While literally dozens of actors have played the role of Sherlock Holmes it is now hard to imagine anyone but Benedict Cumberbatch portraying the super sleuth in Sherlock, the subject of this week’s Entertainment Weekly cover story. But Cumberbatch thought twice when Sherlock cocreators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss originally offered him the part which, over the past few years, has propelled him from relatively unknown character actor to global star. Why? Precisely because he was concerned the role might do just that.
“My reservation was ‘Well, this is a very iconic character, there will be a lot of attention on it,’” says Cumberbatch. “This was before I had had any significant success [but] I knew there would still be a lot of focus on it. And while I had done work, it wasn’t stepping into the populist limelight like playing a character like Holmes. So I did have a pause for thought.”
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