22 | squaremeal.co.uk There's a story that Benedict Cumberbatch likes to tell.
It was 2004 and he was in South Africa lming period
drama To the Ends of the Earth. After a night-shoot, close
to the Mozambique border, he was driving home with
his co-stars Denise Black and Theo Landey, when a
tyre blew. As the trio stepped out onto the highway
to assess the damage, six men suddenly appeared from nowhere.
'I was scared,' he says. 'Really scared.'
Held up against the car, Cumberbatch and his companions were
tied up with their own shoelaces, beaten and bundled into the boot
- the beginning of a two-and-a-half-hour ordeal that left an indelible
mark on the young actor. So vivid are his memories of that night, he
can still recall the lyrics of the Radiohead songs that were playing on
the car stereo, moments before the incident. 'It was one of the best
times in my life,' he reects, 'then bang! Every time I'm feeling really
good, a bit of me is waiting for that bang.'
Maybe that's only natural after such a life-threatening incident.
With starring roles in some of last
lms, not to mention a
ning performance as that
detective, this is clearly Benedict
Cumberbatch's time to shine
WORDS JAMES MOTTRAM
OF THE MAN