Benedict Cumberbatch's close shave

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Sophie Hunter and Benedict Cumberbatch

Sophie Hunter and Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed he nearly missed out on the role of 'Doctor Strange' because he had committed to doing a stint as Hamlet in a London theatre.

Benedict Cumberbatch nearly missed out on the role of 'Doctor Strange'.

The 40-year-old actor thought he would have to turn down the role of the Marvel superhero as filming clashed with his 'Hamlet' shows in London but was amazed when the studios decided to push back the release date to fit in with him.

He told Empire magazine: "I really did think I had to kiss it goodbye. If you can't jump on board when the ride's going past, that's usually it so the hugest compliment they paid me was to come back to me. It motivated me to try to fulfil their faith in me."

The film's director Scott Derrickson revealed that Cumberbatch - who has 15-month-old son Christopher with his wife Sophie Hunter - was "the only actor we seriously considered" but did admit they looked at the likes of Jared Leto and Ryan Gosling aswell.

Meanwhile, Cumberbatch previously admitted the role was "psychologically and physically" demanding.

He said: "He goes through so much psychologically and physically, which I can testify to as an actor. Kevin Feige went, 'I don't think we have put an actor through quite as much as this.' I said, 'I'll wear that badge with pride.'

"It was a tough shoot from that point of view. It was very, very physically demanding. Not just getting all hench, as they say in Wales, the buffness you need for the superhero stuff. But also just day-to-day fitness and the stamina to do 14-15 hour days with very little turnaround and very little sleep and a baby at home and all the rest of it. So I did go through quite a lot. No pain, no gain. But for the character, hopefully it'll show."

Doctor Strange

  • 4 stars
  • 2016
  • US
  • 115 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Scott Derrickson
  • Written by: Steve Ditko, Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, Jon Spaihts
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams
  • UK release: 28 October 2016

When brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) gets his hands mangled in a car crash, he visits Kathmandu to be reborn under the mystic tutelage of the Ancient One (Swinton). A blast: fresh performances from Cumberbatch and Swinton power a dynamic script with well-measured puns and even a littleā€¦

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