Benedict Cumberbatch talks about Meryl Streep, ‘August: Osage County’


Meryl Streep coming up, going, ‘Oh my God, we’re such big fans. We love you as Sherlock. How do you f***ing do that s***?’ And then Ted Danson – going, ‘Oh my God, it’s f***ing Sherlock.’  ”

Benedict mimes being trapped between Sam Malone from Cheers and Mrs Kramer from Kramer vs. Kramer, both of them freaking out, with him in the middle, mind blown. “Getting advice from George Clooney, on how to handle all of… this.” He stretches his hands out, to represent the past three years.

As luck and Hollywood would have it, he then spent autumn 2012 shooting the forthcoming “August: Osage County” with Streep – plus Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis and Sam Shepard.

He describes acting opposite Streep. “Her character is suffering from oesophageal cancer, smoking like a chimney, high on downers, behaving like the most monstrous matriarchal pterodactyl you can ever imagine. And none of us could act opposite her. None of us. We all, one at a time, went up to her and said, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t act around you because… I can’t stop watching you. We all want to watch you.’ 

The American elections occurred while they were shooting. He gets his iPhone out, and shows shots of Roberts and Streep posing for their own “Yes We Can”-style election posters. As results came in and Obama pulled ahead, they were all screaming at the television.

Eventually, he and Streep were the last ones up, in a Marriott hotel in Oklahoma, “bumping fists when he won”.

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