“It’s not a massive development of the character, it’s about how to service the story,” Cumberbatch said of his role in the MCU.
Benedict Cumberbatch admits it’s difficult to bring an emotional center to Doctor Strange in Marvel movies.
The “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” star revealed how he gets into character for the MCU films. “It’s not some sort of acting gym where you’re stripping off layers of self to reveal a layer of truth all the time,” Cumberbatch said in an interview with The Talks. “You are working to do some of that but in the heartbeat of making a massive film like ‘The Avengers,’ for example, it can be tough getting that one moment of emotion absolutely nailed in five minutes because that’s all the time they have because of the other, bigger things around it.”
Cumberbatch continued, “In this instance, it’s not a massive development of the character, it’s about how to service the story at the same time as balancing the integrity of a now much-loved part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, I learn on every job. I would like to think I learn. I learn by watching other people. It was wonderful to watch Robert [Downey Jr.]. It is wonderful to watch him, and to watch people who really know what they are playing inside out.”
When asked if joining the MCU marked a new milestone in his career coming off TV series “Sherlock,” Cumberbatch replied, “Well, as for this being a bigger pond than ‘Sherlock’…I don’t think it is. I think ‘Sherlock’ for me has had a bigger reach than something like ‘Doctor Strange’ because it’s television; it’s more democratic, more people have seen it. The reach that program has had is extraordinary.”
He continued, “It was a sort of stink bomb that I knew was going to go the minute I said yes to doing the role. But I didn’t know just how big it would be — it surprised all of us who made it. But you know, I don’t think, like, ‘It’s getting bigger and more exposing.’ I am not really interested in going up and up and up. I don’t think there is much further to go anyway; I like an unrestricted flow of movement — up or down — as far as career goes.”
The two-time Oscar nominee practices Buddhist meditation to “access a stillness in the mind” and separate himself from his thoughts. “It’s not some wishy-washy thing that is cool to do because the Beatles were doing it,” he said. “It has been empiricized along with sleep. I like sleep as well but as a dad you don’t get too much of that. And anyone can do it!”
Meditation is “very helpful” with calming the “noise” of productions, at times.
“You know, I am glad I had that experience before I began my career, and also that I came to fame late in my career, comparatively. It definitely helps to rebalance and reboot and go, ‘Oh, that’s where you’re at, that’s what’s dragging you away, how to find your center again. Being in the present and in the moment is in the heart of what we do as actors,’” the “Power of the Dog” actor said. “Amongst the smokes and mirrors of it all, it is about being present.”