Benedict Cumberbatch knows he was “lucky” to have received so much help when he bulked up for Doctor Strange.
The 40-year-old actor stars as the mysterious surgeon-turned-sorcerer in Marvel’s new film, who along with being incredibly brainy is also physically strong. Benedict trained extensively for the part but didn’t feel overwhelmed as he had plenty of people on hand during his fitness journey.
“You eat very well, you get trained by brilliant people, you work out and you do yoga, you have a physio if you injure yourself, you do stunts, you do running, you have someone editing your diet,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s all handed to you. It’s not that hard. You just really have to apply yourself. We’re lucky. People would kill for that kind of experience. As long as you do it sensibly, it’s safe.”
He continued to explain there are good and bad ways of achieving a muscular physique; the good being dieting and exercising over a long period of time like he did, and the unhealthy way consisting of extreme bodybuilding to achieve new muscles which “destroys” the body.
Benedict began his training for the prestigious part before he starred the London West End adaptation of Hamlet in 2015, working out an hour every morning before rehearsing his physically-demanding performance. Once the show opened to the public the star had a packed schedule, exercising, practising for Doctor Strange then treading the boards in Hamlet.
“Hamlet was like a three-hour cardiovascular (workout),” he recalled. “I don’t think I was in better shape during the film than I was when I was doing Hamlet and training for the film. That was probably when I was at my peak.”