Cumberbatch talks Doctor Strange and seeing Turing in Apple logos

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch reveals his feelings about playing comic book superhero Doctor Strange and why he notices genius Alan Turing's influence in unexpected places.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read

Benedict Cumberbatch impresses fans and critics alike as Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game." Black Bear Pictures

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch is well known for playing geniuses both fictional and real. His portrayal of Sherlock Holmes made him a household name, but it's his stellar performance of real-life codebreaker and mathematician Alan Turing that may give him a workout walking onstage to accept awards this year.

Cumberbatch has already received best-actor noms from both the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes for his moving portrait of Turing in " The Imitation Game." His complete dedication to the role has left the actor seeing Turing pop up in some unexpected places.

"The tech we hold in our hands -- every time I see an Apple logo, every time I send someone an email or think about what computers are doing, these universal machines people across the world are using because the coding is universal -- that was his concept and his design," Cumberbatch told the Wall Street Journal.

On top of promoting "The Imitation Game" and attending awards events, Cumberbatch has recently wrapped filming "The Hollow Crown" playing Richard III -- whom journalists have been hinting could be a family relation. His busy schedule continues with a 12-week run of Hamlet at London's Barbican Theater this summer and his upcoming lead role in Marvel superhero movie "Doctor Strange."

Cumberbatch never shies away from a challenging role -- he played ""="" shortcode="link" asset-type="article" uuid="c40eb6f2-83ed-11e3-86d7-14feb5ca9861" slug="star-trek-into-darkness-trailer-sees-cumberbatch-boldly-go-bad" link-text="Khan in " section="news" title="Star Trek Into Darkness trailer sees Cumberbatch boldly go bad" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key" api="{"id":"c40eb6f2-83ed-11e3-86d7-14feb5ca9861","slug":"star-trek-into-darkness-trailer-sees-cumberbatch-boldly-go-bad","contentType":null,"edition":"us","topic":{"slug":"home-entertainment"},"metaData":{"typeTitle":null,"hubTopicPathString":"Home Entertainment","reviewType":null},"section":"news"}"> after all. So when rumors began swirling around the Web that he would be playing the mystical Marvel superhero Doctor Strange, fans speculated how the actor would be tackling the risky role.

"I don't think it's a risk because of Marvel," Cumberbatch told the WSJ. "Marvel is a stable of bringing out ordinary comic characters and turning them into screen-like gods. It's very different, it's an Astral Plane."

Considering Doctor Strange's origin story about meeting the Ancient One who instructs him on the mystic arts, Cumberbatch's pre-acting past teaching English to Tibetan Buddhist monks in India may come in handy. "It's quite a way off but I'm very excited about that spiritual dimension, obviously," Cumberbatch said. "I took a lot of stuff away from my experience in Darjeeling, West Bengal, right at the Nepali border. It was Tibetan Buddhist monks in a converted Nepali house in India, with a view of Bhutan. It was a profoundly formative experience at a very young age. It's something I've tried to keep in my life."

While Cumberbatch is excited to play the unusual superhero, he's quick to point out that he was not intimately familiar with the character by reading comics. In fact, comic books were not a large part of his childhood.

"Growing up, no I didn't read many comics at all," Cumberbatch told the WSJ. "There weren't many comics in my household. We didn't have Marvel so much. But you can bet your bottom dollar I'm reading them now, avidly."

This fan art of Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange caused quit a stir online. Don Franco