Benedict Cumberbatch reveals how Reddit played a big role in his eventual casting in 'Patrick Melrose'
Reddit played its part in making Benedict Cumberbatch into a meme. Users on the social media platform latched on to the fact that many made typos while writing the 'Sherlock' actor's names and soon, names for him included Benedryl Cabbagepatch, BenneyBoop CumberBop, Frumious Bandersnatch, Bendycat Cookiebatch, and a host of other amalgamations. Cumberbatch won't hold too many grudges, however, especially considering how he recently revealed that the platform played its part in landing him the lead role in Showtime's 'Patrick Melrose.'
The series, which is produced by Michael Jackson and Rachael Horovitz, is adapted from Edward St Aubyn's semi-autobiographical series 'The Patrick Melrose Novels.' It chronicles the life of Melrose as his traumatic childhood and abusive father comes back to haunt him in the present, resulting in him spiraling out of control and turning to alcohol and drugs for solace.
Cumberbatch addressed how he came to land the role of Melrose, his appreciation for the books, and how he prepared for the difficult role. He said: "Michael Jackson and Rachael Horovitz had the rights to the Patrick Melrose series of books by Edward St Aubyn and they came to me. I knew there’d be a broad bracket of actors who had also probably read the books and gone, 'Hmm, wouldn’t mind a stab at that.'"
He admitted that luck played a bit part in him eventually being cast as the lead. "I was just very, very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I voiced my desire on a Reddit forum and I got a call!" he said, adding: "They wanted to meet when I was in New York, we had a breakfast and I was a little late and terrified as I was still rushing rereading the final two novels the night before and morning of the meeting!"
Despite now boasting of an extensive repertoire of roles and being regarded as one of the big names of Hollywood, Cumberbatch expressed how he had been nervous through their entire meeting: "I hadn’t clocked they were only thinking about me for the role at that stage and so I was still nervous even when they were very clearly pitching their ideas about adapting these extraordinary books for television."
He also revealed the work that went behind the scenes in his preparation to play the complicated character. He said that in a bid to understand what it meant to fight addiction, he learned to 'shoot up heroin' so he could understand the 'drive behind the addiction.'
He explained: "With heroin, pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to says it’s about the warm embrace you never got from your mother. [Patrick] is a very well-heeled and experienced junkie by the time we meet him. So learning how to shoot up and what the effect is on the body and mind was of paramount importance."
The highly-anticipated series will hit screens on May 12 with its first episode which has been titled 'Bad News.' If Cumberbatch's previous work is anything to go by, expect a brilliant and larger-than-life portrayal of Melrose, and a thrilling series.