The Nominee: Benedict Cumberbatch

The Imitation Game2

With awards season well underway, I thought it would be fun to write about the careers of award nominated actors and actresses, past and present, in a new feature called “The Nominee.”   And the first feature goes to: Benedict Cumberbatch.

I have to admit that before The Fifth Estate, I hadn’t heard much about Benedict Cumberbatch.  He wasn’t the household face he’s since become.  Nowadays, I hear his name all of the time.  As is the case with any nominee during movie awards season, they get a lot of exposure, and Cumberbatch is about to become even more exposed after receiving his first Oscar nomination for The Imitation Game. 

Benedict Cumberbatch seems like an interesting guy.  He has proven that he can headline both a major motion picture (The Imitation Game) and a BBC miniseries (Sherlock).  He has showcased his silly side by unexpectedly photo bombing U2 at the Oscars and Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes.  He has also displayed his knack for doing uncanny impressions of other actors, a different kind of “imitation game,” if you will, with great hilarity.  His diehard female fans have even assigned themselves a special moniker: the cumberbitches.

I wasn’t surprised to see that Cumberbatch has several films slated for release in the years ahead.  He`s working a lot.  What surprised me more was looking back at his previous work and some of the films he’d been in that I either haven’t seen yet or honestly didn’t remember he’d been in, namely Atonement, Star Trek into Darkness and August: Osage County.  He`s building quite the resume and showcasing great versatility as an actor.

He held his own in the blockbuster sci-fi sequel to Star Trek; he didn`t fade into the background of the female-dominated ensemble drama August: Osage County and he was funny as the voice behind the smooth-talking wolf in the animated film Penguins of Madagascar. He’s done a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and he’s doing it all quite handily.

People love him as Sherlock Holmes.  Women adore him, and men and women alike appreciate his characterization of the popular detective.  He seems to have a penchant for playing odd and brilliant men.  He won a primetime Emmy for his role as Sherlock; there’s his Oscar-nominated turn as Alan Turing – the man who broke the Enigma code for the allies in WWII, and soon he’ll be hitting the stage to play two of Shakespeare’s most infamous odd men, Richard III and Hamlet

While Cumberbatch faces tough competition in the Best Actor race this year, there is no doubt that he will win an Oscar in the future if he continues to diversify as an actor.  And, hey, who needs an Oscar when you’ve got millions of cumberbitches singing your praises?