I feel like verbal contracts might be legally binding in the state of New York, but I’d still be more comfortable if we could get the news that Benedict Cumberbatch will never leave Sherlock in writing. Just to make things more official. (I’ve been burned by Dan Stevens before, you see.)
Following the season three premiere in the US this past Sunday night — which apparently everyone but me and four million other people had already watched illegally when it aired in the UK — Benedict appeared on the Television Critics Association winter press tour to answer some questions about the show. And don’t worry, there aren’t any spoilers. I’ve come too close to accidentally finding things out myself to subject anyone else to that terror. It’s just normal behind-the-scenes questions and answers, like when they asked him what kind of an impact playing Sherlock Holmes has had on his life:
“It’s extraordinary. I think a lot of it comes with who [Sherlock] is. He’s a very iconic figure. I feel not an onerous sense of responsibility, but it has to be acknowledged and I feel gratitude that they’re supportive and loyal and committed to something I love doing. And a character I love playing. So, it means a lot to me.”
So much so that he wouldn’t consider leaving the show, even if they did a fourth and fifth season (which are pretty much sure bets, apparently) and maybe even beyond. Here’s what he said when they asked if he’d ever leave if the character became too much for him:
“No. No. No. I don’t think so. It’s a schedule-providing thing. The [producers] probably had a tougher time with it. I play enough other mad people to vary the palate of what I’m scrabbling around in my head as a storyteller. I love it and find it very invigorating. He’s really hard work, [but] I love him to bits.”
Oh and in case the news that Bennybatch is in it for the long haul isn’t heart-warming enough for you, please note that the people who played the Holmes parents on the first episode were Benedict’s real life mom and dad, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton. Pretty adorable surprise, right?
“We kept it secret from everybody. They were trained actors and available.”
This is ideal for me, you guys, because the more comfortable we can make Benedict and Martin Freeman on set, the better. That way they’ll never leave. We already have Martin’s real-life partner Amanda Abbington playing his new fiance Mary Morstan, and now with Ben’s parents on there as well, we should be good to go for at least another couple years.
Sounds great to me, but I won’t be completely satisfied until I have a contract signed in blood.