Benedict Cumberbatch “poisoned himself with nicotine” on the set of The Power of The Dog

In this film directed by Jane Campion, which releases November 30 on Netflix, the actor plays a cowboy from Montana, addicted to cigarettes. A role for which the Briton is greatly involved.

Acting can sometimes be extreme. Extreme weight gain or loss for the sake of a role, a dizzying stunt or, in the case of Benedict Cumberbatch, “cigarette poisoning”. This is what he reveals in an interview with Esquire magazine, on the occasion of the film’s release. The Power Of The Dog.

In this feature film directed by Jane Campion, he plays a cowboy at the head of a ranch in Montana in the United States, in the 1920s. A role in which he is 100% involved, and which forced him to take on new habits. As soon as he arrives on the film set, he makes it a point of honor to remain in his role of Phil Burbank, 24 hours a day. “If someone forgot the first day, and called me Benedict, I wouldn’t budge”, he explains to the American magazine.

To get into the skin of his character, the Briton also had to adopt the lifestyle of a cowboy of the last century. “It was very difficult. Cigarettes rolled without filter, take after take after take. I poisoned myself three times with nicotine. When you have to smoke a lot, it’s really horrible ”, tells the actor to Esquire.

I wanted that layer of stench on me

Benedict Cumberbatch

To make sure he plays his role and looks more real than life, Benedict Cumberbatch has also given up on the hygiene standards we know today, even if it means smelling very strongly. “I wanted that layer of stench on me. I wanted people in the room to know what I was feeling. It’s hard“. There again, he kept his role even far from the film sets: “It wasn’t just during rehearsals. I went out to see Jane’s friends (Campion, the director) for example. I was a little embarrassed for the cleaning lady, in the place where I lived», He confides.

A grueling shoot in the middle of a busy schedule for the British actor. In addition to this feature film, he is also in the cast of The Extraordinary Life of Louis Wain, released on November 5 on Prime Video and will soon be playing on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home, two films from the Marvel Universe.

To accompany Benedict Cumberbatch, director Jane Campion has surrounded herself with Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst. The Power Of The Dog hits screens on November 30, direct to Netflix.


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