EXCLUSIVE: Benedict Cumberbatch gets his Bond on

When rumors started flying around that Benedict Cumberbatch may be tied to the installment of the lucrative James Bond franchise after “Skyfall,” the Internet nearly went into meltdown. Some wanted to see the actor as the new British Secret Service agent (sorry folks, as far as we know the license to kill still belongs to Daniel Craig), while others said they would be thrilled to see him as villain.

Cumberbatch’s fans, however, would be happy to know that he did get his Bond on – three years ago, in fact – and they’ll soon be seeing the end result. Only, it wouldn’t look quite like him.

The actor has lent his voice to the character Agent Classified, the wolf-turned-super-spy leader of the North Wind, the animal welfare task force, in the upcoming “Penguins of Madagascar,” a spin-off of DreamWorks Animation’s enormously successful “Madagascar” series.

Asked if he sees himself in Agent Classified, Cumberbatch says, “Hopefully a little bit, yes –mainly the sort of hangdog expression, and some of the raised eyebrows and cup-of-tea moments. He’s always got his little finger up – not that I do that in real life – but I definitely did that in the sessions to try and influence the animation.”

This is the first time Cumberbatch voices for an animated feature, although voice acting isn’t new to him. He has, after all, done so for the dragon Smaug in the second and third installments of “The Hobbit” franchise, and with motion capture to boot.

Stuck in a room staring into a blank screen, the process he underwent to voice for “Penguins of Madagascar” had been a little frustrating. “It’s difficult, to be honest, because of that disconnect,” he says about not getting to physically work with the other actors. “It’s very crazy to think that I’ve just done a gig with John Malkovich and not only did we not meet, but he’s playing an evil octopus and I’m playing a mock-heroic wolf! That’s not the way I pictured it, but there we go.”

Still, the project had this certain appeal to Cumberbatch, especially since he has a lot of friends with kids and a godson who’s at the right age to enjoy the film. “I’ve never done this type of work before, so I wanted to see if it was enjoyable,” he admits. Besides, “the character sounded intriguing as a spoof Bond, and I thought it would be fun.”

Cumberbatch nevertheless did not base his portrayal on a favorite 007. “I don’t do favorites – I can’t,” he says. Still, his character is pretty much Bond-like “in his mind, and also in his voice, which was part of the development – that suave, English delivery.” He adds, “He’s commanding, but then he can also be a complete and utter pillock as well. That’s a counter-intuitive version of Bond, which I found quite funny.”

Despite the suave agent blue print, Cumberbatch did try to make his delivery original. “I started putting my two cents worth in, and they were really thrilled by that… I tried to make them laugh with improvisations every time… to shape it so that it’s not me doing something expected. That stuff I love,” he shares.

He may play an animated character, but even Cumberbatch knows there’s a life lesson in there somewhere. He lays down the point that Agent Classified begins “from a position of smug arrogance and control and professionalism” and soon reduced “to infuriation, disbelief, and the begrudging realization that he actually has something to learn still. There’s a nice little journey there and it’s very funny the way that pans out.”

Cumberbatch loved the experience so much that he says he’s in pain about it. He smiles and explains, “It pains me to see this movie sometimes because I want to do more than they’ve asked me to do.”

Well, who knows what will happen in the sequel? Besides, “Madagascar” isn’t an almost two billion dollar franchise for nothing.

“Well hang on,” he interjects. “The penguins are in nine minutes of those first two films, so if we turn the minutes of both of those films into one whole sum, figure out what percentage nine is, that’s the only amount of money we have to make on this one. That really takes the pressure off: if I buy a ticket, we’ll make our money back.” And if all his fans, and the franchise fans of course, buy a ticket each, they’ll more than double their fortune!

“Penguins of Madagascar” opens in local cinemas on Nov. 26.

http://www.mb.com.ph/exclusive-benedict-cumberbatch-gets-his-bond-on/

EXCLUSIVE: Benedict Cumberbatch gets his Bond on

When rumors started flying around that Benedict Cumberbatch may be tied to the installment of the lucrative James Bond franchise after “Skyfall,” the Internet nearly went into meltdown. Some wanted to see the actor as the new British Secret Service agent (sorry folks, as far as we know the license to kill still belongs to Daniel Craig), while others said they would be thrilled to see him as villain.

Cumberbatch’s fans, however, would be happy to know that he did get his Bond on – three years ago, in fact – and they’ll soon be seeing the end result. Only, it wouldn’t look quite like him.

The actor has lent his voice to the character Agent Classified, the wolf-turned-super-spy leader of the North Wind, the animal welfare task force, in the upcoming “Penguins of Madagascar,” a spin-off of DreamWorks Animation’s enormously successful “Madagascar” series.

Asked if he sees himself in Agent Classified, Cumberbatch says, “Hopefully a little bit, yes –mainly the sort of hangdog expression, and some of the raised eyebrows and cup-of-tea moments. He’s always got his little finger up – not that I do that in real life – but I definitely did that in the sessions to try and influence the animation.”

This is the first time Cumberbatch voices for an animated feature, although voice acting isn’t new to him. He has, after all, done so for the dragon Smaug in the second and third installments of “The Hobbit” franchise, and with motion capture to boot.

Stuck in a room staring into a blank screen, the process he underwent to voice for “Penguins of Madagascar” had been a little frustrating. “It’s difficult, to be honest, because of that disconnect,” he says about not getting to physically work with the other actors. “It’s very crazy to think that I’ve just done a gig with John Malkovich and not only did we not meet, but he’s playing an evil octopus and I’m playing a mock-heroic wolf! That’s not the way I pictured it, but there we go.”

