Why Benedict Cumberbatch Can Thank Reddit For His New TV Show

Patrick Melrose Benedict Cumberbatch Patrick Melrose Showtime

The internet is a magical place that can sometimes lead to life-changing experiences. Of course, those life-changing experiences may come a bit easier when you're Benedict Cumberbatch and you're stating an interest in a previously adapted work will make any producer worth their salt see dollar signs. Cumberbatch revealed that he had Reddit to thank for his starring role in the upcoming Showtime limited series Patrick Melrose, and said it was an that AMA ended up landing him the gig:

Michael Jackson and Rachael Horovitz had the rights to the Patrick Melrose series of books by Edward St Aubyn and they came to me. I knew there'd be a broad bracket of actors who had also probably read the books and gone, 'Hmm, wouldn't mind a stab at that.' 'I was just very, very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I voiced my desire on a Reddit forum and I got a call!

Benedict Cumberbatch's moment came in a 2013 Reddit AMA after being asked what literary character he would play if he could choose his role. Cumberbatch, who has portrayed Sherlock Holmes, Smaug The Dragon, and other famous literary characters, plainly stated the character Patrick Melrose was his choice, and the rest is history. The call was only the beginning, however, as Cumberbatch then had to meet with Michael Jackson (the producer) and Rachael Horovitz for breakfast while he was still in New York. Though he often looks calm and collected on screen, Cumberbatch recalled to Metro he was quite nervous the night before the meeting and the morning of and was rereading the final two novels in order to adequately prep for the big moment.

Everything worked out though, and now Benedict Cumberbatch has his Reddit AMA to thank for his upcoming role in Patrick Melrose and whatever comes along with it. To date, the answer might be the most relevant part of his Reddit AMA, which was done to promote the release of his film at the time, The Fifth Estate. That may not have been the case had Cumberbatch took the compliments on his blonde hair a little too close to heart and completely transformed his career by refusing to ever have dark hair again, so fans should be thankful not every moment from this AMA was a prophecy.

Benedict Cumberbatch wasn't just blowing smoke when he said playing Patrick Melrose was a dream role, as it sounds as though he's put a lot of work into making sure he got the character right. This included learning the correct way to shoot up heroin, as well as figuring out the headspace of a long-term junkie with money. Fortunately, it doesn't appear as though Cumberbatch tried out some method acting with this role, so the world shouldn't expect his snowballing career to break down anytime soon.

Showtime's limited series Patrick Melrose premieres Saturday, May 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET. The series is just one of many shows that are coming to television in 2018, so anyone who has no clue what other things are on the horizon should visit our midseason and summer premiere guides and find out.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.