I cannot claim to be a trendsetter. I’d never heard of Mumford & Sons until about a year ago, and I just got a Twitter. My friends have long been concerned about my lack of cultural awareness and have staged various interventions. Two weeks ago, I finally gave in and watched the first episode of Sherlock season one.
So began my growing obsession with the wonderfully British Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch. Thankfully, I am not behind on this particular trend.
No one can deny the fantastic acting and storytelling that are standard across British television. From Downton Abbey to Doctor Who, from Skins to Misfits, there is just something about British productions that draws us Americans in.
Cumberbatch has appeared in a dozen classic theater productions, and he received a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for his part in Hedda Gabler. He has also agreed to act in Shakespeare’s Hamlet at London’s West End at the end of the year. Of course he’ll play Hamlet.
Cumberbatch’s extensive theater background is impressive and proves his talents as an actor; but, it doesn’t explain his sudden skyrocket to fame and adoration. Fangirls like myself have Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss to thank for that. They gave Cumberbatch the role he was born to play: Sherlock Holmes. Cumberbatch has officially put the iconic deerstalker hat back in style.
It was fate that Cumberbatch should land this role. Having watched him play Paul Marshall in Atonement back in 2007, Moffat and Gatiss knew instantly that Cumberbatch was made to play Holmes. Talent like his doesn’t go unnoticed for long.
His fans, self-dubbed “Cumberbitches,” created a Twitter profile dedicated to analyzing every single movement of the dreamy blue-eyed star. They also have a Facebook page, Pinterest Handle, and numerous Tumblrs all in the name of Mr. Cumberbatch.
Cumberbatch, being the epitome of gentlemanly goodness, tells The Times newspaper in an interview with Caitlin Moran that he refuses to actually use the term “Cumberbitch.”
“I won’t allow you to be my bitches. I think it sets feminism back so many notches. You are... Cumberpeople,” he says.
If that doesn’t get your heart pumping, you only have to look at his most recent movie roles by taking in his greatness on the big screen. His role in the latest Star Trek movie and in The Hobbit franchise have broadened his fan base considerably. He’s come along way from the boys’ boarding school he attended in London (after which he spent a gap year teaching English in Tibet).
I now find myself searching the Internet to find random factoids about my favorite detective. I could go on for hours about the fact that Cumberbatch can sing, do a killer Alan Rickman impression, and accessorize perfectly. With Cumberbatch’s following reaching Justin Bieber heights, it is no surprise that the Sherlock star is a staple over at Buzzfeed. I suspect 2014 will be a good year for Cumberbatch.