Date: September 4, 2011
By Emma John
【有些很喜欢的衣服平时总是舍不得穿，总是想等到某个“特别的日子”才拿出来，却发现已经过时；好在文字不会out of fashion。旧日的采访里仿佛能看见生气勃勃的人物跃然纸上，这是原作者Emma的功劳，而我，只是在享受文字之余，怀着欢喜和敬意尝试着把它表达成我的母语，这是朝九晚九实验室生活之余最好的relax。全文翻译附在后面。 】
Benedict Cumberbatch is talking Edwardian manners, the brutishness of croquet and a million other things that segue rapidly into each other while my brain struggles feebly to keep up. He is making me a cup of Earl Grey, and a single question – shall we share a teabag? – has triggered this rush of inspiration, from tea ceremonies to post-colonial theory. It's fair to say that Cumberbatch is both a thinker and a talker.
His features – the huge almond eyes, the sweeping Cupid's bow, the acute tapering from cheekbones to chin – can, in repose, hint at something extra-terrestrial; lit with animation, however, they're charmingly boyish. He's soon to begin shooting a TV adaptation of Ford Madox Ford's First World War novel Parade's End, hence the current obsession with Edwardian England – Cumberbatch prepares meticulously for each new role with a welter of study and likes to immerse himself in the relevant historical and cultural detail. So what, I wonder, did he do for his part in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, his latest film? Learn Russian? Write ciphers?
He says he did go on a secret solo mission – to kite surf in Morocco. "It was the first time I'd gone on holiday on my own," he says, looking, as he says it, much younger than his 35 years. "I was in Essaouira and because my character was a spy originally stationed in North Africa, I walked the streets alone at night imagining what it was like for him – the oppressive doorways, the dark alleys."
Cumberbatch has recently had his pick of roles: starring alongside Jonny Lee Miller in Danny Boyle's sold-out Frankenstein, directed by Steven Spielberg in War Horse and cast by Peter Jackson in The Hobbit. But he has, he admits, always wanted to play a spy – "any actor worth their salt would jump at the chance", he says, "because it's all about mask shifting". His opportunity finally came thanks to Tomas Alfredson, the Swedish director of Let The Right One In, who cast him in his adaptation of John Le Carré's celebrated MI6 thriller – a film that is already being talked about in the industry in hushed, Oscar-worthy tones.
The iconic Cold War spymaster George Smiley is played by Gary Oldman – trading in his usual fire-eating performance for a cloak of impassivity – and Cumberbatch is Peter Guillam, his sidekick in all but name, who puts his own integrity on the line to help him uncover a Russian mole at the heart of the secret service. As eyecatching as the film's 70s aesthetic – gunmetal London skies, stolen documents in buff folders – are the names populating MI6's HQ: Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, John Hurt and Tom Hardy. "That's a call sheet I'm going to frame and keep for ever," says Cumberbatch.
You imagine this gentlemanly cabal of British actors convening in their trailers at night to share a bottle of malt and smoke Havanas, and while the reality wasn't quite as glamorous, Cumberbatch is visibly thrilled by the memories – reliving them with pitch-perfect impressions of his co-stars. First there's the terrifyingly laconic Oldman – at their first meeting a nervous Cumberbatch chattered uncontrollably, while the older actor silently scanned him through his sunglasses – next, it's his mate Tom Hardy, who Cumberbatch got to punch, for real, halfway through the film. "'No, no, blow harder, blow harder, it's cool, I can take it!'" rattles Cumberbatch, in Hardy's geezer tones. "I said, 'Tom, mate, it's not cos I don't want to hurt you, I just don't want to break a sweat…'"
You suspect he also didn't want to wreck his suit: while Hardy gets to swagger around in a sheepskin jacket, Cumberbatch is buttoned into sharp three-pieces. "Tom did Starsky and Hutch via The Sweeney and I got the suits," he grins. "Fuck me, those suits…" If there's plenty of competition for the best acting performance in Tinker, Tailor, Cumberbatch wins most-dapper-dressed with ease: one dark grey number with powder-blue tie and matching kerchief practically demands its own agent. "I'm hoping maybe the film's going to bring that kind of 70s suit back, you know?" he says, putting on an exaggeratedly hopeful face. "Like Keira was supposed to do for one-piece swimwear in Atonement…"
His off-screen persona hasn't always been so stylish: "I've been quite a late developer on the clothes front, but I've suddenly realised it is one of life's joys." Martin Freeman, his Sherlock co-star, can take some of the credit. "There's a man who knows his threads," nods Cumberbatch, admiringly. "He's a very natty dresser. He gets stuff made and is always coming in with new pairs of shoes so I've been watching his clobber…" So much so that his credit card was recently declined after a birthday spree at Selfridges. "That's when I realised that I'm changing my habits!"
