I am by no means one of those women who call themselves “Cumberbitches.” But I’d love him to cumber my batch.
The recent NYT profile on Ben Cumberbatch (“The Case of the Accidental Superstar“) did not escape my notice. It begins: In the peculiar-looking, former cross-dressing Shakespearean actor Benedict Cumberbatch, Hollywood has found an unlikely leading man.
Unlikely. Accidental. Peculiar-looking. I’m at a loss to understand why these adjectives are routinely applied to Mr. Cumberbatch and his career. The first time I beheld him was the initial airing of Sherlock, and I immediately said to myself, “This is a Man of Unusual Beauty, Intelligence and Charm.” Unusual, yes. But peculiar?
It is almost as though any hint of elegance or intelligence in the physiognomy relegates a male actor to “peculiar” territory in the minds of Hollywood casting agents. Not knowing what to do with him, they start handing him villain roles. No, he does not look like Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, or Matthew McConaughey, the gods be thanked. He looks like my cat Sammy.
Perhaps the problem is that the Hollywood types (not to mention American journalists) haven’t figured out the real category to which he belongs. John Gielgud. Alec Guinness. John Hurt. Ian McKellen. I don’t recall hearing them described as “peculiar-looking.” But I wouldn’t put it past a Hollywood director.
*Arthur Conan Doyle “The Valley of Fear” (1915)
Marie Astra said:
Well, SOME people say he looks like an otter….I’d seen him before Sherlock, but I never felt that he was beautiful. I think he’s a really excellent actor. I will watch anything he’s in. But everyone has their own standards! 😀 I wouldn’t call him peculiar looking, though!
I tend to be drawn to men who don’t fit the classically handsome paradigm, I suppose. Charisma is the key! Some “handsome” men have it (RA comes to mind) and others are just Ken dolls…
The otter thing is funny! And weirdly sexy…
They call anyone who doesn’t fit their ‘ideal Hollywood look’ peculiar. Tee hee, ‘cumber my batch’, teehee…I think he is beautiful and a very fine actor. I did see him on Graham Norton and they were comparing him to photos of otters, very funny. (He did bear a slight resemblance to them..)
Yes, the otter comparison is rather apt, but to me he seems somehow feline, in a masculine way. Meeeow!!
He doesn’t do it for me. But I’m all for variety, so he can stay 🙂
Yes, what an impoverished world if all men looked like George Clooney 😉
I don’t get the whole swooning Cumberbitch phenomenon, but then again I don’t watch Sherlock. Maybe it’s the acting that is the turn-on?
“Sherlock” is pretty good. I think certain women are drawn to Cumberbatch because the character is very intense. He has a sexy voice too.
He will be one of those we are going to hear a lot of in future. He has come to stay. And that’s good. A brilliant actor and obvious a brilliant mind also. And he seems to be a nice guy all around as far as one can believe the people who had the luck to have been working with him. I am really looking forward to everything he will be performing in. And I think he is a beautiful man – although not by common standard. Which is even more appealing to me.
I agree! He is extremely talented and this is just the beginning. I hope he has a chance to do stage work. With a voice like that, he can go far! And on the stage there is a lot more flexibility as to looks. It’s more about charisma.
Expat Eye said:
I’ve always found him creepy looking, sorry! I’m more of a Ryan Gosling and Jake Gyllenhaal girl myself 😉
To each her own. Ryan and Jake are both very good looking!