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Benedict Cumberbatch has become pretty well skilled in appearing to always be the smartest man in the room. Whether he's playing the titular detective on Sherlock or playing the villainous Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, the British actor always appears to be 10 steps ahead of the game and can read his opponents like a book. This trend will only continue later this year when Cumberbatch plays genius mathematician Alan Turing in the festival hit The Imitation Game, but the actor is apparently ready to break the cycle. He doesn't want to always be the smart guy anymore. He wants to be dumb.
This funny revelation comes from The Hollywood Reporter, having been present for a press conference Cumberbatch took part in prior to the screening of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival. Talking about his penchant for playing eccentric geniuses, the actor noted that he actually has quite a bit of range that he would be more than happy to show off to movie audiences. "[I] play stupid people as well you know," the Sherlock star said to the crew of reporters. "If anyone’s got any other stupid people I can play, let me know."
Of course, while it's easy to lump together all of the smarty-pants roles that Cumberbatch has played in the last few years, the actor also stressed that his most recent role is something special and different from the material we've come to best know him for. Going into The Imitation Game, there certainly must have been concern on his part that his performance as Alan Turing would draw too many comparisons to his brilliant version of Sherlock Holmes, but those anxieties disappeared as he read his way through the script. Said Cumberbatch,
"He doesn’t swish around in a coat and curly hair, demonstrating how brilliant he is; he’s a very quiet, stoic and yeah, someone who is smart. But the way he has to operate as an outsider and as someone who is at all different is something that was very much out of the conditions of his life. I didn’t read the script and go ‘Oh, this is Sherlock in tweed, messing around with valves."
Reports and reviews have suggested that Benedict Cumberbatch will play a very big role in this year's Oscar race thanks to his turn as Alan Turing, but let's not forget that plenty of hardware has been handed out to actors playing individuals with less than average intelligence. If he wants to find that kind of success, however, he may want to take this helpful advice:
The Imitation Game will be in theaters on November 21st.