Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch meets, greets and charms Sherlock fans at Starfury convention

I was one of 800+ people who met, gazed at, talked to and generally swooned over Benedict Cumberbatch at the Starfury Sherlock convention last weekend.

I may never recover.

Cumberpic from Alipeeps' Obsessions

I was going to write a general post about the convention but then I realised that I had too much to say about Benny C, so this is all about him. Here are some highlights of my Benedict Cumberbatch experience:

Benedict Cumberbatch = actual god 

We need to get this out of the way - meeting Benedict Cumberbatch has ruined for me for real life men. He was charming, said hello to everyone, shook your hand, wished you a great day, smiled, joked and managed to look utterly perfect on every single photo he posed for. No other man could live up to his standard. However, if Tom Hiddleston would like to test that theory I'm available to meet with him for, you know, scientific reasons.

Benedict Cumberbatch can't choose anything 

Don't ask Benny C to choose between things because he just can't do it, doesn't matter whether it's film roles, books, people: "I introduce more than one person as my best friend." 

Cumberpic by me 

Big name, beautiful signature

He signed various items for over 800 people at the convention, including a fantastic cross stitch I got from Emma at crafternoon_tea (see pic to the right). I assumed his signature would be swirly and barely recognisable considering a) it's very long and complicated to sign, and b) he was going to be signing it over a thousands times. But not only did he sign his name with a lovely flourish, he also changed the pen he was using to complement the brown moustache. The man is considerate AND gorgeous.

He doesn't have a mind palace

Benny uses associative memory techniques to help him remember lines, he also learns them from coloured paper because black text on white paper is too polarising for the mind (apparently).

Ask him a serious question, get a serious answer

When asked about 12 Years A Slave, Benedict spoke at length and with great pride about his role in the film. It was a real insight into his acting process and I could listen to him talk about serious acting stuff for hours.

Cumberbatch cussing 

Hearing Benedict Cumberbatch say "fuck" is hilarious but you feel like you need to tell him off. But before you get the chance he says something adorably disarming like "Oh crumpets, where was I?" and suddenly you're in a quaint period drama sipping tea and discussing the cricket.

He changes with each role he plays 

He's inspired by the roles he plays and learns something from each one: "It’s one of the best things about being an actor this idea that it’s further education it is an excuse for continued learning." However, the changes aren't always good for those around him: "I get impatient when I play Sherlock, my mother told me."

Cumberpic from Alipeeps' Obsessions

Sherlock is all in the writing

All of the cast at the convention sung the writing praises of "Sherlock fanboys" Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. When improvisation on set does happen it leads to Sherlock saying "blud" (which was Benedict's idea) and the infamous drunken scenes in The Sign of Three.

Quickfire Cumberbatch needs to be a game show 

The q+a was wrapping up so Benedict asked for a quickfire round of questions from the many pages submitted by fans. These included audition stories (he once passed out during an audition for Danny Boyle), how his approach to Sherlock changed when Martin was cast (it got better), acting with his parents (it was wonderful), getting ready for Hamlet (he's been preparing since he was 17)...

Then came a killer question asking his opinion on what makes an effective adaptation of literature. His answer was so quick and so eloquent that the entire hall started applauding. I was too slow to write it down so here it is from a transcript on Cumberbatchweb
Effective literary adaptation is something that manages to condense the beauty of the novel... and the ability of the actors to dig and research and have the ability to show thought processes and subtext and not say what they’re feeling and not do what they’re feeling but actually do something else and tell the audience that they’re feeling something else – Sir Tom Stoppard Parades End.

He won't be in the new Star Wars movies

Benedict is a busy man at the moment, with Blood Mountain, The Lost City of Z, Hamlet and something else that might happen that's currently a bit secret. Someone in the audience shouted that it was Star Wars - Benny said it wasn't. But do we believe him? 

Cumberpic from Alipeeps' Obsessions

Other things

  • When I stood in the queue for my picture with Benedict and I saw how handsome he looked I was literally struck dumb for a moment. I'm a woman in my thirties by the way. 
  • When Benedict said "deduction" during his q+a I had a serious fangirl moment. 
  • He apologised for swearing and it was adorable. 
  • Fans brought him gifts, including various sugary items he couldn't eat due to being on a diet. Someone had given him a Cumbercookie - hearing Benedict Cumberbatch say "I wondered if we could all maybe share the Cumbercookie" now has a special place in my mind palace. 
  • I managed to avoid doing all of the bad things I blogged about before going to the convention. But I did want to ruffle his hair despite him not having as much of it to ruffle.
  • I may have spent the entire weekend prefixing as many words as possible with Cumber.

Thanks to all of the people who've shared their Cumberpics online, especially Alipeeps' Obsessions for letting me post some of hers on here. Take a trip to her Tumblr to see the rest.

And in case you missed it, an official Sherlock convention has been announced by Massive events: Sherlocked is coming some time this year. What do you say Sherlockians? 

This one’s for all of the fan girls.
Yes, yes I will

Shared from ohmygeekblog using Embeddlr


  1. Wow. What a Cumbertastic* post!

    Thanks for the link to my tumblr. Glad you and Mr Batch liked the cross stitch!

    *sorry I had to!

    1. Never apologise for Cumberising your words, this is always acceptable practice. And thanks for reading!

  2. Sounds like you had a rather splendid time, Anne! I'm quite envious as Birmingham really isn't that far away. That said, I love Benedict and enjoy him in whatever he does - but it's actually my mother who does the fangirling whenever she spies anything Cumberbatch. He is rather lovely though and I enjoyed your review.

    I would absolutely LOVE to see him play Hamlet as it's always somewhere in my top 3 Shakespeare and I actually have the Olivier version DVD winging it's way to me. Perhaps that makes me more nerd than geek :)


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