He looks down at the outfit he's wearing and ticks off recent purchases – the trousers ("I'm not sure the turn-ups work with these Jack Purcells," he frets), the Reiss sports jacket. "In the riots I would probably have stuck out like a dandy sore thumb and been beaten to shit."
Sherlock was shooting night scenes in north London during the August riots. Fortunately for Cumberbatch, his scenes had already wrapped, but Mark Gatiss and Martin Freeman were among those evacuated from the location shoot when gangs bore down on the set, stealing scaffold poles and smashing trucks. Cumberbatch admits, with humour and considerable passion, that the riots were a nasty challenge to his natural liberal principles. "I'm a Prince of Wales Trust ambassador, so I'm all about giving youth an education, a voice and a chance to not take the wrong road," he says. "But those eejits saying they're doing it for socio-political reasons? Fuck off, no you're not, you're on a jolly and you're getting away with it. It makes me want to belt them, make them lame for a bit so they're dependent on other people's mercy…
"It's very hard for me to talk about it," he continues, "because I came from an incredibly privileged bubble so the minute I open my mouth I can sense the comeback of, 'What the fuck do you know?' And that's fair. But my sympathy is with the people who do know what they're talking about, who have been brought up on estates and live morally decent, contributing lives and who have seen opportunists destroying all their work."
Perhaps the subject is close to his heart because he has always loved kids and young people. He's been broody "for ever" – a few years ago he said that he'd like to be a dad by his mid-30s. "Yeah, I'm a bit behind on that," he says ruefully. "Maybe it's because I was an only child, but I've always wanted kids. I've realised now that the reality of children is you have to be in the right place with the right person."
Last year he broke up with his partner of 12 years, actor Olivia Poulet; he hadn't been single since he was at university. "When I was last single I wasn't the same person, I was desperately backwards in coming forwards. But now I quite enjoy it. Naturally, I miss the proximity of a partnership with someone I know and love – and I still love Olivia to bits – but being single's fun."
It's not the only respect in which his life has recently changed considerably. A few months ago, he was offered the opportunity to star on Broadway, reprising his much-acclaimed role in Thea Sharrock's production of After The Dance – and he turned it down. "I've never really made a head-over-heart decision like that before," he says, "but there's a bit of momentum and I'd like to keep myself available for films. Because I would like to sit at the big table. I've been watching James [McAvoy] and Michael Fassbender and Ben Whishaw and I want a little taste of that…"
