Benedict Cumberbatch has a request for entertainment journalists: “People should ask about the culture and people that I engage with as an audience rather than the same bio or personal life details.”
“The Fifth Estate” and “Sherlock” star issued the advice to future interviewers while taking fans’ questions during a Reddit AMA on Friday.
“The best interviews evolve like conversation. They’re not led by journalists that are seeking to thrill their editor with predictable copy and questions that are basically answers,” Cumberbatch continued. “Sadly, that’s the norm. But there are exceptions which sometimes make it worthwhile.”
Cumberbatch, who plays controversial whistleblower Julian Assange in DreamWorks upcoming WikiLeaks drama, didn’t sulk on too many serious topics, though.
Beyond a long and thoughtful explanation of how Assange’s recently-published cautionary email “galvanized” him, he talked about “Sesame Street,” his favorite movies and his weirdest fan: Ted Danson.
Here are 10 things we learned about the accomplished thespian:
1. He gets nervous around famous people, just like the rest of us.
“Every time I’ve met someone famous who I’ve been in the audience of, I have the same butterflies and inability to be cool. I approach them as a fellow member of the human race as the next person in their audience does. I’ve been doing this for 10 odd years, and so to meet people who thrilled me with their work for my entire life in such a concentrated manner as has happened over the last few years has been mind-blowing. One of the many perks of my job, I guess.”
2. And as it turns out, one of the weirdest encounters he’s ever had with a fan was with a celebrity fan — “Cheers” star Ted Danson.
“Ted Danson at a pre-Oscar party screaming across a floor of people like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ray Liotta, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, et al while pushing past them and knocking their drinks. ‘OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! IT’S FUCKING SHERLOCK HOLMES!'”
3. Lady Gaga has her Little Monsters, so what would he like to call his fan base?
“You could call yourself the Cumbergirls, and then when you come together you’d be a flock. Or you could call yourself the Cumbertadpoles and that way you’d be the Cumberspawn…Wait!…Ew! Don’t do that.”
4. If he could share a scene with any “Sesame Street” character, it would be…
5. Hey, wait a minute, he’s from “The Muppets”!
“Forgive me. Oscar the Grouch.”
6. He’s got a great idea for a Halloween costume this year, but we’ll never see it.
“The invisible man. Oh, how I love to disappear.”
7. When he’s looking to be comforted by a nostalgic view of the past, he turns on…
“Ghostbusters. Loads of John Hughes classics. Annie Hall. annnnnd 2001 Space Odyssey!!”
8. His favorite on-set prank was Simon Pegg’s “neutron cream” gag that he got tricked into while filming “Star Trek Into Darkness,” but he also loves embarrassing friends in restaurants.
“Anytime you’re in a restaurant with a group of friends and one of them goes to the restroom or bathroom (presume there are many nationalities involved in this AMA), tell the waiter that it’s that person’s birthday. Not only is it fun to embarrass the hell out of the poor victim, but you get free cake in the bargain.”
9. The London local has traveled the world, but one of his favorite trips so far was dancing on a glacier. Oh, and he was carjacked, once.
“On an untouched New Zealand glacier via helicopter where I stepped out in trainers, jogging pants, and got out and danced. Or touching the earth after my first skydiving jump in Namibia. Or a balcony in South Africa where I felt the sun on my face after the night I was carjacked.”
10. America is a strange place for many reasons, but perhaps the strangest is our border patrol.
“I find that no one at the borders ever smiles.”