Benedict Cumberbatch on being labelled ‘man of the festival’ in Toronto

“It’s an embarrassment of riches,” says Cumberbatch as three of his films are shown at the Toronto festival

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Benedict Cumberbatch says he’s a “bit embarrassed” to be labeled ‘man of the festival’ by those in and around this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), but jokes, “I can take a compliment.”

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With three films (The Fifth Estate, 12 Years A Slave and August: Osage County) showcasing at the festival, Cumberbatch says it feels a “bit like an embarrassment of riches” but says “variety” is the key thing for him when it comes to choosing roles.

“Variety is my guiding principle when I get the opportunity to choose – keep myself guessing. Challenging myself to do things I’ve not done, things that audiences haven’t seen,” explains Cumberbatch.

He adds, “I’m a very small cog in the other films, very proud cog – I need to stop with the extended metaphor – I’m very, very happy. They’re very different pieces, with different flavours, different cultural flavours and will all carry importance on their own terms. I’m thrilled. It’s the first time I’ve been here. It’s an embarrassment of riches as I’ve said, it really is.”

Cumberbatch was quick to compliment his co-stars adding, “There are lots of other amazing men at this festival, many at this table.”

Indeed at one point Cumberbatch gushed so much about co-star Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who he says have become firm friends from their time spent working on the film, he enthused, “I love you Daniel.” 

When asked about his evolution from a stage actor to the big screen, Cumberbatch says he’s learnt a lot from both and can take theatrical into the cinematic and vice versa.

“In theatre you have the wonderful discovery period of rehearsal. We try to carve that out so you can experience a preparation and experiment. Failing and getting up and failing before getting up in front of a camera and failing.” 

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