British actor Benedict Cumberbatch has a career spanning over 15 years; however it was his role in Sherlock which turned him in to a global hit. His latest role is a state senator in Black Mass, who is also the brother of one of history’s most violent criminal; James ‘Whitey’ Bulger played by Johnny Depp. To celebrate the release of Black Mass on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on March 21 and on Digital HD March 19, we take a look at Benedict Cumberbatch’s rise to fame.
Born in London, he always had a talent for the arts and starred in school plays before attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He graduated with a Masters in Classical Acting which led him on to appear in numerous theatre productions and gain small television roles on shows like Silent Witness and Spooks. His first main television part was in 2004 when he portrayed Stephen Hawking in Hawking. His performance received critical acclaim and he was nominated for a BAFTA award.
He went on to star in other films including comedy Starter for 10 and The Other Boleyn Girl. Nevertheless, his big break came when he starred in the BBC’s adaptation of the popular story, Sherlock. In 2010 he starred as the titular role alongside Martin Freeman who plays Dr Watson. Cumberbatch quickly built up a fan following, largely made up of teenage girls, who refer to themselves as ‘Cumberbitches’. Fans have flown from all over the world for a chance to meet him, using a hashtag #cumberwatch to track his exact whereabouts.
After he was cast in to the public eye, he found Hollywood started calling his name and he starred in blockbuster hits such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which earned him a nomination from the BIFA’s, and War Horse which was directed by Steven Spielberg. He also starred in the hit fantasy film adaptation The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) as the voice of Smaug. He also went evil for the sequel to Star Trek in Star Trek: Into the Darkness and played Khan.
In 2014 Cumberbatch starred as the lead role in historical thriller The Imitation Game as Alan Turing, a British mathematician who was a key figure in cracking the enigma code during World War 2. He received numerous award nominations including a BAFTA, Golden Globe, SAG award and an Academy Award. Also in 2015 he starred alongside Johnny Depp in the biographical crime-thriller Black Mass based on mobster Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp). He played Bulger’s brother, a state senator who convinces his brother to become an FBI informant and take down a rival mafia gang, which ensures a compelling watch as the line between criminal and cop starts to blur.
The actor currently has projects in the works, including a new superhero film called Doctor Strange that’s being released by Disney and Marvel starring Cumberbatch as the title role. He is also starring in Warner Brother’s live adaptation of Jungle Book, called Jungle Book: Origins due for release in 2017, where he will play Shere Khan the tiger. A new awaited series of Sherlock has also been commissioned, and is expected to be aired in 2017 also.
Despite bursting on to our screens as a television actor, it seems Hollywood will continue to call his name and his fan base of ‘Cumberbitches’ will continue to grow.
BLACK MASS IS ON BLU-RAY, DVD AND DIGITAL HD ON MARCH 21 AND ON DIGITAL HD MARCH 19