Still, the project had this certain appeal to Cumberbatch, especially since he has a lot of friends with kids and a godson who’s at the right age to enjoy the film. “I’ve never done this type of work before, so I wanted to see if it was enjoyable,” he admits. Besides, “the character sounded intriguing as a spoof Bond, and I thought it would be fun.”

Cumberbatch nevertheless did not base his portrayal on a favorite 007. “I don’t do favorites – I can’t,” he says. Still, his character is pretty much Bond-like “in his mind, and also in his voice, which was part of the development – that suave, English delivery.” He adds, “He’s commanding, but then he can also be a complete and utter pillock as well. That’s a counter-intuitive version of Bond, which I found quite funny.”

Despite the suave agent blue print, Cumberbatch did try to make his delivery original. “I started putting my two cents worth in, and they were really thrilled by that… I tried to make them laugh with improvisations every time… to shape it so that it’s not me doing something expected. That stuff I love,” he shares.

He may play an animated character, but even Cumberbatch knows there’s a life lesson in there somewhere. He lays down the point that Agent Classified begins “from a position of smug arrogance and control and professionalism” and soon reduced “to infuriation, disbelief, and the begrudging realization that he actually has something to learn still. There’s a nice little journey there and it’s very funny the way that pans out.”

Cumberbatch loved the experience so much that he says he’s in pain about it. He smiles and explains, “It pains me to see this movie sometimes because I want to do more than they’ve asked me to do.”

Well, who knows what will happen in the sequel? Besides, “Madagascar” isn’t an almost two billion dollar franchise for nothing.

“Well hang on,” he interjects. “The penguins are in nine minutes of those first two films, so if we turn the minutes of both of those films into one whole sum, figure out what percentage nine is, that’s the only amount of money we have to make on this one. That really takes the pressure off: if I buy a ticket, we’ll make our money back.” And if all his fans, and the franchise fans of course, buy a ticket each, they’ll more than double their fortune!

“Penguins of Madagascar” opens in local cinemas on Nov. 26.

http://www.mb.com.ph/exclusive-benedict-cumberbatch-gets-his-bond-on/

gosherlocked

thecutteralicia:


Since I came to Sherlock relatively late (second series) and immediately got so involved in fandom and the hysteria over Reichenbach, I’m only now getting around to reading the actual press reviews that have been published about the show.

Inspired by the fact that…

"On "Sherlock," Holmes’ traits never feel as though they’re items ticked off a list compiled from the Conan Doyle stories in Cumberbatch’s hands. He does the near-impossible in allowing us to think of Sherlock Holmes as a real person — and for that alone, Benedict Cumberbatch deserves a salute as the greatest Holmes that ever graced the screen."

This is really the most astute review/critique of Benedict as
Sherlock that I’ve ever read. Read the whole thing. Nailed it.

samuelbradley

samuelbradley:

 An afternoon with Benedict Cumberbatch

 Celebrities spend a notable portion of their time with photographers. They spend this allotted time in front of a camera, choosing how much they reveal of themselves, posing, not posing, indulging requests, refusing them… Then they go away, often leaving a lasting impression on the photographer. Which begs the question, how much of an impression can a photographer leave on a celebrity? It would be easy to leave a bad one, just be an arsehole. But to leave a lasting positive impression before anyone even sees the photos, how often does that happen? 

 I am not flamboyant, loud, boisterous, camp or crass. I possess few of the imagined stereotypical celebrity photographer qualities. I am polite, patient, anxious in the beginning, more confident as the shoot goes on, witty if I get lucky and I like to talk to my subject. Not just asking them questions, like some kind of bonus interview, but talking about myself too, so it’s a normal conversation between two normal people. I don’t give enormous amounts of direction when making portraiture. I wait, I nudge, I wait some more, I suggest, I keep waiting until ‘the photograph appears’. Sometimes I take pictures to fill the time waiting for ‘the photograph’ and sometimes those pictures work, but most of the time I know when I have got the shot I’ve waited for before looking at the back of the camera, or seeing the contact sheets. In this case, with Benedict, I shot entirely on film.

 I don’t want to exaggerate, I’m sure my assistant would tell you that to him and anyone else on the shoot observing, there were no remarkable exchanges between myself and Mr Cumberbatch. At one point I told him he was being ‘too sexy’ - I think he’d undone some buttons on his shirt - and that became sort of a running joke for the rest of the shoot, but I’m probably romanticising. Even so, it sticks in my mind, begging embellishment with each retelling. 

  It’s intimidating, in truth, to talk to someone who’s very personality has catapulted them to international stardom. I didn’t achieve some small success in photography because I’m hilarious, brilliant, witty or charming, I got to where I am because of my ‘eye’ (and to an arguably larger extent, my business strategy). Whether or not I did a good job doesn’t become evident until much later on, after the shoot has finished and everyone has gone home. Benedict on the other hand, is required to exude charisma at all times, the nature of his talent means it is instantaneously evident, judged live. To photograph someone with his strength of character is to strive frantically to capture a portion of it. Even if you only manage half a second, that’s all you need, such is the immortality of a still image.

 I’ve had a lot of excellent feedback on the story for OUT magazine, most notably from Benedict’s devoted fan-base, who arguably know him best of all, being followers of everything he does, every photo, every interview, chat show appearance and the like. Still I don’t know what Benedict himself thinks of the pictures, or me as a person for that matter, and am unlikely to ever find out, at least directly.

 All I can say with absolute certainty about my time with Sherlock, Smaug, Julian, Alan, Khan, is that it never felt awkward or uncomfortable, I spent most of it smiling, a handful of it laughing, and whether I made any sort of impression on him or not, I am eternally thankful that he happened to be my first cover.

This is so lovely…the things he said about photographing Benedict.