Benedict Cumberbatch’s Many Faces


Written by Erin Lobner. Media by Paige Lunde.



Making its way to theaters this November, Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” is sure to thrill and intrigue viewers. In anticipation of Benedict Cumberbatch’s upcoming role as Stephen Strange, “a neurosurgeon with a destroyed career [who] sets out to repair his hands only to find himself protecting the world from inter-dimensional threats,” let’s take a look at a few of his other noteworthy characters.

 1. Sherlock Holmes

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Probably his most well-known role, Cumberbatch has starred as Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s “Sherlock” since the show first aired in 2010. He brings to life the classic sociopathic detective and investigates crimes with the help of none other than Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman). Cumberbatch’s portrayal was an immediate hit and the show became so popular that its dedicated fans somewhat willingly endure two-year long waits between seasons.


2. Smaug
While “The Hobbit” trilogy has mixed reviews, Cumberbatch’s role as the dragon, Smaug, is very entertaining. Possibly even more entertaining, however, is the footage of him doing the motion and voice capture for the creature.
 Say what you want about the movies, but Cumberbatch certainly committed to his part. And “Sherlock” fans enjoyed the fact that Cumberbatch had scenes with Freeman, who starred as the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Multiple images combining scenes from “Sherlock” and “The Hobbit” surfaced. One such image was of Smaug flying to destroy a city, saying “I am fire! I am death!” followed by John Watson yelling “You’re a drama queen!” at Sherlock.




3. Alan Turing

In 2014, Cumberbatch portrayed Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game.” The movie is based on the true story of Turing, who was a brilliant mathematician recruited by MI6 during World War II to break German codes. His research “led the design work for the Automatic Computing Engine and ultimately created a groundbreaking blueprint for stored-program computers.” But Turing’s story ended tragically when he was convicted for homosexuality (which was illegal in the UK at the time) and given the choice of either imprisonment or probation on the condition that he receive hormonal treatments. He chose the latter, which was linked to horrible side effects. Eventually, as a result, Turing took his own life. “The Imitation Game” is definitely a drama, not a documentary, but it still illustrates both the successes and tragedies in Turing’s life.


4. Khan Noonien Singh

Cumberbatch played Khan, the bad guy in “Star Trek Into Darkness.” After an act of terrorism destroys most of Starfleet and threatens Earth, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the rest of the crew struggle to catch the “one-man weapon of mass destruction”. Much like his role as Smaug, Cumberbatch reported that he enjoyed playing the part of the villain in this fast-paced fantasy/action film.

Benedict Cumberbatch has taken the role for many challenging and impressive characters throughout his career. He has proven to be a fitting candidate for fantasy and sci-fi films like “Doctor Strange.” Now’s a good time to brush up on Doctor Strange’s backstory and take a look at these trippy posters. Then, mark your calendars for November 4, and check out this inside-out and upside-down adventure in theaters.



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