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Benedict Cumberbatch Reveals What He Almost Changed His Name To

Benedict Cumberbatch Reveals What He Almost Changed His Name To

The actor said his surname 'sounds like a fart in a bath'

Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed what he almost changed his last name to before he became a household name.

The actor has quite a distinctive surname, as you've probably noticed, and he was almost tempted to swap it out for a more low-key alternative.

The 45-year-old was appearing on The Late Late Show with James Corden alongside his Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness co-star, Elizabeth Olsen.

Opening up about the near name change, he said he nearly plumped for 'Ben Carlton', shortening his first name and using one of his middle names as his surname.

Now, I don't know about you, but I always assumed Benedict Cumberbatch was one of those made up names used in the acting biz – because who the hell is called Benedict Cumberbatch?

So naturally, his agents advised him not to look that distinctive gift horse in the mouth.

Recalling their confusion, he said they asked: "You've got a great surname, why are you using your middle name? I don't know any actors called Cumberbatch."

Explaining his rationale at the time, he continued: "Because it's just kind of like burh-burh-burh - it sounds like a fart in a bath or something, Cum-buur-buuutch, you know.

"I find it difficult to say on a Monday morning, it's a great sort of Scrabble score, but apart from that it's a bit clumsy.

"They went, 'It's great, it's very unique and different and people might remember it'."

Sure enough, after reverting back to his original mouthful of a name, he said the work started coming in.

Since those uncertain early days finding his feet, Cumberbatch's career has gone from strength to strength, with his recent performance as a conflicted rancher in the psychological drama The Power of the Dog earning him an Oscar nomination for best actor in a leading role.

Will Smith picked up the prize though – shortly after smacking Chris Rock, which somewhat overshadowed his big moment.

As for Cumberbatch, he's loving switching up his projects, moving from 'artisan' movies like The Power of the Dog to mainstream Marvel movies like the new-released Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

He explained: "I love the fact that I get to straddle the polarities of our culture and play in populous fare like this as well as something more artisan, I suppose, in terms of Power of The Dog.

"People say, 'Green screen, what does it feel like? Is it very odd? Is it frustrating?' It's not. It's great. You are like a kid and you have to create everything yourself."

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Featured Image Credit: CBS/The Late Late Show

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV