- February 15th, 2011
Benedict Cumberbatch is a thing to behold. I can't remember when I was last so suddenly and completely smitten. Of course I was completely smitten by Colin Morgan a couple of years ago and continue to be so but that lovely Irish lad had been a complete revelation to me when Merlin came out. (Actually I realized later that I had seen him in Dr. Who. It was an OMG, yeah! moment) Benedict Cumberbatch, however, I have seen in quite a few things without him really registering with me. I didn't even remember his name (and how could you forget something like that once it got into your consciousness) Obviously it is Sherlock that got me. On seeing it I thought that the casting was perfect and for the first time in a long time I thought I had found an actor that could pull off my favorite literary character that has not yet been portrayed in film, Francis Crawford of Lymond. Trying to cast that non-existent PBS series in my head has been an enjoyable exercise for a long time. I've come up with some interesting choices for all of the parts except for Lymond himself. No one would do since I first considered a young David Bowie, back when he dabbled in acting. The closest I've come is Colin Morgan. I have never seen him play a chill intellect or a man who is capable of military command but I have complete faith that he would be able to step into any well written skin (and even some not so well written) and be brilliant. He has the slender build and the outrageous beauty and the blue eyes but what I could never wrap my head around is that I could never see Colin Morgan playing BLOND. And blond is what Francis Crawford absolutely must be, it is actually integral to the story. So sadly no Colin Morgan although he is close. Now here is some guy with the stuffiest name ever, cheekbones that could cut glass and a tongue that could draw blood. He could do the razor intellect and wounding tongue. He could do the beauty, the slender whipcord strength and the extreme fairness. A pair of blue contacts over the gray eyes and I have found my Francis Crawford at last! Curious I watched his other performances and quite a few interviews and to my shock Benedict Cumberbatch is no Francis Crawford, he's Will Scott! He is so affable and self-deprecating. And he's a ginger! He was totally made to play Will Scott in all his earnest and somewhat hapless passion. Well...I can't cast him in both roles, he is just going to have to play Francis, I'll think of someone else for Will but it will be hard to think of someone better. Although B.C is obviously intelligent and quite articulate he is so mild and funny. It is incredible the gulf between Sherlock and Benedict. I guess BC is the real deal, an actor who is now in danger of becoming a celebrity. I would hate to see it happen to him. He doesn't need the exposure to get work, he is very busy both on screen in supporting roles and especially on stage where he can work to his heart's content in the many theaters in the city he lives in with his long-time partner and ride his motorcycle to work every night. Celebrity is far more likely to screw him up then help him so I feel a little guilty about joining the tidal wave that might swamp him. I just can't help myself though, I've been Cumberbatched!