Cumberbatch – it sounds like a fart in a bath, doesn’t it? What a fluffy old name. I can never say it on a Monday morning. When I became an actor, Mum wasn’t keen on me keeping it.
I am very flattered. I have also become a verb as in I have cumberbatched the UK audience apparently. Who knows, by the end of the year I might become a swear word too! It’s crazy and fun and very flattering.
Cutting the arts makes them more and more elitist … I don’t mean to be selfish but I don’t want to be in subsidised arts if I’m going to be performing only to Tory sons and daughters.
His middle name, Carlton, was cleaner and sounded less like a fart in the bath … My first agent dissuaded me from calling myself ‘Cumberbatch.’ I had six months of not very productive time with her, so I changed agents. The new one said, ‘Why aren’t you using your family name? It’s a real attention-grabber.’ I worried, ‘How much is it going to cost to put my name in lights?’ But, then I decided that’s not my problem.