By Tara Fowler
After years of waiting, “Star Trek Into Darkness” has finally hit theaters. The original gang’s all there, along with a shady new villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Is this baddie, as is claimed, a generic nobody named John Harrison? Or is he really a certain somebody whose name rhymes with swan? Who can say? But since Cumberbatch the actor will be literally everywhere this year (“August: Osage County,” “The Fifth Estate,” “The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug” (and look! There he is outside my window), we’ve put together six fun facts you may not have known about the “Sherlock” star. Go boldly where no man has gone before and read on!
1) He was kidnapped and held at gunpoint in South Africa: And he actually talked his way out of it, much like his television counterpart Sherlock Holmes would have. “I argued my way out,” he told the Daily Mail. “I said, ’If you leave me in here, it’s not the lack of air, it’s the small space. There’s a problem with my heart and my brain.’ I just tried to explain to them: ’I will die, possibly have a fit, and it will be a problem for you. I will be a dead Englishman in your car. Not good.'”
2) He can do a mean Alan Rickman impersonation: By which, we obviously mean excellent. His David Tennant is not bad either. Check out the video below:
3) He’s quite the smarty pants, but like all intelligent men, he has his vices: “I did sort of blow my GCSEs out of the water,” he told Metro recently. “I couldn’t believe it and neither could my teachers. And then there was a lot of pressure on me to achieve an Oxbridge level of brilliance at A-levels. But then adolescence came late and I discovered girls, pot and all sorts of other things, so I got a bit lazy.”
4) If he hadn’t become an actor, he would have been a neurosurgeon: “I’d have liked to have been a neurosurgeon—I’m thinking that because of the character in “Saturday” [by Ian McEwan, one of Cumberbatch’s favorite authors],” he told What’s On Stage in 2005. “It would have been nice to have done something useful, responsible, that required a mind-blowing skill, where something really important hangs in the balance.”
5) His mother wanted him to change his name when he became an actor: “It sounds like a fart in a bath, doesn’t it?” he’s said of his strange moniker. “What a fluffy old name. I can never say it on a Monday morning. When I became an actor, mom wasn’t keen on me keeping it.”
6) He finds the fact that he’s a sex symbol “hysterically funny”: “I hate the fact that I’m a sex symbol,” he joked to the Radio Times. “God damn my beauty and success. No, I find it hysterically funny, I really do. It’s a giggle. I wield it with a massive smile.” Wield it however you like, Cumberbatch, so long as you keep wielding it.
Will you check out Star Trek Into Darkness this weekend?