Benedict Cumberbatch: ‘Playing Geniuses Keeps Me Grounded’
Benedict Cumberbatch attends The Current War premiere during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theater on September 9, 2017 in Toronto, Canada – Photo: Leonard Adam/Getty Images North America.
Benedict Cumberbatch says playing maverick geniuses helps keep him grounded because this has made him realize just how far apart he is to them.
The Sherlock star plays inventor Thomas Edison in The Current War and has previously portrayed code-breaker Alan Turing.
But learning about these men has only made him realizes the fathoms between himself and such greatness, he said.
Speaking at The Current War world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, he also likened Edison and George Westinghouse, who battled to have their own electrical power systems triumph, to the tech giants of today.
Cumberbatch, 41, told the Press Association: “One of the reasons I’m interested in playing characters with intelligence is it builds me up a little bit and keeps me grounded.
“It makes you realize how many fathom-deep distances there are between you and who you are playing.
“It’s about bringing a character to life and that requires another skill-set which isn’t so much about being a maverick genius.”
Nocturnal Animals actor Michael Shannon plays entrepreneur Westinghouse while Nicholas Hoult portrays Nikola Tesla.
Edison and Westinghouse warred over whose favored supply would win, with the former heralding direct current (DC) and the latter alternating current (AC).
Their competition and desire to change the world forever is not unlike those of Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, late Apple pioneer Steve Jobs, tech pioneer Elon Musk and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Cumberbatch said.
“It’s about what people do when they’re really in live-or-die competition with one another and what people are willing to do in the commercial arena to win but also what it costs,” he said.
“There’s a lot of Jobs and Gates and Musk and Zuckerberg … the extraordinary-ness of people in that world is very, very clear today.”
© Press Association 2017