Jamie Neish: Everyone is mad about our Ben

WHAT is it about Benedict Cumberbatch that has everyone in such a tizzy?
Benedict Cumberbatch. Pic: CompBenedict Cumberbatch. Pic: Comp
Benedict Cumberbatch. Pic: Comp

The hotly in-demand English actor has been around since the early 2000s when he starred in episodes of Silent Witness, Heartbeat and Spooks.

He quickly graduated to films, with supporting roles in Atonement and Starter for Ten, among others, but his star didn’t truly rise until 2011, when he drew acclaim for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and War Horse.

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That was also around the time Sherlock started, a BBC series based on the famous detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that was eaten up by critics and audiences alike.

But, though strong enough in every one of his films I’ve seen, it still baffles me as to why Cumberbatch is so desired, especially when rumours circulated that he might play the title role in Marvel’s confirmed Doctor Strange film. Of all the actors around his age, why him?

The same can be said for a lot of the other films he’s been in. Sure, the film world has always had ‘It’ actors and actresses - someone who is put up for every high profile role for a few years or so.

Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Pattinson are some of the names that come to mind.

But the trouble with having an ‘It’ star is that every other half-decent actor or actress has no chance.

And that’s where my issue with Cumberbatch lies. I understand that it’s not his fault that he is so in-demand.

But what about everyone else? The films that Cumberbatch has coming up in the next few years easily could have gone elsewhere - perhaps Eddie Redmayne, Garrett Hedlund or Nicholas Hoult, all of whom are more than capable.

So, if you’re listening casting people. Stop focusing on one person and give others a shot too.