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10+ Random Facts About Benedict Cumberbatch Fans Didn't Know

Benedict Cumberbatch has proven himself to be one of the most talented and versatile actors around.

He's picked up Oscar nominations and other prestigious awards for his roles in Sherlock Holmes and The Imitation Game, among others.

If you thought his name was interesting, just wait until you get to really know him. Did you know that he comes from a family of actors or that he was once kidnapped?

1. He was once kidnapped in South Africa:

This happened while he was filming the BBC series To The Ends Of The Earth in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

He and his co-stars were robbed, tied up with their own shoelaces, and made to believe that they were about to be killed. Thankfully, the suspects fled the scene.

The terrifying experience ended up changing his outlook on life.

"I was definitely more impatient to live a life less ordinary," he told Vanity Fair.

"I wanted to swim in the sea that I saw the next morning. If you feel you’re going to die, you don’t think you’re going to have all those sensations again—a cold beer, a cigarette, the feel of sun on your skin."

2. He comes from a family of actors:


His father, Timothy Carlton, is an English actor, known for his roles in Baby Love and High Road to China.

Meanwhile, his mother, Wanda Ventham, appeared in Death Is a Woman and The Big Job, among others.

Benedict even once shared the screen with his parents!

In the show's third season, they played his character's parents.

"[Working with them on ‘Sherlock’] was wonderful,” he told Access Hollywood about working with them. Although he was nervous, it went really well.

3. His first acting role was in primary school:

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His first role was playing "a very bossy Joseph in the Nativity play."

He told London Theatre that his patience was very thin, even back then: "Apparently I pushed Mary offstage because she was taking too long. Actresses eh!"

4. He's not a fan of his name:

Yes, he understands that it's hard to pronounce. One time, he even poked fun at himself by saying that Cumberbatch sounds like "fart in a bath."

Now that we know this, we'll never hear it the same again.

5. He originally wanted to be a lawyer:

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He has this in common with Janet Jackson.

Like Janet, he wanted a stable career. "[Acting is] a very odd, peripatetic, crazed, out of your control work and social schedule,” Cumberbatch told The Mirror.

If he did go into law, he wanted to become a barrister since "there's definitely a crossover with criminal law."

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"With trying to persuade an audience and a jury and a judge of the case and your client's story so I did go down that route for a little bit. I think they would have been very happy if I ended up there."

Sounds like he just wants to play a lawyer in a movie!

6. He gets star-struck by other celebs:

Celebs, they're just like us!

He once revealed that he gets "butterflies" in his stomach every time and the "inability to be cool" whenever he encounters someone famous.

Same, Benedict, same.

7. He almost wasn't cast as Sherlock Holmes for the craziest reason:


Get this: he was told he didn't have the right nose! Even his mother told him that when he finally landed the part.

The producers at BBC were also worried that he wasn't "sexy enough."

Thankfully, Ben proved them all wrong in his audition.

The show's writer and co-creator, Mark Gatiss, told BBC:

"But as he walked through into 221B Baker Street it all changed. He was a weird man a few minutes ago, a sort of ginger weird person. But that disappeared."

8. He's had some weird fan encounters:

Well, fan is a stretch, since this story actually involves The Good Place actor, Ted Danson.

Benedict recalled in a Reddit AMA that Danson went screaming across a pre-Oscar party (past Leonardo DiCaprio and Kristen Stewart) to get close to him.

9. He's open to doing comedy one day:

"I love my comedy and when the right project comes up I won't shy away from it," he said in a Reddit AMA.

"There's a lot of humor in what I do, specifically Sherlock, but it would be great to play a 'normal guy' in a "normal comedy'."

10. He doesn't like the name that his fans have given themselves:

They call themselves "Cumber[expletive]," but the actor finds this to be impolite.

"I won't allow you to be my [expletive]," he explained to author, Caitlin Moran. "I think it sets feminism back so many notches. You are... Cumberpeople."

11. He got married at 39:

In 2015, he wed his then-pregnant fianceé, Sophie Hunter in an intimate ceremony in the Isle of Wight.

The couple welcomed their first child, Kit, together soon after. Their second son, Hal, was born in 2017.

12. He's a huge *Star Wars* fan:

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He even attended the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and totally geeked out when they gave him a lightsabre.

"I've never been in a kind of punch-the-air atmosphere at the beginning of the film before. When those titles started it was... 'Yeah!'" he told GQ UK.

13. His acting soulmate is Keira Knightley:

The actors have starred in two films together so far — Atonement and The Imitation Game — and both have received Oscar nominations.

Keira even told Elle magazine that Benedict once punched a rude journalist for her!

14. He was nervous to take on the role of Doctor Strange:

With so many devoted fans in the Marvel Universe, it was a lot to take on, the actor revealed to GQ UK.

Even Chris Evans almost buckled from the pressure of playing Captain America.

"Of course it affects your career, that's the reality of being a leading man," he said about the first *Doctor Strange* film.

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"But I'm sanguine about that, I really am. But you're right, it's a new level. There's no denying that."