Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be everywhere these days, and I’m not complaining. I first took notice of him in BBC Sherlock, where he amazed me with his acting skills. He’s got a distinctive look and certainly a distinctive name.
But then I realized he was in Atonement. I’d seen that. So I guess that was the first time. Such a creepy, wonderful role. But that had to be it; even though I didn’t know he was him, that was the first time I saw Benedict in anything.
Then I saw War Horse. I made it almost to the end before I realized Benedict was supposed to have been in it. How in the world had I missed him? That look, that voice. I’d seen all of BBC Sherlock multiple times; how had I missed Benedict. He’s not the main character, but his role isn’t even a small one. I ended up watching the movie over again, feeling embarrassed and foolish for not noticing it was Benedict to begin with. How does someone so distinctive blend into a movie like that? Cate Blanchett, I understand; she’s like a master of transfiguration. But Benedict?
Last night, I watched Amazing Grace. Despite having bought the DVD the second it was out, I hadn’t watched it since the movie theaters. I love the movie, and Ioan Gruffudd is amazing in it. Plus, there’s Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, and Albert Finney; it’s a great cast, and a great look at a part of abolition that (as an American) I’d been unaware of. The second the movie started, I practically screamed. Benedict Cumberbatch was in the movie? Seriously? I checked the DVD case. He isn’t mentioned ANYWHERE on it, not by picture or by name. He doesn’t even play a tertiary character in the movie–he plays William Pitt, one of the main characters’ best friends and the PRIME MINISTER OF ENGLAND. He just wasn’t “known” back when the movie came out the way he is now and so they didn’t bother to mention him on the DVD case or in the posters. Which is a shame, because he’s fantastic in it. And it was a delight to watch the movie again, now knowing Benedict for the great actor he is. The movie still made me feel inspired and made me cry.
So that had to be it. The first time I met Benedict Cumberbatch in a movie and he just hadn’t stuck in my mind. But, just to be sure, I checked IMDB. Tipping the Velvet? He was in Tipping the Velvet? As Freddy?! I’ve seen Tipping the Velvet far too many times to count, and I hadn’t noticed him? Luckily, there is Youtube.
So that was it. Tipping the Velvet. That was my first time seeing him in something.