Benedict Cumberbatch, This Is Your Year

by James Patrick Herman 6:52 AM PST, January 08, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

It takes more than a village to make an award-worthy performance -- it takes a million tiny moments that together create a film or TV show more magical than its parts. This week, ETonline talks with Golden Globe nominees about all the big and small ways stars have to align for a great idea to make it to the screen.

In The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch portrays gay mathematical genius Alan Turing, who broke the German's code--and consequently helped to win World War II--and was later prosecuted for "committing acts of homosexuality." But how did the beloved British actor crack such a complex character?

ETonline found out at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, where Cumberbatch accepted the Ensemble Performance Award on behalf of his castmates.

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ETonline: How did you land that amazing role in such an amazing movie? It's a very simple question, right?

Benedict Cumberbatch: Yeah, but quite a complex answer, I guess.

In a nutshell?

You know, I'm just very grateful that they did [make it]. Whatever the story is or the journey of the film was, I saw [the script] a few years before I ended up meeting for the role. But I really wanted to be a part of it for the sake of the legacy of this man. To try to bring it to a broader audience. To give the world this extraordinary story and justifiably expand an understanding of him as well as an appreciation of him as well as an acknowledgement of how wronged he has been. So yeah, I was very, very grateful to him.

What was your first exposure to the project?

It was at the top of the blacklist. Then I read it when I was playing Khan here in-Google it, I can't remember. But yeah, it was when I was here doing that with [Star Trek Into Darkness director] J.J. [Abrams]. And I was very excited to read it.

What was the most challenging aspect of the role for you?

Um, do you know what? I mean, the minute you accept a role like that everything about it is challenging. To bring his legacy accurately to a bigger audience.

ETonline previously caught up with Reese Witherspoon, who stars in the Golden Globe-nominated biopic, Wild.

Meanwhile, Cumberbatch has been breaking hearts with the recent news of his engagement to Sophie Hunter. It was recently confirmed the two are pregnant with their first child together.