Thom Yorke Interviews Benedict Cumberbatch About Crying on Cue, Tibetan Monasteries & Slippers

J. Countess/WireImage
Benedict Cumberbatch during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on Sept. 9, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. 

Thom Yorke interviewed Benedict Cumberbatch for Interview magazine and the discussion was full of revelations, near-Socratic dialogues and exchanges about owning slippers.

The interview highlights the dynamic between the cerebral film actor and the sensitive rock star, whose unexpected friendship is full of solidarity over their high-profile celebrity status.

The Radiohead frontman compared his non-chronological interviewing style to Just Seventeen, an out-of-print British teen mag.

Naturally, he opened his line of questioning with Cumberbatch’s time as a 19-year-old teacher in a Tibetan monastery in Darjeeling.

While the future film star didn’t get paid for his work, his job had its perks. “You’re surrounded by the monks and their lives,” Cumberbatch said. “Nature was ever present; that was gobsmackingly beautiful, as was the spirit and nature and philosophy and way of life of these monks.”

When Yorke was that age, he took a gap year after high school “doing shitty jobs” and recording demos until he ended up in art school.

Later on, Cumberbatch speaks about having actors Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham as parents. “I wasn’t a child actor brat,” he said. “I didn’t travel with them in the circuit. But I got a look into their world, so I did know what I was getting into, to an extent. And they are a constant source of grounding. My massive motivation in life is to make them proud.”

Yorke then revealed that he and bandmate Ed O’Brien are obsessed with the battle between “war of the currents” competitors Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse -- an issue explored in Cumberbatch’s upcoming film, The Current War.

Elsewhere in the interview, we found out that Cumberbatch is bad at saying “no,” first listened to A Moon Shaped Pool while driving and compared crying while acting to practicing scales.

Read the full interview in Interview magazine here.


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