I remember very clearly someone saying, 'Don't shake hands with the cactus,' and I thought, 'Well, why not? What could possibly go wrong?' Shaking hands is a friendly gesture.— Benedict Cumberbatch
The most thrilling Benedict Cumberbatch quotes that are free to learn and impress others
Pull the hair on my head the wrong way, and I would be on my knees begging for mercy. I have very sensitive follicles.
Looking for happiness is a sure way to sadness, I think. You have to take each moment as it comes.
Being a posh actor in England you cannot escape the class-typing from whatever side you look at it.
Keep myself amused and others confused.
The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is.
Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.
I always seem to be cast as slightly wan, ethereal, troubled intellectuals or physically ambivalent bad lovers. But I'm here to tell you I'm quite the opposite in real life. In fact I'm a f**king fantastic lover.
Cumberbatch - it sounds like a fart in a bath, doesn't it? What a fluffy old name. I can never say it on a Monday morning. When I became an actor, Mum wasn't keen on me keeping it.
I can feel infinitely alive curled up on the sofa reading a book.
I suppose my bodily proportions are quite flattering.
I'm ripped, doing something I wouldn't normally do with my body, or having done to it, involving Watson.
I think with any characterization there's a point where you empathize, no matter how much of a deviance his or her actions may be from your understanding of humanity.
One of the best things about being an actor is that it's a meritocracy.
I like to think that we’re revolving on this planet and revolving through the galaxy. I love having context that’s so much bigger than I can fathom. It’s fantastic to realise how insignificant you are.
I'm not very geeky. I'm quite homespun. I would say I'm more modern rustic than gadget-orientated. I like woollen things and log fires and whiskey
Any irrational fears?no, i'm quite a rationalist.
i'm not superstitious, i think life is too full of natural wonders and logical complexities to worry about illogical things.
I'm sort of focused on my long-term goal of carving out a career that's for life, rather than being a flash in the pan.
Mum did a lot of commercial theatre and farces in the 1980s and '90s to make sure the school bills were paid.
Because reading is one of the joys of life, and once you begin, you can't stop, and you've got so many stories to look forward to.
It was great. I got to hang out with him [Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins], and I kept a straight face for a bit and then I started giggling because I know Martin, I don't know Bilbo. For Martin to be sitting there playing Bilbo is amazing. He's going to be amazing, he's going to be fantastic in this film.
There are things that are a given, that you've already established, and obviously, visually, certain iconic things that can't be completely removed, like a certain hat or a certain coat in my case.
We have a lot more unlikely heroes now.
It’s not just the guy with guns—it’s the guy with brains.
People's hands fascinate me. It's tempting to look at a businessman's left hand and see if there's an indentation from a missing wedding ring. Or maybe there's a tan line and the skin is pressed down where's he's worked a ring off his finger.
One of the fears of having too much work is not having time to observe.
And once you get recognised, there is nowhere for you to look any more. You can't sit on a night bus and watch it all happen.
That's something I have to work on: to separate what really matters, to conserve energy by not worrying about what other people think.
I drive a motorbike, so there is the whiff of the grim reaper round every corner, especially in London.
I had a very sparse comic upbringing - not because I was being whipped into reading Chekhov and Dickens, but I read Asterix on holidays when I was a kid, and Tin Tin was featured, I remember, for a few years.
I want to do it all. I want to climb mountains, go through jungles, fight wars in space, get the girl, shoot the bad-guy full of lead, have all the zippy one liners, bulge muscles out of a singlet, drip sweat and blood on screen, all of that.
My mum and dad had worked incredibly hard to afford me an education.
The first time we did cavalry charge I was so breathless with excitement I nearly fell off the horse. I actually saw stars in front of my eyes and thought I was going to faint. The second time I had a bit more control but was still giddy with excitement. And the third time I was an emotional wreck. I had to really try hard not to cry.
Do I like being thought of as attractive? I don’t know anyone on Earth who doesn’t, but I do find it funny. I look in a mirror and I see all the faults I’ve lived with for 35 years and yet people go kind of nuts for certain things about me. It’s not me being humble. I just think it’s weird.
I tend to have a cup of tea, try to stop worrying about what I did wrong, cool down and will the audience back in as soon as possible.
I am shortsighted. I need glasses for watching movies or concerts. It's not a hipster affectation; I do have poor eyesight. This is how ridiculous my life is: I've had the test for contact lenses, but I haven't found a half-day where I can go to the optician.
There's no shame in stealing - any actor who says he doesn't is lying. You steal from everything.
There was a moment of extraordinary humbleness and humility and pride, as well, with my father when he turned to me - and I think it was after I played Salieri in "Amadeus" at university. And he said, You're better than I ever was or ever could be, you should do this for profession. You'd have a good time.
Conan Doyle is amazing in the way he has Watson describe Sherlock’s posture, mood swings, his hand gestures, and so forth in the novels.
I just increasingly enjoy the quiet moments when I can be on my own with my friends and family, or with a book, having a live experience. That's really what I crave, and I always have done.
I'd love to meet Julian [Assange], and time permitting, and his will permitting, I'm sure it will happen at some point. Even though he's been very critical of the film [The Fifth Estate], he's been very polite about me and my work, and I feel the same way about him.
If I'm playing someone who's smart, suddenly every character I've played is smart. If I'm playing a bad guy, every character is a bad guy. I suppose it's that thing where people want to see a through-line to understand you. I mean, you know, I have played pretty ordinary people too.
I'm interested in art for all. I don't want it to be only the sons and daughters of Tory MPs who get to see my plays.
Mads [Mikkelsen] and I have a really epic brawl - a week shoot, lots of rehearsal - and he was just delightful. He's a dancer and a gymnast so he knows how to plant the moves. He was always saying, "Are you okay?" When you've got that level of mutual consideration you form a family very quickly.
We're living through a time where we are fighting wars fostered by politics, admittedly not on the same scale as the First World War, but with equally tragic realities for our soldiers and their families.
Upper class to me means you are either born into wealth or you're Royalty.
I know he [Julian Assange] is a man of fierce determination, and now living under the strain of house arrest in the Ecuadorean embassy as a "political exile," as he calls himself.
I'm aware of [Doctor Strange] place within the comic pantheon of it all, the Marvelverse, but I don't email saying, "When are we doing next film?" I'm excited to see.
My dad read The Hobbit to me originally when I was young.
So, it was the first imaginary landscape I ever had in my head from the written word. It gave me a passion for reading, thanks to my dad's performance of the book.
I've seen and swam and climbed and lived and driven and filmed.
Should it all end tomorrow, I can definitely say there would be no regrets. I am very lucky, and I know it. I really have lived 5,000 times over.
There are moments when, like all of us, you get a bit self-conscious and you'd rather not be living any of your day in public. Those are the awkward times, but you've got to have fun with it.
I'm always keen to use my body in my work, so I'm looking forward to the motion capture for Smaug. Both Gollum and King Kong were primates, whereas I'm playing a serpent, so it'll be interesting - I'll have to tie my legs together, possibly, or else they'll be kind of splayed out to the side as a reptile's should be.
I'm a Prince of Wales Trust ambassador, so I'm all about giving youth an education, a voice and a chance to not take the wrong road.
I'd shift disciplines, whether it was musical instruments or sports or whatever, and it's the same with that.
I realised quite early on that, although I wasn't trying to make a career speciality of it, I was playing slightly asexual, sociopathic intellectuals.