Benedict Cumberbatch: Parents as Co-Workers

Kimberly RipleyLife

Share this Post

Benedict Cumberbatch has a unique role in the BBC's hit TV show Sherlock. In addition to his take on the savvy sleuth, his actual parents play his character's parents on the show. And while that may sound a bit difficult to most, it's not the first time Cumberbatch has engaged in this type of scenario with his mother and father. Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham not only brought Benedict into the world and raised him, they also accompany him on set every day.

"They're trained actors with a CV [editor's note: resume] and were available," Benedict said at the Television Critics Association Winter Tour 2014, in Pasadena on Monday. "They've played my parents in the background in something before..."

"[Working with them on 'Sherlock'] was wonderful," he added. "It was the first day on set and everyone was nervous, they were really nervous, but I did -- at some point -- sort of try to manage their nerves as well as mine and it was a glorious thing. ... It was a joy. I mean, it's going to be something... hopefully I'll be showing my grandchildren. It's a real special thing, and I've got the utmost respect for their craft."

That definitely is quite a legacy to pass from generation to generation, and not many people--even award-winning actors--can say they have such a legacy to pass on. Life has been very exciting for Benedict Cumberbatch lately. Currently starring in 12 Years A Slave--which was a big name at this past weekend's SAG Awards--he also plays the voice of Smaug in The Hobbit Trilogy.

Yahoo! TV even celebrated the actor on January 20th with Benedict Cumberbatch Day, making previous season's episodes of the show, as well as the actor's other works, available at low or no cost to viewers.

Cumberbatch chatted recently with Robert Downey, Jr., who played Sherlock Holmes on the big screen. He also dished about that conversation at the Television Critics Association Winter Tour.

"I sat down on the sofa with Robert Downey, Jr. last night and we had our first conversation and shared notes on playing Sherlock Holmes," he said. "This is the most dramatized fictional character of all time, so there's a lot to talk about."

He also shared that Jonny Lee Miller, known for portraying Sherlock Holmes in the U.S. TV series, CBS's Elementary, is another friend and confidante. Miller and Cumberbatch also starred together in a London stage production of Frankenstein.

"We're all fans of one another. We're all supportive... We're really good friends and I can safely say that Robert's in the same camp now after last night. We had a wonderful chat," he said.

Probably the most intriguing question Benedict Cumberbatch was asked as part of the question and answer session at this event was about Sherlock rather than about him. Will there be a fourth season?

"I'm doing it. I've commissioned it," Benedict said.

"Yes, it will continue until Benedict gets too famous," his producer added.

His parents are no doubt thrilled with this news, too, as they ride their famous son's coattails all the way to the bank. (And who can blame them?)

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.