Pro-tip: the best way to prove that you’re the most charming person in the room is to say that someone else is more charming than you. Trust us — it works wonders for Benedict Cumberbatch.
Best known for playing the world’s greatest detective on the British television series “Sherlock,” Cumberbatch’s star is about to rise stateside thanks to his upcoming turn as the villainous John Harrison in “Star Trek Into Darkness.” But his talents are already well known among his die-hard fans — a group alternately called “Cumberbabes,” “Cumberbunnies,” “Benaddicts,” and one other term that’s a bit… edgier.
“It’s not a term I really use, but the most common term for the fans is Cumberbitches,” Naomi Roper of Cumberbatchweb tells MTV News of the British actor’s fiercely loyal fan base. “But he’s inspired his fans to come up with all sorts of names for themselves!”
What is it about Mr. Cumberbatch that inspires such feverish fandom? Well, let’s see…
1. He’s a super-genius. On “Sherlock,” at least. David Mather of Sherlockology.com explains that Cumberbatch brings a perfect storm of attributes to his iconic television role. “He’s aloof, arrogant, supremely clever (of course) and dryly funny,” says Mather. “In person he is far more down to earth than Sherlock, and is gregarious, intelligent and funny to listen to.”
2. He’s also really charming. In an interview, at least. When MTV spoke with Cumberbatch at a press event for “Star Trek” last December, he declared that he’s not as charming as his friend and fellow actor Tom Hiddleston of “Avengers” fame — a humble declaration, even if the motive behind it was somewhat dubious. “The more charming person is the person who admits the other person is more charming,” the actor helpfully explained. “So Tom Hiddleston is, without a doubt, more charming.”
3. He’s tremendously evil, too. In “Star Trek,” at least. Cumberbatch stars in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” sequel as a nefarious terrorist shrouded in secrecy. “Everything is a mystery at present, apart from what Benedict is able to bring to the screen in a performance,” says Mather. “Seeing how he turns his skills to a role like this, in a film of this scale and budget, is what [fans are] looking forward to the most.”
4. He’s shockingly quiet. On the Internet, at least. Though countless Cumberbatch memes exist all over the web — including one particularly delightful meme about otters — the actor himself has stayed away from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. “I think Benedict has said that he’s a tad too verbose to cope with the 140 character limit [of Twitter],” explains Roper. “He’s very good at passing on messages and tidbits to his fans through friends and colleagues. I don’t think he needs to get a Twitter account of his own, lovely as it would be.”
5. He’s about to blow up. In the United States, at least. “He’s already a household name in the UK thanks to ’Sherlock,’ but I definitely think that this is the year that he’ll become a household name in the US,” says Roper. And why is that? Not only is he the villain in “Star Trek,” he’s also the voice (and likeness) behind the titular dragon in December’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” “’Star Trek Into Darkness’ will get his face and acting ability out there to a large audience, but we’ve a feeling ’The Hobbit’ will be the one people take a lot of notice of — with the benefit for ’Sherlock’ fans of both lead actors having an iconic conversation in a completely visually different way,” says Mather, referring to “Hobbit” leading man Martin Freeman, the Watson to Cumberbatch’s Holmes.
Those are just some of the reasons why Cumberbatch is worshipped by fans across the world. Looking for more? Stick with MTV News in the coming weeks as we roll out more content from our interview with Mr. Cumberbatch and the rest of the “Star Trek” cast and crew.
Are you a Benaddict? Tell us why or why not in the comments section below, or tweet at me @roundhoward!
Check out everything we’ve got on “Star Trek Into Darkness.”