Why do women all over the world love Benedict Cumberbatch so? Here are the reasons:
1 Because brainy is the new sexy
If he is getting typecast in his work in any way, it is to play highly intelligent characters.
Other than super sleuth Sherlock - the role that shot him to international fame - he has beat Eddie Redmayne to play Stephen Hawking in TV movie Hawking (2004), artist Vincent van Gogh in Van Gogh: Painted With Words (2012), Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate (2013) and, most recently, mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.
Even his villainous turn as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) was a super-smart superhuman. What is not to like when you have both brains and brawn?
Offscreen, the London Academy Of Music & Dramatic Art graduate certainly sounds just as smart. He has proven to be extremely eloquent in press interviews, mastering the art of giving journalists the witty answers that they so crave - without overdoing it.
His sexiest role to date is, he jokes, the wolf Agent Classified in Penguins Of Madagascar (2014) because he knows it would "make good copy" if he explained how his role had "a really good scene, though I think it's been cut, where I danced with some animal and seduced them".
He eventually relents: "But it's not true. He really fancies himself, which is deeply unsexy, in my opinion."
2 He cannot pronounce the word "penguins"
As intellectual as he often sounds, he is unable to properly pronounce the word penguins, calling them "peng-wings" or "peng-lings" instead - something which fans, of course, found to be utterly adorable.
On an episode of The Graham Norton Show, producers played a clip from documentary series South Pacific (2009), where Cumberbatch, as its narrator, butchered the word repeatedly. As the audience laughed on, he looked completely embarrassed but remained self-deprecating throughout.
The joke is not lost on him that he nabbed a major role in Penguins Of Madagascar recently, in which it would appear that he finally managed to get it right.
3 He is a huge goofball
In interviews and at public events, he often displays the famous British wit and not in the sardonic way, either - he is playful and spontaneous like a mischievous man-child.
In several instances, he has given actress Jennifer Lawrence a run for her money as the top celebrity photo-bomber, hopping like a maniac behind other stars as they pose for their red- carpet shots.
In the middle of last week's Golden Globe awards, he displayed his photo-bombing skills when he suddenly jumped up behind Meryl Streep and Margaret Cho as they were getting their picture taken by Michael Keaton.
4 His voice. Oh, his voice
He already gains points with that posh British accent of his, but it is his deep, buttery voice that sends shivers down many a fan's spine.
When he played Khan on Star Trek Into Darkness, critics took special notice of his voice. The Independent described his voice as "so sepulchrally resonant that it could have been synthesised from the combined timbres of Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Alan Rickman holding an elocution contest down a well".
5 He is so good to his fans
Celebrities typically indulge fans at red- carpet events, signing autographs and taking selfies with them. That is just beginner's stuff for Cumberbatch.
On an English talk show where he was a guest, a fan revealed that she had travelled all the way from Hong Kong just to see him. He immediately jumped out from his seat to run to her to give her a huge hug and his profuse thanks.
Oh, and he hated it when fans started calling themselves "Cumberb****es", as he felt it was against women's rights.
As he explained in an interview with The Times: "I won't allow you to be my b****es. I think it sets feminism back so many notches. You are... Cumberpeople.
This article was first published on Jan 21, 2015.
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