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Benedict Cumberbatch: Parents discouraged my ridiculous choice of occupation

‘Parents discouraged my ridiculous choice of occupation’ – Benedict Cumberbatch (Ian West/ PA)
‘Parents discouraged my ridiculous choice of occupation’ – Benedict Cumberbatch (Ian West/ PA)

Benedict Cumberbatch says he was inspired to be an actor after seeing his mother perform but was discouraged from the “ridiculous choice of occupation” by his parents.

The Sherlock star said he was happy not to have been a child actor but was now “thrilled” to share his work with his parents, who are both actors.

“I got bitten very early when I saw my mum perform,” he told W magazine.

Benedict Cumberbatch interviews
The actor said he had been inspired to act by his mother but was ‘happy’ not to have been a child actor (Ian West/ PA)

“I wasn’t a child actor, I’m happy about that. Nothing against people like my good cast members who have been, but I’m happy I had the experience I had.

He continued: “(My parents) discouraged it, of course they did.

“They were old enough when they’d had me to know that it was a ridiculous choice of occupation.”

But describing the moment he had revealed his ambitions to them he said: “There was a moment in a car park, I must have been in my early twenties; I was at university.

“I played Antonio Salieri in Amadeus, and I came out and said goodnight to them, and Dad got a hold of me by the shoulder and went, ‘look, you are better at this now than I ever was or ever will be’.

The Power of the Dog UK premiere – BFI London Film Festival 2021
Cumberbatch has recently starred in Jane Campion’s 2021 dark western The Power Of The Dog, alongside Kodi Smit-McPhee (left) and Kirsten Dunst (right) (Ian West/ PA)

“Half of the reason I’m doing it is just to go, ‘It’s going to be alright. I’m really enjoying this, and here’s my work’.

“I’m thrilled to show it to them and share it with them.”

Cumberbatch has recently starred in Jane Campion’s 2021 dark western The Power Of The Dog, alongside Kodi Smit-McPhee and Kirsten Dunst.

The film, which revolves around the relationship between a gruff cowboy (Cumberbatch) and a timid young man (Smit-McPhee) has already won three Golden Globes.

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