‘Better ask the Director’, Benedict Cumberbatch on playing gay character again
In his newest movie, The Power of the Dog, Cumberbatch seems to be reprising another role on the LGBTQ specturm
Once might be a mistake, but twice is definitely intentional. Well for an actor like Benedict Cumberbatch there is no mistake even the first time around. Benedict Cumberbatch won accolades for his acting in the movie ‘The Imitation Game’, portraying Alan Turing, who besides being a super genius at Mathematics, a cryptonalyst breaking the German Enigma Code, and having a Computer Test named after him was also a homosexual. The film which was released in 2014 was not only a critical success but also a commercial one as well.
In his newest movie, The Power of the Dog, Cumberbatch seems to be reprising another role on the LGBTQ specturm. Based on a novel of the same name by Thomas Savage, Benedict Cumberbatch Plays the role of Phil Burbank, a rancher with stern looks and ultra masculine personality. When his brother (Jesse Plemons) brings home a new wife (Kirsten Dunst) and son( Kodi Smit McPhee), the peace is broken and Phil finds new ways to torment the new guests. But instead of getting rid of the guests, he ends up finding a new possibility of love.
Addressing the issue
Benedict Cumberbatch addressed the issue of playing a gay role as a straight actor while speaking in an interview at the Telluride Film Festival, where the movie is having an early screening after Venice Film Festival. He recognised the sensitivity around the issues of representation, diversity, and inclusion while playing such a role. He felt that this particular role was set in a timeline where a lot of stuff was private and hidden from view.
As an actor, he feels that it should not be necessary to put all their cards and personality out in the open for the public, especially their private moments and sexual encounters. He further felt that such types of questions would be better addressed by the director, who chose actors based on the requirements of the role.