Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

TIFF: Benedict Cumberbatch is sick of people calling his characters autistic

TORONTO - SEPTEMBER 8 - Actor Benedict Cumberbatch stars in THE FIFTH ESTATE, the story of Julian Assange, and 2 other films. He's in Toronto for the Toronto International Film Festival. He was photographed on September 8, 2013.        (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) TORONTO Actor Benedict Cumberbatch in Toronto for the Toronto International Film Festival. (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

In "the Imitation Game," Benedict Cumberbatch plays the introverted, socially awkward math genius Alan Turing, who built the machine that cracked the German's WWII Enigma machine and paved the way for modern computers. Many are drawing parallels between Turing and Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes, suggesting he's specializing in characters who exist somewhere on the autism spectrum. But Cumberbatch wants them to cut out that nonsense.

"Though Sherlock is an immediate comparison, they're so different. Sherlock is a sociopathic show-off, and Alan was anything but that," Cumberbatch tells Metro. "I don't think he was on the spectrum. I think a lot of people are very lazy with that."

It's a suggestion Cumberbatch has heard raised again and again, and he's frankly had enough of it. "I think it's a really dangerous thing to toy with that," he says. "People talk about me doing that quite a lot and that being a good thing for people who are on the spectrum, which is great. But I don't go into a job going, 'Is this autism? Is this Asperger's? Is this some other form of slight learning difficulty or disability?' I'm very wary of that, because I've met people with those conditions. It's a real struggle all the time. Then these people pop up in my work and they're sort of brilliant, and they on some levels almost offer false hope for the people who are going through the reality of it."

RelatedArticles

Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick

Consider AlsoFurther Articles