If you've gone online, turned on a TV, or stepped into a movie theater at all over the last couple of years, you've definitely seen Benedict Cumberbatch's name at least fifty times somewhere. The guy seems to be everywhere lately, and I'm certainly not complaining. Not only is he a fantastic actor who deserves every ounce of recognition he gets, he's also just an absolute delight with a killer sense of humor. Let's take a look back at some of his best moments, because he's certainly had a few.
Best Acting Moments
1. Sherlock (2010-?)
Obviously. It's impossible to settle on just one clip to showcase the brilliance that is Cumberbatch's performance as the famous detective, a role that won him an Emmy in 2014. But here's a classic scene from "The Hounds of Baskerville" that I have personally watched a hundred times, in awe of his rapid fire delivery and clear diction.
2. Smaug (2013)
There's no denying that Andy Serkis is the reigning king of motion capture acting, but I would argue that Cumberbatch gives him a run for his money. Check out this behind the scenes clip from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and see for yourself. Not many actors could give this kind of performance while in a grey onesie and covered with dots.
3. Frankenstein (2011)
If you were lucky enough to catch this National Theater production on a movie screen, or even on stage (in which case, I am incredibly jealous of you), then this goes without saying. Cumberbatch's performance, whether as the scientist or as the creature, was mesmerizing. He alternated roles with co-star Jonny Lee Miller each night, but really shined as Frankenstein's monster, when he altered his voice and entire physicality until he became just about unrecognizable.
4. Hawking (2004)
Ten years before Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar for portraying Stephen Hawking in 2014's The Theory of Everything, Cumberbatch tackled the role in a smaller BBC telveision film, a part that earned him his first BAFTA nomination. The movie is definitely worth a watch, and let's face it, it's always fun to watch an actor's earliest, "before-they-were-household-names," roles.
5. Neverwhere (2013) & Cabin Pressure (2008-2014)
Ok, this is technically two things, but I just can't decide--because both are so good and so different. Radio plays may not really be a thing stateside, but across the pond, they really have some good ones. And happily for us, they allow Cumberbatch to showcase his best feature (ok, one of his best features): that voice. The man has an incredible range, with the ability to reach ridiculous octaves both high and low. Just listen to these two clips and you'll see what I mean.
Best Non-Acting Moments
6. The Beyoncé Walk
Whenever Benedict Cumberbatch appears on The Graham Norton Show, you know it's going to be a good time. He may tackle a giant teddy bear, butcher the word "penguin," photobomb his own wax figure. You just never know. He may even show off his sassiest walk if "Crazy in Love" starts playing. A man after my own heart, honestly.
7. "Candle in The Wind," As Alan Rickman
We've already established that Cumberbatch is the master of voice box manipulator. This means that he is also great at impressions, with the late Alan Rickman's signature low, drawling tones being the best in his repertoire. Add a spontaneous Elton John cover, and you pretty much have comedy gold.
8. Saturday Night Live, "Why Is Benedict Cumberbatch Hot?"
In which SNL tackles the important issues.
9. A Drunken Acceptance Speech
There seems to be this common misconception about British actors, that they are serious, straight-laced thespians who only drink tea. Needless to say a delightfully tipsy Cumberbatch smashed this stereotype with his acceptance speech at 2014's GQ Men of the Year Awards, his face slightly flushed, his words slightly slurred. And really, ending a speech with "I'll see you in the loo" is equivalent to a mic drop in the Queen's English.
10. Photobombing U2
Nobody, and I mean nobody, had more fun at the 2014 Academy Awards than Benedict Cumberbatch. Sure, he came for 12 Years a Slave, but he stayed for the photoboming opportunities. I'm not sure what possessed him in this specific moment, whether it was the spirit of a good-humored pogo stick or the jolliest kangaroo, but I am grateful for it, because whatever it was, it gave us this truly beautiful moment: