I sent a long letter, photo and a self addressed stamped envelope to Benedict via the movie set of "The Fifth Estate" on 10 January 2013. I received my photo back signed with a wonderful, charming note from Benedict on 31 January 2013! He even added an Iceland stamp to my return envelope to make sure that I get my photo back from him!
Benedict has to be right up there as quite possibly my favourite actor ever. It all began during my high school days with the brilliant Amazing Grace, which I decided to watch after one of my teachers praised the film during class. As I was watching this movie, I became deeply enamoured by Benedict and his rich, deep voice, cheekbones that could cut glass, and his noble-like acting as Prime Minister William Pitt in the film.
The rest is history and today I am proud to say that I've seen all of his work thus far. It is impossible to go into depth and name all of my favourite performances of his - I loved everything from Starter for 10, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Hawking, Third Star, Stuart: A Life Backwards, Wreckers, his incredible mo-cap and voice work in The Hobbit movies, and also the exceptional TV series To the Ends of the Earth that was filmed here in South Africa.
Benedict blew me away with Sherlock. His performance as the world's only consulting detective brings so much joy to the legions of avid fans of the series like myself: his Sherlock makes for an intimate experience as he takes the viewer along on his adrenaline adventures. My favourite episode so far has to be "A Scandal in Belgravia": he showed a more vulnerable and emotional side of the sleuth in this great episode that rightly earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
There are three films in particular where he made a big impact on me: Star Trek Into Darkness, Third Star and Stuart: A Life Backwards. As a big fan of the 2009 Star Trek movie, I absolutely loved Benedict as the menacing villain John Harrison/Khan in the sequel - his intimidatingly authentic performance as the villain with a cause alone made this sequel worthwhile.
Then there is his stunning performance in Third Star where he so delicately portrayed the humanity and kindheartedness of his character, James. He has this amazing enduring love for his closest friends, but struggles with an inner fear for his cancer and death, and consequently longs to relive a place and time before his inevitable passing.
I knew I was in for a treat with Stuart: A Life Backwards: Benedict and Tom Hardy perfectly complimented each other in this moving film that showcases a beautiful mix of humour, sadness, joy, drama and heartbreaking moments all rolled into one brutally honest story.
Benedict is an incomparable talent: he is naturally self-effacing, he can be hysterically funny, and he treats other people with the utmost respect and kindness. That undeniable appeal comes so naturally to him and despite his massive popularity, he is accessible and open towards his Cumbercollective.
I wrote paragraphs upon paragraphs praising his talents in my letter, yet he took more interest to get to know me, his fan. He gives the best interviews, and however unlikely, I feel so honoured that he hopes that I interview him one day and because of those words he wrote to me, I strive to live my dreams every day.