Sherlock: The Abominable Bride Promo…


As Thanksgiving draws near we’re thankful for these NEW Sherlock photos! 

Get a closer look at the upcoming special – portraits, behind-the-scenes and more at

xx (full round table)
Benedict Cumberbatch chats about taking his Sherlock Holmes back to the 
Victorian era in the Sherlock Special, The Abominable Bride…Back in February of this year, details on the Sherlock 
Christmas Special were thinner on the ground than incriminating 
footprints after heavy rain. We had no title, trailer or synopsis for 
the Victorian-set episode, just a single image of Benedict Cumberbatch 
and Martin Freeman decked out in nineteenth-century clobber.Armed with only that, it was the task of a group of journalists 
visiting the set to turn detective and find out what could be deduced 
about the Special. Facing cast and creators well-used to the ducks and 
dives of interviews able to reveal almost nothing, below are the results
 of a rapid-fire interrogation of Benedict Cumberbatch…How did you respond when they said they wanted to do a Victorian Holmes?I was thrilled! I went, at last, I can have a fucking 
haircut [laughter] I can slick it back and not have that ridiculous mop 
of curls on my head. And then I went you’re mad, what?The first pitch was quite light. It was at the end of the third 
episode of the last season and I genuinely didn’t understand how they 
were going to get away with it. And then the more detailed pitch came 
when they were talking about series four as well and I went, okay, this 
is going to be great fun. And it really is.It’s so nice to play him in his era. The things that are slightly 
more heavy-lifting in the modern era in that there’s a man clearly 
slightly out of his time, it’s put him back in the era that he’s written
 in originally, it’s a joy. It feels easier to a degree. It’s just 
things that I tried to impose a little bit on our modern version, things
 like physicality, stature, a lot of that’s done by the body of the 
clothing and collars and the deerstalker and cape, so that’s an absolute
 delight. Yet it doesn’t feel like cliché because you’re functioning in them
 rather than quoting them. You’re not just bringing them out, they were 
functional in that era, they were de rigeur items of fashion which have 
just become iconic for him, but also very useful.Has the change in period affected your performance?I’m sure it has.Sherlock is more at peace with his surroundings and environment?A little bit, a little bit. When he’s in full Victorian swing, it’s a really lovely feeling.Is he still rude?Yes, he is still rude because he cuts through mediocrity. He’s a 
meritician, it’s a meritocracy, so it doesn’t matter if you’re Lord and 
Lady such-what or if you’re driving a hansom cab, or if you’re one of 
the Baker Street boys, it’s just purely about what your worth is and 
your qualities, it’s not about social standing. So yeah, he is still 
rude. He’s rude to idiots or people who are pompous or sexist…he’s quite
 a crusader in that regard. That’s always enjoyable to be.What’s the relationship between him and Watson? Is Watson more in awe of Holmes?I think there’s always a bit of respect rather than awe.Is there still the ‘bromance’?You just really want to write the word ‘bromance’ [laughter]There can’t be an article without it in there!There can. You can be the first! Strive for change in the press. [Laughter]It’s definitely a companionship that’s evolved in our version, so 
we’re not regressing it back to ‘wow! Golly Holmes’ or some kind of 
Nigel Bruce-esque adoration, it’s more complex than that. It is an 
examination of what they were in the original stories but with our 
flavour.We don’t want to make it into a sketch, we don’t want to make it into
 something ridiculous or comic but at the same time, because we want to 
be true to the original but at the same time we’ve got to be true to our
 version of it. It’s that very delicate balancing act.Is there an element of mischief in deciding to do this now?Not too much. No, not too much.Because it’s confounding what fans are going to expect following a cliff-hanger?Possibly.But there’s some fun in that?Yeah. I suppose there’s some sort of gleeful hand-rubbing, if it’s 
needed, from Mark and Steven, but when you’re playing it, you just get 
on and do the thing. You’re committed to what you’re playing.Because of the traditional setting, do you feel the weight of other portraits of Holmes?Not really, no. We’ve established ours and so have others. We’re 
still very different from the Guy Ritchie version. This isn’t steam-punk
 action drama, it’s still our version. It still has the nuances of the 
original book with our twists. So, no. There will always be comparisons,
 always, you can’t help that.As I keep guessing, I think I’m the seventy-sixth and Robert
 Downey-Jr is the seventy-fifth. When you’re one of that many, and some 
truly immeasurably iconic previous versions in the original era, it’s 
not healthy to compare.The other gorgeous thing about going back in time to this is that you
 can actually look to the books as your source material, which is what I
 always do for our version anyway but it’s even more qualifiable to lean
 on them for some inspiration, insight and characterisation, so that’s 
been good, more than going back to other versions, is just going back to
 the source material.Do you think you would have wanted to do period Holmes if that was the series?Yeah! Very much, very much. I’ve really, really loved it. I said to 
Sue this morning, ‘it’s going to be hard to…’, you know, talking about 
maybe doing it again. It’s really enjoyable.Do you almost prefer it?I don’t know. They’re too different to compare in some ways. Yeah, 
I’m really crap at answering ‘favourite’ questions [laughter].There must be something satisfying for you about having slicked-back hair and…Because that’s the more familiar. Like I say at the beginning, you 
feel like some of the weight is taken off you, you’re not trying to 
establish this man in the 21st century.I don’t know any other actor that’s been that spoiled with this role.
 Well, Rathbone leaped forward to the forties and fought Nazis, so that 
was their version of it. There’s quite a lot of modern clobber.
 I think I’m pretty much the only one that’s done that quite so severely
 as we have.The original Holmes was a champion boxer. Are we going to be seeing you fighting?Yeah, I’m always up for more fights. I keep saying that to them. I do like throwing myself around a set.Is your Victorian Holmes quite progressive? You said earlier that he’s calling people out for being sexist and so on?I think he always was, he was very charming with women. He gave a lot
 of people respect that otherwise you wouldn’t necessarily have thought 
in that era he would. He’s a man who goes for quality rather than the 
social hierarchy, but I don’t think he’s any more that than he is in the books is what I was trying to say.There’s no danger that modern fans might be alienated by a Victorian Holmes?I don’t know. I don’t think so though, he’s got a lot of fight in 
him, he hasn’t become patronisingly nice and charming. He defines things
 as they are, he’s very straight with people.And you’re smoking a pipe this time?It’s a pyrotechnic pipe. I’m not smoking it, it’s an effect. Even 
that is fun, just to have that as another part of him. There might be a 
magnifying glass that might be slightly bigger than the one I usually 
use, it might be slightly more familiar…Any syringes full of cocaine?Again, the props department are having a fantastic time on this job. All sorts of things are being brought into play.Read more:  Steven Moffat once said that you have to wear the Belstaff coat in every Sherlock. But you don’t in this?It’s not contractual [laughter]. It’s getting a bit tatty now. Mark 
gave me one at the end of the first series, I was like ‘what are you 
doing?’ he said ‘you should enjoy this, just enjoy it, because you’re 
only going to have two months of wearing it, you look great in it’ and I
 was like ‘oh great’ so I did for a little bit, but even then I started 
to think ‘well, it’s not like somebody’s going to take a photograph of 
me now, but what if somebody accidentally did and it then says 
‘Wandering around Hampstead Heath in his fucking coat!’ [laughter] to 
seal my reputation as being a dick. So I felt self-conscious about it.But also, I had to give it back because we’ve run out of them. 
Belstaff doesn’t make them anymore and the replicas don’t cut it so it’s
 back in the cycle of the ones we’ve got. I’m sure he’ll wear his coat 
again. It’s like the hair, the coat, the key ingredients… but what 
really brings me back for more cross-generationally is just the 
evolution of him and the characters within the stories that you know and
 the stories that we create out of the stories you know. That’s the real
 level of engagement with him I enjoy, the stuck-on bits of the doll 
will hopefully change at some point because what goes on underneath has 
to change a lot as well. As an actor, that’s what intrigues us all to 
come back and play these characters is that there is scope for them to 
expand and change and evolve.Do you think doing a Christmas Victorian episode could become a bit of a tradition?Keep coming back for more? Maybe, maybe. I don’t know. We’ll see how 
this one goes. I think if it becomes impossible to schedule a season 
every year, year and a half then yeah, absolutely, why not.It’s a great deal of fun, this, but it does advance things, it’s not just on its own.How determined are you to keep making time for Sherlock?Pretty determined. I’m still enjoying it. We’ll see how the next 
series goes, but as it is in this room, as I’ve said many times before, 
I’d love to keep ageing with him. Martin and I started this relatively 
young compared to a lot of Holmes and Watsons, so why not?



Posted on November 28, 2015, in BBC, Benedict Cumberbatch, Promotion, Sherlock: The Abombinable Bride and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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