Happy Birthday to Benedict CUMBERBATCH; the utterly splendid Benedict Timothy Carlton CUMBERBATCH, who is 38 years old today.
Most of you already know this, are aware of the fact that I'm rather taken with Benedict CUMBERBATCH. You see he is an actor, and he has played the role of Sherlock Holmes (See my previous BLOG Post on SHERLOCK HOLMES). I have loved Sherlock Holmes, from the moment I purchased my first Canon. I just fell in Love.
You are not supposed to love Sherlock HOLMES. Sherlock HOLMES isn't loveable. He is damaged. "It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love... All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind." (SCAN), but yet somehow, there is something about his 'alone' that is quite upsetting, heart breaking, and I wanted to alleviate his pain. He doesn't want to need anyone. He doesn't trust, and he doesn't need, and he doesn't love - or perhaps he fears trusting and fears needing and fears loving someone, in case that trust is broken and that need is violated or abused, and the love not returned. To my mind, Benedict manages to make Sherlock human, yet is aware of those nuances of the character, those fine distinctions, those idiosyncrasies which make Holmes Holmes, which make him bonkers and brilliant, and damaged and a loner and "a brain without a heart" (GREE).
He (Benedict) has played the role of Professor Stephen HAWKING (See my previous BLOG Post on HAWKING). I remember the first time I saw the 2004 film I didn't even know who Benedict CUMBERBATCH was, I just remember being very impressed at the time with the acting, with the sensitivity towards the role, with the way that the determination and dignity with which Professor HAWKING accomplished what he did, completing his PhD, whilst bravely facing the unknown in terms of his health and medical condition was captured. In the 2013 film about Professor HAWKING, Benedict is interviewed and he talks very articulately about Motor Neurone Disease (MND), which really is the most terribly cruel neurological condition. He expressed perfectly the "feelings of vulnerability" and the "terrifying prospect" of "a body that locks you in". This is something I can relate to living with MS, which is a very different, but an equally cruel neurological condition.
He has played Major Jamie Stewart in the film of War Horse (See my previous BLOG Post on WAR HORSE). I admit I haven't seen the film (I did go and see the National Theatre Live production of War Horse) as I am still traumatised from reading 'Black Beauty' as a child, but I am sure Benedict is splendid in it, and he learnt to ride a horse to play the part.
He has played Christopher TIETJENS in Tom STOPPARD's adaptation of Ford MADDOX FORD's 'Parade's End'. A powerful story set in the dying days of the Edwardian English Empire, covering a ten-year span before, during and after the First World War. The glorious story of Christopher TIETJENS, a brilliant government statistician from a wealthy Yorkshire landowning family, "a man born out of his time but ultimately a hero" his wife, Silva TIETJENS, his "damaged, bored, dangerously privileged wife", and Valentine WANNOP, a young pacifist suffragette. "Valentine, an extraordinary young kindred spirit and intellect who provokes him into ‘gathering his thoughts’ and who fells him like a lightning bolt with her boyish beauty and pluck." This is utterly perfect. And I admit I fell a little bit in love with both Christopher and Valentine.
Recently Benedict has, arguably become somewhat ubiquitous: Star Trek Into Darkness; Twelve Years a Slave; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; August: Osange County; and he seems to 'pop up' in various places (i.e. at The Oscars, with a pretty spectacular photo bomb of U2) and be on various Chat Shows (on Jimmy Kimmel Live readingR. Kelly's "Genius"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNPp74zh8lM) and Adverts (for Jaguar 'Alive'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5kCfXIPcfw), and be the subject of numerous articles and interviews and he was even at Chelsea Flower Show this year with Wanda VENTHAM (his Mum); and in Singapore for the F1 Racing and also in Monaco for the Monaco Grand Prix and Paris for the Tennis. Basically, it is fair to say, he gets about a bit.
Cumberbatchweb (http://www.benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/is a fantastic website for all things Benedict) and it is raising funds for The Princes Trust in honour of Benedict's 38th birthday. So if you want to do something for Benedict's Birthday you can donate at:
http://www.justgiving.com/CumberbatchwebPT or you can donate by text by sending the code BCPT73 and the amount you want to donate (£1 £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10) to70070
So, Happy 38th Birthday Benedict CUMBERBATCH. You are splendid. Wherever you are and whatever you do, celebrate in style and have a wonderful day. I am sure that you will.