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Benedict Cumberbatch: I really enjoy living in the present. This is the only way to be happy [WYWIAD]


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  • On May 6, 2022, another Marvel movie “Doctor Strange: in the multivers of Madness” will be shown in Polish cinemas. In the title role we will once again see one of the most famous British actors, Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Acting is always the process of your imagination, whether you are on stage in the theater, in the studio or outside. Or are you wearing a motion-capturing stretchy bodysuit that captures your smallest movements. Circumstances are constantly changing, and you have to adapt to the rules of this game – the actor admitted in an interview with the journalist “Die Welt”
  • To me, Doctor Strange is an example that there is no such thing as a pure true hero, because all heroes are always human and sensual. And it is often in fantasies of escape from reality that we can better see that honest work, love, understanding, and empathy for others are more noble – emphasized
  • You can find more such articles on Onet homepage

That’s too little for one person. Shakespeare, Elizabeth II, The Beatles … and Benedict Cumberbatch are mentioned in the World Poll of British Symbols. Time announced that the actor is one of the “100 most influential people in the world.” Critics recognized him as the only legitimate successor to Sir Laurence Olivier. He has been nominated for an Academy Award multiple times, his character in Madame Tussauds, playing Sherlock Holmes, Julian Assange, and now for the eighth time, Marvel comic book hero, Doctor Strange. He is currently being referred to as a candidate for the role of Alexander Litvinenko, an agent of polonium poisoning by the KGB, in the planned series “Londongrad” about Putin’s beginnings.

We talked to him about the combination of blockbuster and art films, the limitations of virtual reality, and why streaming is likely to be behind the quail years.

Die Welt: In your new Marvel movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Insanity” (in theaters May 6), we see your character in two incarnations. As a good man and a bad man from a parallel world. How many incarnations of Benedict Cumberbatch are there? She has played 90 roles in 20 years.

Benedict Cumberbatch: 90?! No way!

Yes, this is correct. To handle this burden, you needed at least one weakness or one avatar, right?

Well, let me tell you something: it wasn’t always me (laughs).

Anthony and Joe Russo, brothers who directed some Avengers movies, once told us that Steven Soderbergh always advised them to make a standalone after every blockbuster to balance art and commercialism. Is this your motto too?

Yes, I have the same feelings. This is wise advice. I own a production company. The films we fund have a much smaller financial scope than Disney or Marvel projects.

I recently funded, among other things, the movie “Brexit. The Wild War” or “The Moorish” about terrorism suspects who are mistreated without charge at the US military prison in Guantánamo.

Yeah. However, Doctor Strange is a role I can always refer to as a comparison. This role has run through all of the Marvel movies. Although Soderbergh’s advice is very good, I always choose the right movie when choosing projects. So if, after a new “Doctor Strange” movie, I’m offered another movie that tells a great story, my answer would be “yes”.

The rest of the article is available under the video:

You are not only active in both “world of movies” but also advise startups like “Holoride”. It is a company that develops new movie narratives in virtual reality. Thanks to them, you can participate and watch the production using virtual reality glasses. Won’t this in the long run end the culture of cinema as we know it?

Something similar was said when music streaming services appeared. At that time, the end of musical culture was also predicted. But in fact, concert ticket sales rose dramatically. Viewers come in droves. The Russo brothers are filmmakers and entrepreneurs who also invest in virtual reality technologies. Virtual experiences will definitely open a new chapter in our viewing habits.

However, I think there will be enough people in the “transitional” generation who know and appreciate both ways of watching movies: traditional and virtual with VR glasses. We’ll see how it develops.

The pandemic has accelerated the uptake of such major technological innovations. By necessity, so to speak, they have become present in our lives. It’s just that people today still love going to the cinema. I think they want both of these experiences.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor StrangeBenedict Cumberbatch as Doktor Strange – LMKMEDIA / Agencja BE&W

Steven Spielberg (also played by “War Time”) filmed “Player One” for the first time in specially prepared 3D virtual reality rooms. The actors, like him, were wearing virtual reality goggles. He described virtual reality as a super drug because he and others don’t want to go back to reality…

In the end, he came back from the parallel world and did “West Side Story”. A movie that couldn’t be further from virtual reality. Virtual reality is very seductive, on the one hand because it’s still relatively new, and on the other because it offers something that feels real in a very tempting way. Only when you take off your VR glasses will you realize that this world is not real. Sure, in theory one could stay in virtual reality forever, then in reality we would live the life of the avatar, and we would really be in the matrix, while in the real world we would only be fed.

