Benedict Cumberbatch is a powerhouse of an actor, having recently been Oscar-nominated for his role in The Power of the Dog. Many of his fans first knew him though, as the slightly “unhinged” world-famous detective, Sherlock Holmes from the BBC drama Sherlock. While it has been years since he hung up the hat of the renowned sleuth, the actor believes that the character shares a lot of similarities with one of his most famous roles — MCU’s Doctor Stephen Strange.
While there are some obvious similarities — both are geniuses, have quite the ego and a penchant for sporting a decent upturned collar — Cumberbatch believes it goes even deeper than that.
In a recent interview with KCRW, the actor talked about how he approached the role of Doctor Strange, especially the Stephen Strange we see prior to his accident and his little jaunt to Nepal. Doctor Strange is initially egotistical, abrupt, and measures his worth through his intellect.
“I think it’s the sort of slightly Sherlockian coloring of his character, and God knows they were influenced by him. He definitely viewed people as a problem to be solved in a very Sherlockian way. His human touch, his bedside manner is kind of never in existence. It was all about the process of solving the case, in this case, the difficulty of surgery.”
Doctor Strange really doesn’t seem to mind ruffling feathers with his co-workers as he openly mocks and degrades a fellow physician for an incorrect diagnosis, much like the relationship between Sherlock and Inspector Lestrade. But everyone has to put up with up and simply take it, because, well, he is a genius who solves impossible cases, criminal or medicinal.
Even after Strange is shown the realm of the mystic arts and is somewhat humbled, the personality traits that he had are still there to a degree. Just like Sherlock, he prefers to shun personal relationships and any sort of intimacy. “I think it’s very apparent that he’s in isolation there. And it costs him a relationship in that first film. And that’s a choice,” the actor added.
Even within the MCU, Doctor Strange isn’t really a part of the Avengers, only teaming up with them in the last Avenger film because of the dire position the universe was facing. According to Cumberbatch, Strange “holds his position as an adult on the periphery.”
But that may have to change in his upcoming outing as the mystic protector. “There’s always a moment where he has to work with people and team up. And you know, we might see that in the next film; you have to wait and see,” he added.
Cumberbatch is set to return in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness heading to cinemas this May 6.