By Guy Kelly8:00AM GMT
01 Nov 2014
He may be one of the most famous actors on the planet, with scores of fervent Cumberpeople in every port, but even Benedict Cumberbatch didn't get to where he is today without a significant amount of hard work.
Long before Sherlock, Star Trek, The Hobbit and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy made him a household name, Cumberbatch built an incredibly varied CV in film and television, playing an impressive variety of characters.
From prime ministers and physicists to policemen and parents (and that's without leaving the Ps), here are seven of the roles that made him the phenomenon he is today.
An adaptation of Alex Masters’ 2005 biography of his friend, Stuart Shorter, Cumberbatch starred with Tom Hardy in this join production by the BBC and HBO. Cumberbatch plays writer Masters in the film, with Hardy as Shorter, a career criminal.
Hardy’s explosive performance was an early example of the muscular intensity he has become known for and earned him a BAFTA nomination in the process, while Cumberbatch was similarly lauded for a moving, restrained portrayal opposite.
That isn’t to say his work since has been in any way a disappointment – he remains one of a small group of actors who consistently manage to please audiences and critics alike – but illustrates just how highly regarded his performance was.
The film, which charts Stephen Hawking’s early years as a PhD student at Cambridge University and was the first portrayal of the physicist’s life, was nominated for two BAFTA awards and illustrated Cumberbatch’s impressive range. Curiously, one of his biggest rivals come this awards season could be Eddie Redmayne, who has received tremendous reviews for his own portrayal of Hawking in A Theory of Everything.