"Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is in talks to bring his stage Hamlet to the screen. The play begins performances at the Barbican next year, and negotiations for it to be filmed live and shown in cinemas through National Theatre Live for one night are well advanced.

The actor, along with the production’s director Lyndsey Turner and producer Sonia Friedman, has spent more than a year ensuring that this will be a ‘people’s Hamlet’.

‘I felt very strongly that as wide an audience as possible should have access to it,’ Cumberbatch told me.

The Barbican’s allocation of seats for the entire 12-week run, which starts on August 5 next year, have been snapped up already.

But there will be 100 seats available per performance. ‘They will be sprinkled throughout the house … they’re not behind pillars,’ the 38-year-old joked.

He said that he and Ms Turner were eager to make their Hamlet as ‘fresh’ as possible, ‘like a new play that just landed as a pdf in someone’s computer inbox at the Royal Court’, as he described it.

‘We want to escape the idea that it has been done before, and we’re looking at the whole play — not just the eponymous hero.’

Benedict is a thespian polymath. There’s no role he cannot take on.

We had met to discuss another of his projects: a towering portrait — one of the great performances of the year — of Alan Turing, the man who helped break the Nazi’s Enigma code, in the film The Imitation Game.

Watching the movie, I was struck by his approach to Turing: the way he grasped and captured the man, not just the cliched genius. The film is all the more heartbreaking because of it.

The Imitation Game shows how the boundaries of class and status were broken by the disparate group gathered at Bletchley Park.

‘That was an incredible, rag-tag group of brave, stoic, quiet heroes,’ Cumberbatch marvelled.

‘I say rag-tag, in the sense that they were mathematicians, physicists, crossword enthusiasts … really anyone who had an intellect and a prowess that might help solve this puzzle.

‘Turing may have had eccentric behaviour; he may have had certain tropes of being different, but this was a whole team of “different” people, brought together in a crisis.’

The star said that Turing was guileless about his sexuality. ‘When he was arrested by the police he told them outright that he’d had a sexual relationship with another man.

‘He just gave them the information, and the sad thing was that he’dbeen with a rent boy. He’d never had a stable relationship’.

Meanwhile, Cumberbatch has been wearing a bodysuit covered with motion sensors to play and provide the voice of tiger Shere Khan in Andy Serkis’s film Jungle Book: Origins.

And he’s in rehearsals to play crippled Richard III in the new Hollow Crown TV drama series, which will encompass Henry VI, Parts 1 and 2, and Richard III.

He then shoots a Christmas special of Sherlock — the role which won him a best actor Emmy on Monday.

He also has plans to fit in a film or two and, after Hamlet ends next year, will film three more Sherlock episodes. [x]



Benedict Cumberbatch measures up for a Madame Tussauds waxwork figure

Just days after his thirty eighth birthday and hot on the heels of an Emmy nomination for his role in Sherlock, we can reveal that one of the most exciting and talked about acting talents of his generation, Benedict Cumberbatch, will be honoured with a wax figure here at our world famous attraction later this year.

Benedict’s figure will be ‘premiere ready’, showing the actor looking impeccably groomed in a stylish dark suit. His immaculate red carpet style will be paired with a warm and relaxed expression, and his famous tousled hairstyle.

Work on the figure is well underway, and the actor has been heavily involved with the creation process. Benedict has given two sittings for our talented studios team, during which hundreds of precise measurements and numerous photographs were captured to be used by our sculptors and artists.

“Finally I can photobomb myself!” joked Cumberbatch. “What a weird and wonderful compliment to be included in the ranks of talent already committed to wax. I’ve been accused of being wooden in my work but never waxy!

“The main privilege for me was the process and seeing the amount of exacting work and skill brought to every detail of this art form. It is a wonderful combination of old and new, hi-tech and lo-fi skills. Measurements, hand inserted individual hairs and sculpted features. As a subject, you stand still surrounded by sculpters, painters, photographers, measurers and a whole army of people who bring together your likeness… it’s an extraordinary experience. Also my agents will be thrilled, they’ve wanted a clone of me for some time!” added Cumberbatch.

Ben Sweet, our General Manager, commented: “There is no denying that Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the most in-demand actors of the moment, starring in some of the most successful films and TV shows in recent times to critical and popular acclaim. With his star on a meteoric rise, we are delighted that his figure will be joining us at Madame Tussauds London. We have been lucky enough to work very closely with Benedict and his styling team to ensure that his figure is as realistic as possible. Our guests made it very clear they wanted to see him in the attraction, and we can’t wait for them to meet his figure later this year.”

Benedict’s figure will be the latest British star to join our A-list line up, and will take up residence in October, alongside fellow Brits Judi Dench and Kate Winslet, as well as a host of Hollywood names from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, to Julia Roberts and Johnny Depp.

The update via RT and MT. Looks amazing!


Let’s play ‘spot the guys who’ve been snooping round tumblr’


Sherlock + flirting with men


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