Benedict wins more fans with deft handling of fans

2014-09-11 00:00

LOS ANGELES — Benedict Cumberbatch gained even more fans at Tuesday’s Toronto screening of The Imitation Game, not only for his great performance, but for his deft handling of drooling fans at the Q&A afterwards.

The audience, visibly moved, gave the cast and film-makers a rousing ovation when they came onstage afterwards, with special enthusiasm for Cumberbatch. But when the fest’s Cameron Bailey invited questions, one woman began, “Benedict, I think you’re actually quite yummy” and then rambled for a long time and concluded by asking “if I can taste your deliciousness”.

After a second’s pause, Cumberbatch gave a deadpan sigh that he’d been talking about the complex life and sad death of the brilliant Alan Turing, “and now I'm being called yummy … Oh, the jingle-jangle …”

Cumberbatch managed to bring the conversation back to the real-life Turing, saying he hoped his performance showed the humour and humanity of the mathematician, who was socially awkward and often tormented. “I tried to play his learning curves as a human being. I found him inspiring,” said the actor, concluding that “for all his differences, he’s one of us”.

Cumberbatch also politely handled the multiple questions from the audience that had already been answered. One woman asked how playing Turing will affect his next role, to which he replied “Hopefully not at all, because I'm playing Richard III.”

Though there were 10 people onstage, the focus of the audience questions was clearly Cumberbatch. However, director Morten Tyldum was able to state that he felt a huge responsibility to be accurate with Game and said, “I want the film to be a celebration of those who are different”.

The film, which is building Oscar buzz, bowed at Telluride, will play at other fests including London, and opens in the UK and U.S. in November.

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