Why Benedict Cumberbatch Didn’t Want Doctor Who: He Didn’t Want His Face on a Lunchbox
I Guess I Can't Argue With That
Appearing on the Jonathan Ross Show, the amazingly-named star of BBC‘s Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, opened up about whether or not he was in the running to become the 11th Doctor before Matt Smith was cast. We’ll cut right to the chase: No. He took himself out. Not because he doesn’t like the show, but because he had to watch his friend David Tennant — the 10th Doctor — take on the responsibility of being the Doctor outside of work and then see his face on countless pieces of merch. But no hard feelings. He’s also just incredibly busy.
The entire interview is well worth watching, but the Doctor Who talk starts at about 6:00 in. Cumberbatch says that while he vaguely didn’t rule out wanting to do an episode of the show, taking over the TARDIS was too tall of an order to fill. Such an iconic role would require a lot of more of him off the set (he cited children who watch the show, who see the guy who plays the Doctor as the Doctor in real life), and he simply prefers to keep things separate.
But in the interview, he also talked about his new movie, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which has everyone in it (Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, and John Hurt), as well as the theatrical production of Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein that was directed by Danny Boyle. He and his co-star, Jonny Lee Miller, would actually switch playing the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his monster throughout the run. But also, he has two roles in Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit (the voice of Smaug the dragon and the Necromancer) and a role in Steven Spielberg‘s War Horse. He also makes julienne fries!
So, even if he wanted to, it’s a bit apparent that unless Cumberbatch finds a way to clone himself or get his hands on Hermione’s time turner necklace, he just doesn’t have the time to do Doctor Who, let alone be the Doctor.
But here’s a bonus: Cumberbatch’s Alan Rickman impression. You can view the full interview below.