Finally, warring factions of Sherlock fans can stop fighting in the streets: Benedict Cumberbatch has said that he wants to have a cup of tea with rival Sherlock Holmes actors Robert Downey Jr. and Jonny Lee Miller.
“[I’d most like to have a cup of tea with] Robert Downey Jr and Jonny Lee Miller,” the actor said. “We could all sit down and compare notes. That would be fun.”
“I know Jonny very, very well, but I don’t know Robert at all. At least, I think it would be fun [to have tea with them]!”
The comments, picked up by Now magazine, refer to Sherlock actors Robert Downey Jr., who stars in the movies Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and Jonny Lee Miller, who portrays the detective as a contemporary Holmes in the American TV series Elementary.
It’s the latter, though, that has cause the most controversy; with Sherlock producer Sue Vertue having threatened legal action against the CBS adaptation and Cumberbatch reportedly saying in an interview with Shortlist that Miller took the role for the money despite asking him not to do it.
Cumberbatch, who became good friends with Miller after both starring in Danny Boyle’s 2011 stage production of Frankenstein, later issued a statement saying he had been misquoted.
“I never said that Johnny took the job for the paycheck nor did I ask him not to do it,” he said. “What I said is I would have preferred not to be in the situation where we will again be compared because we are friends. I know for a fact his motivations were to do with the quality of the script and the challenges of this exceptional role.
“It is baffling because I have only been supportive of an incredibly talented actor who I am proud to call a friend taking a job I know he is going to enjoy immensely and be wonderful in.
“Over 70 actors have played this exceptional character before us. To say that there can be only one Holmes would be ludicrous. We’re both thrilled to get the opportunity to play him in a modern context. The world of Sherlock Holmes and the world that we live in now is big enough to take more than one interpretation. As a genuine Sherlock Holmes fan I am greatly looking forward to his series.”