Oscar nominee and Shakespearean actor Benedict Cumberbatch is stepping into a new role this weekend: Marvel superhero.
He plays Stephen Strange in Dr. Strange, a brilliant neurosurgeon with an unchecked ego who turns to the mystical arts after an accident ends his medical career.
Kim Holcomb talked to Cumberbatch about the movie, who inspires him, and what’s on his iPod.
HOLCOMB: "Your character has an enviable knowledge of music. Who are you listening to?”
CUMBERBATCH: “A lot, a lot. I just listened to a new track by the Weeknd on the way in, and huge heroes of mine are Radiohead. They can do no wrong and that was a great moment this year when they released that album A Moon Shaped Pool, so I listen to that a lot."
HOLCOMB: "(Dr. Strange) learns something through humility. Have you ever had an experience like that in your life where you were better for it?”
CUMBERBATCH: “Daily, daily, daily. Yeah, it's something I've said in an interview - like now, I'll probably go and say, ‘Ah I shouldn't have said that. Hopefully I've learned my lesson.’ (laughs) But no, all the time. And I think it could be miniscule or very violent and large and I'd had a few adventures and a few near scrapes, and come out the better for those, I think."
HOLCOMB: "One of the things I love in this film is the notion of a teacher being able to help a person find their purpose. Did someone do that for you?”
CUMBERBATCH: “Many, my parents primarily. I owe them everything. They taught me how hard work and endeavor brings rewards, they taught me about the risks of my particular profession, the ups and the downs, and the respect that they garner from their peers is something I set as a gold standard, they're so loved and admired, so if I'm doing half as good a job as they are, I'm living up to very high standards."
HOLCOMB: "One of the things I think is really fascinating in the Marvel universe is that so many of the actors who are being cast in these films have a background on stage, and particularly with Shakespeare. Is that helpful?”
CUMBERBATCH "You know, Shakespeare was writing using obviously language as a primary tool and now we write with extraordinary cinematic images, but the themes are very often the same. Like Shakespeare, this is a film that’s populist, but it's trying to appeal to all levels - from the guy who's just bought his ticket to the queen - in Elizabethan times with Shakespeare and, who knows, maybe the queen will watch this one? (laughs)."
Dr. Strange is rated PG-13 and released on DVD February 28th.