and Ms. Streep, who would absolutely fit into all of our posses perfectly, obviously, but I'll keep you all posted.
8. The British tabloids are obsessed with his relationship status
You know how over here we usually know when a celebrity is dating someone? Okay, well multiply that by about 1000 and you have the interest of the British press in Benedict Cumberbatch's personal life. Last month, he was seen hanging out with two different women (at two different times), and actual think pieces were written about why he "can't get a girlfriend." It's terrifying — as in TMZ barely compares. THE MAN IS A POPULAR ONE, and I would personally seek shelter in a yurt.
9. Honestly though people are obsessed with him
I'm talking if you type in "Benedict Cumberbatch" you will be greeted with all of the results you've ever wanted. Tumblr? It's a mecca. There are sites dedicated to everything from the TV series to how he doesn't know how to dress (allegedly). If you type his name into Tumblr search? You will find every photo in the world and also fan fiction, which is erotic fiction written about Sherlock and Watson. (And hey! Fair. That's your call, everyone.) Then, if you type in #setlock, you will find all the behind-the-scenes Sherlock news, and see? What I'm saying is that you're set, and he is probably one of the most popular people on the Internet, ever.
10. But he just dropped out of Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak which was due to film in Toronto
Which I almost take personally at this point, if we're being honest. So while I'm sure you have other fish to fry, Benedict Cumberbatch, I wouldn't have minded a heads up ex. "Hey, Anne, would you like to hang out in the UK instead?" (The answer would've been "yes," obviously, but now I'm sorry, but I'm just not so sure.) YOU DO YOU, GUY.
See you at TIFF.