Having Spielberg and Jackson already on his CV shouldn't hurt his chances. Cumberbatch is keen to diversify and prove that he can do far more on screen than the rent-a-toff roles his aristocratic bearing and Harrow-educated vowels might suggest. And, as his kite-surfing holiday hints at, he's not afraid of physical adventure. "I'd love to transform my body into some ridiculous war machine," he says, with a twinkle. Don't bet against this cerebral character actor reinventing himself as an action hero, given half the chance. "I want to have my Daniel Craig moment!" he laughs. "I want to run round a desert shooting guns at aliens and looking like I barely have to take a breath. I'd love to do all that shit!"
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is out on 16 September.
英剧Sherlock的主演BC即将在《锅匠》中出演一位衣着优雅的70年代的英国间谍，他对记者Emma John讲述了风筝冲浪、单身生活以及拳打Tom Hardy的乐趣，同时还将展示下一季的新锐着装。
他的相貌——大大的杏核眼，鲜明的丘比特弓，从颧骨到下巴锐利的收缩线条——在表情平静时，隐约有点外星人特质，而表情活分起来时又透着一股迷人的孩子气。他即将开始参演一部新剧，该剧改编自Ford Madox Ford的一战题材小说《队列之末》，这导致了现阶段他痴迷于爱德华治下的英格兰——BC通过大量的学习为他每一个新角色进行精心的准备，他喜欢沉浸在相关时期的历史和文化氛围里。所以，我不禁好奇，他为最新一部影片《锅匠》里的角色做了哪些功课？是学习俄语么？抑或编写密码？
【Cupid's bow，丘比特弓，人中之下与上唇中央交接的地方，敬请参见任意一张缺亲脸部特写。如果普通美女的Cupid's bow算是^^的话，他那个绝对是童叟无欺的深V 】
Cumberbatch近来好角色扎堆：他和Jonny lee Miller共同担纲Danny Boyle导演的热门舞台剧《弗兰肯斯坦》，接拍Steven Spielberg的《战马》，又被Peter Jackson相中参演《霍比特人》。不过，他承认自己一直都想演间谍——“任何一名称职的演员都会抓住这种机会”，他说：“因为它能让你过足戏瘾。”他终于如愿以偿，这多亏了瑞典导演Tomas Alfredson。该导演代表作是《生人勿进》，他邀请BC出演一部关于军情六处的电影，改编自John Le Carré的著名小说，这部片子在业界已有冲奥的传闻。
著名的冷战间谍大师George Smiley将由Gary Oldman饰演——他总是在平静的表象下爆发出咄咄逼人的气场——Cumberbatch扮演Peter Guillam，暗中作为Smiley的助手，不惜赌上全部身家帮助Smiley，合力挖出圆场高层中的俄国地鼠。电影中充斥着70年代的美感——伦敦青铜色的天空，文件夹中失窃的档案——和这些一样抢眼的是军情六处总部的人员名单：Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, John Hurt以及Tom Hardy。Cumberbatch说：“我真想把这份名单加框裱起来永久珍藏。”
在人们的想象中，这群风度翩翩的英国演员晚上会聚在活动拖车里喝点小酒、抽抽雪茄，但是现实中可不那么迷人，Cumberbatch明显被那段记忆吓得不轻。先是Oldman寡言得恐怖——他们第一次会面时，紧张的Cumberbatch失控地说个不停，然而Oldman只是透过墨镜沉默地看着他。接着是他的小伙伴Tom Hardy，片中Cumberbatch要结实的胖揍他一顿。Cumberbatch模仿Hardy的怪调吼道：“不，不，打得再狠点，再狠点，太爽了，我能受得了！” “我回答说，‘Tom，伙计，不是因为我不想伤着你，我只是不想累的满头大汗...’”【血脉喷张有木有> <!】
在私人生活中，他的形象可不总是那么有型：“我在服装方面的兴趣开发的比较晚，但是我突然间发现研究穿衣之道是人生乐趣之一。”对于这一转变，《神探夏洛克》的另一主演Martin Freeman功不可没。“Martin总是知道自己适合什么，”Cumberbatch不无钦佩地点头，“他对穿衣非常讲究。他衣着得体，总换新鞋子，所以我一直看他各种换装...” 为了庆生，BC在Selfridges百货公司进行疯狂血拼之后，刷爆了自己的信用卡。“就在那一刻我意识到我的爱好转变了！”
8月份伦敦骚乱的的时候，Sherlock剧组正在伦敦北部拍摄一些夜景戏。在暴徒闯到那里偷走脚手架和卡车之前，Cumberbatch已经幸运地拍完了自己的戏份，但是Mark Gatiss和Martin Freeman还在那里，他俩和其他人员一起撤离了拍摄地。Cumberbatch不无幽默地承认，这起暴乱威胁到了他一贯的自由主义原则。“我是王子信托基金的大使，所以我一直致力于为年轻人提供教育、话语权和机会，以免他们误入歧途。”他说道，“但是这些暴徒竟然说他们发起暴乱是出于社会政治因素？见鬼去吧，才不是呢，他们一通胡闹还能逃脱处罚。我真想抽他们一顿，让他们一瘸一拐地向其他的人求饶...”
【The Prince's Trust：，王子信托基金会，创建于1976年，旨在帮助年轻人开创自己的事业。言语间显现出一个正义小使者缺！快和麦哥潮爷组成飞天小女警哦不飞天侦探团吧~】
私人感情可不是BC生活发生巨变的唯一方面。几个月前，他收到了在百老汇登台的邀请，重现他在Thea Sharrock导演的戏剧《After The Dance》中大受好评的表演——但是他拒绝了。“我之前从没做出过像那样理智战胜情感的决定，”他说，“但是现在有些契机，我想把时间留给拍电影。因为我想拓宽戏路。我一直关注着 James McAvoy，Michael Fassbender以及Ben Whishaw，我也想像他们那样...”【记得巨蟹座的关键词就是“I feel”，一般都是感性强于理性的。另外，BC关注的人真的都是形象多变的演技派呢。】
履历上新增了名导Spielberg和Jackson的名字对BC来说绝对有益无害。Cumberbatch渴望着多样的角色，渴望着在荧幕上证明自己能胜任更多，远不止他的贵族举止和公学背景所暗示的贵公子形象。而且，度假期间风筝冲浪的经历暗示着他不畏惧动作戏。他两眼发光地说道：“我很乐意将身体改造成某种荒谬的战争机器。”别不相信这位善于演绎高智商角色的演员会把他自己重新改造成动作明星，只要有一点点机会他就会的。“我想有Daniel Craig那种机会！”他笑道，“我想在沙漠狂奔，射击外星人，同时看起来仿佛不费吹灰之力。我TM就想这么做！”【Daniel Craig：007扮演者】