It seems as though to be considered a successful actor in contemporary society, you must abide by the practice of method acting, whereby one commits themselves so much to a role that they seemingly lose all knowledge of who they are and what they’re doing. Such was the case for Benedict Cumberbatch for his latest role in The Power of the Dog by Jane Campion, a film the actor claims to have been method acting for during the entire production.
Starring in the film alongside Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Thomasin McKenzie, Cumberbatch plays a snarling cattle rancher who imposes his figurative weight on his family and friends around him. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live about his latest role he told the station, “I embodied him for a more intense and locked in period of time than any other character I’ve played to date and that took a while to unravel”.
Revealing that he’d “pissed off” Plemons with his method acting, Cumberbatch went on to describe the oddity of revealing himself to his co-stars once the production ended, realising that they had not yet met the real actor behind the character. As the actor describes, “I looked up and I was surrounded by the crew with champagne and candles and they were raising a glass to say goodbye to him and hello to me because they hadn’t met me! I’d been the character with them for every minute”.
The latest film Jane Campion is a revisionist western that touches on themes of toxic masculinity, sensitivity, parenthood and strength against adversity. Featuring Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, the film is due to sweep at the 2022 Academy Awards, with each actor due to be nominated in their respective category.
Take a look at the trailer for the new Netflix film, below.