Benedict Cumberbatch Was Kidnapped at Gunpoint While Working On 'To the Ends of the Earth'

Benedict Cumberbatch is an English actor who has appeared in everything from BBC dramas to MCU projects. Cumberbatch, who studied drama at several prestigious schools, got his start on the stage, appearing in productions like Hedda Gabler and After the Dance. By the early 2000s, Cumberbatch had decided to try his hand at film and television acting.

One of his earliest television projects ended up being a rather harrowing experience for the young actor, with Cumberbatch and his co-stars narrowly surviving a carjacking. Cumberbatch would later open up about the experience, revealing just how terrified he really was. 

How was Benedict Cumberbatch kidnapped when filming ‘To the Ends of the Earth’?

In 2005, Cumberbatch was working on the miniseries To the Ends of the Earth, a BBC adaptation of the novels by William Golding. Cumberbatch, who was not yet a big name in the entertainment industry, was cast in the role of protagonist Edmund Talbot. While Cumberbatch was likely thrilled to land a leading role in such a big project, things quickly went south after the actor experienced a carjacking.

BuzzFeed reports that Cumberbatch and several friends were on their way back to the set to resume filming for To the Ends of the Earth when a tire blew out, leaving the group stranded. Before Cumberbatch could change the tire, they were approached by a group of gunmen who quickly took over the situation. 

What did Benedict Cumberbatch say about the experience of being kidnapped?

Cumberbatch escaped with his life, but the experience left him indelibly shaken. As he would later tell The Hollywood Reporter, as soon as the gunmen approached the vehicle, he knew something was wrong. As reported by People Magazine, Cumberbatch said “They were like: ‘Look down! Look down! Put your hands on your heads! Look at the floor!’ ” he said.

“And at that point, this adrenaline of fight or flight just exploded in my body. I was like, ‘Oh f–––, we’re f–––ed!’”

The actor went on to describe how he was bound and thrown into the trunk of a car. “I was scared, really scared,” Cumberbatch said.

“I said: ‘What are you going to do with us? Are you going to kill us?’ I was really worried that I was going to get raped or molested or just tortured or toyed with in some way, some act of control and savagery.”

After a stranger helped Cumberbatch escape, the young actor said that he “cried with gratitude.”

What is Benedict Cumberbatch best known for?

Cumberbatch was influenced greatly by his near-death experience. “It really, really enriches your values in life,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, speaking as to how it felt to escape such a precarious situation  – and how his views on life changed after the fact. “It’s incredibly important.”

By 2010, Cumberbatch had made a name for himself as the title character in the hugely popular BBC series Sherlock. The role of Sherlock Holmes earned him critical acclaim, and in the years that followed, he went on to land roles in high-profile movies such as 12 Years a Slave, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Imitation Game, according to IMDb.

Cumberbatch is possibly best known for his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Dr. Stephen Strange, Cumberbatch has become an important part of the fabric of the MCU – and with the release of the brand-new film Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, fans have yet another opportunity to watch Cumberbatch embody the comic-book icon.

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