ET spoke to Cumberbatch about the MCU and what it was like to film his new Western during the pandemic.
Benedict Cumberbatch is all for the expansion of the Marvel universe. ET spoke to the Doctor Strange star ahead of his new film, Power of the Dog, where he shared his reaction to Harry Styles joining the MCU.
"I didn't even know he was, I’m so out of the loop," Cumberbatch admitted before sharing his excitement over Styles' Eternals role. "He's great, really great."
While the 45-year-old actor was pretty tight-lipped on all things Marvel, he did open up about switching gears to shoot the Western which had him ignoring his co-star, Kirsten Dunst, on set, in order to truly get into character.
"We get on very well off set, so I couldn't really bring that down to work, because to be Phil was a very singular experience, and I had to be incredibly subjective on my take on it," Cumberbatch explained of going full Method mode to channel the angry ranch hand. "On the working day, I really had to be in his mindset and in his body for the duration of the shoot, so that I could feel like I committed everything I possibly could to bring off what is a very extraordinary and complex and difficult character, but there are so many gifts and treasures in him, I really liked being him."
He continued, "It gave me permission to do things I hadn't done before, and to examine skills and just sort of [an] approach to work that I had never used before."
It took a little time for Cumberbatch to shake his character too, with the acclaimed actor telling ET that it was his driver on the set that helped him get both in and out of the role each day.
"It was like an hour-and-a-half drive, so I would shed him quickly after I took the chaps and the boots and the hat off," he revealed. "I would get in the car, kick back and play some music and roll the windows down, talk to Scottie who's like my right hand man, who drove me. He was my touchstone through the whole picture. It was just really nice to have a friend in the car like that, who just would be super chill with me on the way in, coming into character, and on the way back going, 'Hi, Scottie, I’m back. It's Ben.'"
While Cumberbatch said that he walked away from the already buzzed-about movie with lots of memories to hold onto, one of the things that will stick with him most, is filming the Western in New Zealand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's a long list. I don't have favorites, but the experience of the country and going to lockdown there, and picking up the film again was quite an extraordinary experience, because you know our gig is a gift, but when you have to stop and when it's a film that required so many logistical loopholes to actually continue, it was really precarious for a while there, so, it just taught me to take nothing for granted ever again and really revel in that," he shared.
Power of the Dog is in select theaters now and will be available on Netflix on Dec. 1.
Tune in to tonight's episode of Entertainment Tonight for more of ET's interview with Cumberbatch.
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