Benedict Cumberbatch, An Actor in Transition: An Unauthorised Performance Biography

Benedict Cumberbatch, An Actor in Transition: An Unauthorised Performance Biography

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Lynnette Porter

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  • Publisher: MX Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 356 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 214mm x 24mm | 420g
  • Publication date: 10 June 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1780924364
  • ISBN 13: 9781780924366
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 43,046

Product description

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Hobbit trilogy, Twelve Years a Slave, August: Osage County, The Fifth Estate; Hedda Gabler, After the Dance, Frankenstein; Hawking, To the Ends of the Earth, The Last Enemy, Parade's End, and, of course, Sherlock. For most actors, these stellar cinematic, theatrical, and television events would be the highlights of a lifetime's work. On Benedict Cumberbatch's resume they are only a few of many entries. Especially since 2010, his performances have garnered a plethora of best actor awards, both in the theatre (Evening Standard Theatre Award, Critics Circle Theatre Award, and Olivier Award), by playing the dual roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature in the National Theatre's Frankenstein, and on television (Broadcasting Press Guild Award, Critics Choice Television Award, Crime Thriller Award, and TV Choice Award), by starring as the titular Holmes in the BBC's Sherlock. Add these and other recent accolades to nearly a decade s nominations and awards (such as the Golden Nymph as best actor in Hawking), and it's easy to see why Benedict Cumberbatch is often hailed as the actor of his generation. Cumberbatch's body of work further includes indie films, radio plays and series, television documentaries, live dramatic readings, multimedia advertisements, and even the occasional stint as a fashion model. He often shares an intriguing perspective on his profession, as evidenced in sometimes controversial interviews. He has become so much in demand that online box offices crash when tickets for his performances go on sale, and, before a Cheltenham Literature Festival Q&A session, fans overwhelmed Twitter when so many responded immediately to a call for questions. Cumberbatch consistently is a top name on lists ranging from sex appeal to global influence. In 2012 he beat David Beckham in the former and U.S. President Barack Obama in the latter. Increasingly, part of Cumberbatch's job involves the role of celebrity. Benedict Cumberbatch is at a pivotal point in his profession, and his career trajectory especially as documented in entertainment media permits a closer examination of just what it means to be a celebrity or star in Britain or the U.S. and how an actor may be perceived very differently in London or Hollywood. This performance biography is an analysis of a man in transition from working actor to multimedia star, as well as the balance between actor and celebrity. It looks at what makes this actor so well suited to play one of popular culture's iconic characters, Sherlock Holmes, and how Sherlock is so well suited to propel Cumberbatch toward greater global fame.

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Customer reviews

By lucinda miedema 17 Jul 2013 4

Attention all Cumber Collective and Fandom, you will truly enjoy reading about the fascinating Benedict Cumberbatch! This book highlights the many artistic ventures including stage and screen performances and beyond. This is a study in celebrity and media creation of an actor. The author, Lynnette Porter, has really done her homework! Just look at the research endnotes where there is 57 pages of references alone. Many of the performances and interviews I have seen of Benedict are discussed in detail. It is phenomenal to see the variations that has been achieved by Benedict with his characterizations. Most actors are typecast into a certain genre, but in this book you understand that this is not the case with Benedict.

My reaction upon finishing the book is that it is highly detailed and thoroughly explains his career transitions. Even though Lynnette has not personally interviewed the actor, this book still is well documented. My hope is that Lynnette will be given a future opportunity to write about Benedict again with first-hand knowledge. I fell it would have been beneficial to include photos from different performances to show the many "looks" that Ben has experienced. Besides he is fun to look at, as any fan will attest to!

It is interesting to see the scrutiny that an actor goes through in the public eye. More recently Benedict has learned from his experience dealing with the media. He has had his challenges and is learning to navigate through it all. Lynnette Porter discusses the growth of Benedict in this area, transitioning into an A-Lister. He does have an old world name and elegance, such as "the greats" like Laurence Olivier and Basil Rathbone, but with a 21st century hipness! Just as Lynnette Porter has written, Benedict is an actor in transition and he definitely is heading for an Oscar! And he will WIN!

Table of contents

Introduction: Head and Heart 1 Chapter 1 What's in a Name? 15 Chapter 2 The Pre-Sherlock Theatrical Career 33 Chapter 3 Pre-Sherlock Television and Film Performances 78 Chapter 4 Recent Radio Roles 116 Chapter 5 Turning Point Performances 134 Chapter 6 Hollywood Knocking 200 Chapter 7 The Shift from Actor to Celebrity or Star 217 Chapter 8 The Transitional Phase 263 Endnotes 271 Bibliography 300 Index 329