Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays a surgeon-turned-sorcerer vested with powerful magical powers and skills in Doctor Strange, has compared magic with acting. He says it’s all about making what you watch seem possible, even though it is not.
Doctor Stephen Strange, his character in Marvel Studios’ forthcoming film, was a celebrated but arrogant surgeon until an accident costs him his medical skills and career. In an attempt to restore his talents, he travels the world until he encounters The Ancient One, the enigmatic teacher who offers to teach him the ways of the Mystic Arts. One of the inspirations for his character was the radio show ‘Chandu the Magician’, which featured a magician who learned magic in India. Did he get a chance to get trained by Indian yogis?
“It would have taken me little longer than I had to do this film, had I trained with the yogis. We didn’t do that, but we practised mindfulness and meditation. It is a superhero film after all. There is no one who can teach you how to be a superhero. It’s an acting exercise,” said Cumberbatch.
“I had a great team helping me. So, it was fun. But who knows? Maybe, one day in future some magicians might come and we will have a chat. But I don’t profess to having any actual skills as a magician... like acting, it’s about making what you watch seem possible, even though it is impossible, and there are ways of doing that,” he added.
The ‘Sherlock’ star said that he has been practising meditation since he was 19. “Have I done it every day? No. I haven’t because of my work or losing sight of how important it is,” said the actor, now 40.