Benedict Cumberbatch on his “challenging” ‘Eric’ character: “It was a gift”

Benedict Cumberbatch on his “challenging” ‘Eric’ character: “It was a gift”

Benedict Cumberbatch has told NME about the challenge of embracing a character with as much internal darkness as Vincent in the Netflix drama Eric.

READ MORE: ‘Eric’ review: Benedict Cumberbatch’s troubled puppeteer never truly captivates

The miniseries was written by Abi Morgan (Shame, Suffragette), and Cumberbatch plays Vincent, the puppeteer father of nine-year-old Edgar, who has gone missing in New York. Vincent tries to track his son down by creating an enormous furry puppet, which he names Eric, that the kid had been doodling before he disappeared.

The six-part psychological thriller is streaming in full now on Netflix following its May 30 release.

In a new interview with NME, Cumberbatch has given an insight into how he accessed the inner life of Vincent, a heavy-drinking misanthrope.

When asked whether embracing a character with such darkness was actually more fun, he answered: “Yes, but I think like writing anything off in a two-dimensional manner, if there’s not some causality or understanding or empathy for why he is the way he is then it gets old very quick.”

See the interview below:

“So, my main question to Abi [Morgan] when I met her,” he continued. “I only had three episodes, so I needed to know where the rest of the series was headed. Because, yeah, [he’s] a very self-destructive, toxic man who’s brought a working crisis into a family crisis into a societal crisis and collapses from all of it.”

“So, how do we get to understand this complex guy? One of the ways is he has a psychotic split and seven-foot-tall blue monster walkaround puppet is born in the shape of Eric. It was one of the most original reads I’d ever experienced. I knew it would be challenging, but really the Eric part of it was really a gift. It’s the internal struggles made external.”

In the same interview, Cumberbatch discussed his recent listening habits, which included U2, Max Richter, Elbow and the Polish cellist Dobrawa Czocher.

In a three-star review of Eric, NME wrote: “Whereas Sherlock made a virtue of Cumberbatch’s aloof nature, Eric shines an unforgiving spotlight on it to the extent that you cannot warm to Vincent despite his tragedy. Add to this the fact that Eric displays none of the innocent glee one might expect from a show so concerned with children’s puppets, and it becomes confusing viewing.”

The post Benedict Cumberbatch on his “challenging” ‘Eric’ character: “It was a gift” appeared first on NME.

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