Benedict Cumberbatch has admitted to “stealing” from Johnny Lee Miller for their upcoming performances in Danny Boyle’s stage adaptation of Frankenstein.
The actors will alternate in the roles of Frankenstein and the Creature in the production of Mary Shelly’s gothic novel, which opens at the National Theatre for previews on February 5. The play will be broadcast to cinemas around the world on March 17 as part of National Theatre Live.
Miller told The Guardian: “We’re not precious. We find it constructive to talk to each other about what looks good, what doesn’t. We’re more of a team.”
Cumberbatch added: “The dialogue between us is selfless and co-operative. If there’s something really good that he does, I will ask if I can incorporate it.”
While Miller stressed that the pair do not steal ideas from each other, Cumberbatch countered: “There’s no shame in stealing – any actor who says he doesn’t is lying. You steal from everything.”
Explaining the concept behind the idea of switching roles, Boyle said: “Frankenstein is creating life without women. The idea is to bring two actors as close to that notion as possible.
“And how do you do that? In terms of the performance, Frankenstein and the Creature literally create each other: every other night they reinhabit each other.”