Today: April 10, 2024

The Rise Of Benedict Cumberbatch

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch has a career spanning over 15 years. However it was his performance in Sherlock that, arguably, won him fame and fortune.

His latest role sees him play a state senator in Black Mass, who also happens to be the brother of one of history’s most violent criminals; James ‘Whitey’ Bulger (Johnny Depp). To celebrate the release of Black Mass on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on March 21 and on Digital HD March 19th, we take a look at Benedict Cumberbatch’s rise to fame.

Born in London, he starred in school plays before attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He graduated with a Masters in Classical Acting which won him numerous theatre roles as well as small parts in television shows like Silent Witness and Spooks. In 2004 he got, arguably, his ‘big break’, portraying Stephen Hawking in Hawking. His performance received critical acclaim and he was nominated for a BAFTA award.

He went on to star in other films including comedy Starter For 10 and The Other Boleyn Girl. But it was Sherlock that propelled him into superstardom. Cumberbatch quickly built up a fan following, largely made up of teenage girls, who refer to themselves as ‘Cumberbitches’. Fans even have their own hashtag #cumberwatch to track his exact whereabouts.

Soon Hollywood started calling and films such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse, Star Trek: Into the Darkness and an unexpected turn in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (as the voice of Smaug) made him an increasingly popular figure on both sides of the Pond.

Currently Cumberbatch has several projects in the works, including the much anticipated Doctor Strange. He is also starring in Warner Brother’s live-action adaptation of Jungle Book, called Jungle Book: Origins in which he will play Shere Khan the tiger. A new series of Sherlock has also been commissioned, and is expected to be aired in 2017. All of which should be guaranteed to keep those ‘Cumberbitches’ very happy.

 Black Mass is on Blu-ray and DVD March 21 and Digital HD March 19th.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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