WALES ON LINE
06:00, 3 February 2015 By Sherna Noah
Benedict Cumberbatch's former drama teacher has told how he spotted the star's talent when he auditioned for the role of a "saucy French maid" as a teenager - and insisted his expensive education has hindered rather than helped his career.
The Imitation Game actor, 38, has been shortlisted for an Academy Award for his role as mathematician and Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing in the movie.
Martin Tyrell, the Sherlock star's drama teacher at public school Harrow, told Radio Times magazine: "Even as a 13-year-old, he was obviously an outstanding actor - a combination of intuition and intellect.
"It's probably once in a lifetime that you find a boy actor as magnificent as this.
"I remember him auditioning very early on for the part of a saucy French maid in a farce. It was a small part, involving a feather duster for about 10 minutes, but even then in rehearsal he was strikingly mature.
"He took direction, immediately understood the comic requirements of the part and was very, very funny. You wonder where on earth the understanding comes from."
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