If we were to connect to the world of technology in this way, no one would know our names, meet us, touch us, or take us in their arms. Even if these moments are simulated in virtual reality, because our neurons provide us with the appropriate stimuli. I don’t think virtual reality experiences are connected to any universal reality.

For the past ten or fifteen years, movie actors have been put on stage in front of a green screen and then have to simulate battles against monsters that are electronically entered into the picture only after that. Do you sometimes think to yourself, “But isn’t that why I chose this profession! Or is it still a rewarding experience for you?”

definitely. Acting is always the process of your imagination, whether you are on stage in the theater, in the studio or outside. Or are you wearing a motion-capturing stretchy bodysuit that captures your smallest movements. Circumstances are constantly changing and you have to adapt to the rules of this game. Take for example one of the pioneers of this technology, Andy Serkis ….

Gollum in “Lord of the Rings”…

…who excelled in this role with exceptional physique. Yes, it is a very rewarding experience for the actor.

So, it’s all about different kinds of fantasy?

Take a look at the kids. They don’t have wardrobes full of clothes. They wear little clothes, have a game and create entire worlds just for themselves! In the end, the question is: Do you allow others, as in virtual reality, to create these worlds for you, giving you the “medicine”? Are you a consumer or a producer who creates these worlds yourself? Are you passive or active?

I understand Spielberg, virtual reality is an amazing experience. For me, as an actor, there is no difference between stepping into a room with real people in business attire and walking into an empty stage in action costume.

There is a great place called “The Movie”, and there is room for both. I wonder if technology will take over soon. I think there has always been such a fight: popular entertainment versus the art world. But if “Spider-Man” pushes people to go back to the movies and get over their fears of the coronavirus, that’s fine, too.

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch – PG / / Agencja BE&W

Netflix has lost 200,000 for the first time in its history. Users Is this a sign that the fat years of live streaming are about to end?

This may be related to the recent rise in the cost of living, the economic boom affecting everyone today. I don’t think you can make a basic prediction about the evolution of streaming providers compared to theaters. I don’t see any connection to the fact that people are now spending $15. Three times a month to go to the cinema again and thus save on broadcasting. In the current situation, many people just need to think about how to save money because daily life has become more and more difficult for them.

How many streaming platform providers do you use yourself?

of two.

Your new movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is about dark forces penetrating the real world from peer. In our reality, IT mobs like Mark Zuckerberg are working on a metaversum, a parallel virtual world. Is “Multiverse Madness” also some kind of hilarious, insightful look at what might lie ahead in the metaverse?

The multiverse in our movie is real, not artificially created virtual space. There are parallel worlds, other realities, many universes. In metaVirtual reality, you cannot taste or touch, even if interfaces such as pillows or VR goggles simulate these stimuli. However, metaversum is not part of the natural world. You cannot experience a virtual birth. It’s reproducible, but it’s not real. It’s an imaginary level. I think events like the metaverse clearly show that we live in the time of the dead king and his pregnant widow.

what do you mean by that?

We are in a phase of cultural change, experiencing massive changes in our lives that the former position no longer holds. There are no longer the guiding myths that bind so much of this planet together. Singleness is becoming more and more popular, which is especially visible on social media. Perhaps this cult of personality, the fact that each human is constantly discovering many different versions of himself, is the thing that influenced our film. Like many other Marvel movies, it reverses the current trend.

However, it must be remembered that there have been numerous versions of Doctor Strange in the comics. It has been redrawn, reconstructed, animated, and retold. There are many versions of his career in comics, different facts and costumes, and from the 70s he even appeared in different eras (which also influenced our movie history). But for me, this role was interesting for another reason.


To me, Doctor Strange is an example that there is no such thing as a pure true hero because all heroes are always sensitive and human. It is often in fantasies of escape from reality to see better that it is more noble to act in selflessness, to love, understand and sympathize with others. However, we humans fail all the time. Doctor Strange fights not only external threats, but often himself. In fact, he is his staunch enemy.

In the first movie, Doctor Strange, you go back in time to prevent a catastrophe. If you had the chance in our reality, at what point would you go back in time?

By 2016, Brexit, Trump, all the other things that have happened since. Besides, I really like living in the present. This is the only way to be happy.

Rowena Robinson
Rowena Robinson
"Amateur social media maven. Pop cultureaholic. Troublemaker. Internet evangelist. Typical bacon ninja. Communicator. Zombie aficionado."


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