2014 Was the Year Benedict Cumberbatch Became a Star

Source: BBC
Source: BBC

Benedict Cumberbatch is an actor who seems to be brought up in conversations regarding just about every major role. 2013 saw him make the cut for the Star Trek theatrical sequel as the iconic villain Khan. His considerable voice talent was lent to Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit. He even appeared as Julian Assange in the biopic, The Fifth Estate, making for a year that kickstarted his career in Hollywood. His body of work before the year started was impressive, and for most actors would be considered a successful career in and of itself. But all that paled in comparison to what he accomplished in 2014, a year he completely and utterly made his own.

The year kicked off with the long-awaited third season of the wildly popular Sherlock, starring Cumberbatch in the title role as the titular detective alongside Martin Freeman as Watson. A less publicized (but still equally as impressive) run came to an end later on in the year, as he closed out his role on the airline-centric radio play with a massive cult following, Cabin Pressure. 

Following Sherlock, Cumberbatch starred in The Imitation Game as Alan Turing, followed by a reprise of his role as Smaug in the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy. It was hard to turn around and not see his face on a screen or hear his baritone voice emanating from speakers. In just a year, he’s come a long way from The Washington Post accidentally (and hilariously) misprinting his name as “Bandersnatch Cummerbund.”

But it wasn’t just a year of monumental releases for the British actor. Getting consideration for seemingly every major part, he was named to the title role in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie set to release in 2016, as well as the voice of Shere Khan in the reboot of The Jungle Book coming out in 2017. To top it all off, there’s been talk of Cumberbatch getting well-deserved Oscar consideration for his work in The Imitation Game. The former Shakespearean actor has seen a meteoric rise this last year from “talked-about” status all the way up to “A-list superstar.” In an interview with The New York Times, they describe a man who himself hadn’t expected this level of fame:

His celebrity manifests itself in unexpected ways. When Cumberbatch, who is 37, appeared on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” Fallon noted that more people were waiting in the standby line than for any other guest that year. He was reportedly tweeted about 700,000 times in 2013. Last fall, he appeared on the cover of Time’s international edition.

Entitled “The Case of the Accidental Superstar,” the interview shows us a more modest side of the actor, as he curiously asks, “why does anyone want to know my opinions?” In a couple short years, the entire world showed they do indeed want more of Benedict Cumberbatch, as fans flocked to theaters to see just about everything he had even a small role in. He sat on a panel at Comic Con, he photobombed Bono at the 2014 Oscar’s Red Carpet, and in the midst of all this made himself into something of an Internet darling across Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.

Coming up, Cumberbatch has seven projects either announced or in pre/post-production, so needless to say we’ll continue to see a whole lot of him over the next couple years, as his star only burns brighter. Entering the Marvel Universe as well as the Disney one certainly won’t hurt his chances at stardom as we wait for what comes next for the talented Brit in 2015 and beyond.

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