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!
Ben 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 Ben 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’ve seen all of his work. Some of my favourites include Starter for 10, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Hawking, Third Star, Stuart: A Life Backwards, Wreckers, his small but very significant role in Atonement, and also in the exceptional TV series To the Ends of the Earth that was filmed here in South Africa.
However, Ben blew me away all over again after the very first episode of Sherlock. His performance as the world's only consulting detective brings so much joy to the 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 in the series so far is definitely "A Scandal in Belgravia": he showed a more vulnerable, weak 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 Ben as the menacing villain John Harrison/Khan in the sequel - Ben’s 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: Ben 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.
Ben 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 Ben and despite his massive popularity, he is accessible and open towards his legions of fans.
I wrote paragraphs upon paragraphs praising his talents in my letter, yet Ben 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 reach my goals every day.