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(Credit: Tiff)

Film

Benedict Cumberbatch talks about non-binary 'Zoolander 2' character

Benedict Cumberbatch has been receiving a lot of attention after his starring turn in The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion’s return to the world of cinema after a gap of more than a decade. The film has already broken Netflix’s records for the most number of ‘Best Picture’ nominations and is a leading contender in the upcoming Awards season.

There have also been reports about Cumberbatch’s excessive method acting on set which led him to completely ignore Kirsten Dunst during the filming process in order to maintain the hostility between their characters. In addition, Cumberbatch angered Jesse Plemons by calling him “big boy” but he later apologised and admitted that he had taken it too far.

Cumberbatch also admitted in a recent interview that his portrayal of a non-binary character in the 2016 film Zoolander 2 was less than ideal. According to the actor, he would never take the same role now if it was offered to him as he was aware of the insensitivity that such a depiction would entail.

At the time, there was a significant public backlash against the production and 25,000 signatures were submitted to boycott the film. “There was a lot of contention around the role, understandably now,” Cumberbatch recalled. “And I think in this era, my role would never be performed by anybody other than a trans actor.”

While discussing the role, Cumberbatch explained his thought process behind taking the role by saying: “I remember at the time not thinking of it necessarily in that regard, and it being more about two dinosaurs, two heteronormative clichés not understanding this new diverse world… but it backfired a little bit.”

Watch the new trailer for The Power of the Dog below.