Cumberbitches, cover your eyes. You won’t like what you’re about to read.
According to Radio Times, Sherlock and Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat revealed at Monday’s Hay Festival that the BBC wasn’t always happy with his casting choices. Specifically: They didn’t think David Tennant was a sexy enough Casanova, and shockingly, they thought the same of Cumberbatch, who apparently lacked a certain sex appeal.
“They said of casting David Tennant as Casanova, ‘Damn, you should have cast someone sexier’,” Moffat said. “With Benedict Cumberbatch, we were told the same thing. ‘You promised us a sexy Sherlock, not him.’”
While it may make fans scream in protest, this actually isn’t the first time we’ve had this discussion. In EW’s cover story on the show, published this past January, writer Clark Collis chimed in on the Cumberbatch’s casting after talking to Moffat, Cumberbatch, and producer Sue Vertue:
The Sherlock team asked Cumberbatch to audition for the role of Holmes after they saw the 2007 war drama Atonement and his portrayal of Paul Marshall, whom the actor succinctly describes as “a child-raping chocolate millionaire.” Notes Cumberbatch, “I don’t really equate that with how I characterize Sherlock Holmes. But they did somehow, and I’m very grateful for it.” Moffat says Cumberbatch was regarded as “the critic’s choice, a great actor rather than a star.” Few believed the angular-featured thespian possessed hunk potential. “When we first cast him, people were saying, ‘You promised us a sexy one!’” says Vertue. “People weren’t thinking of Benedict in that light at all.” Another hurdle they faced when selling Benedict Cumberbatch as the star? The fact that he was called Benedict Cumberbatch. “When people said, ‘Who’s playing Sherlock Holmes?’ and we’d say, ‘Benedict Cumberbatch,’ everyone looked very vague,” recalls Vertue. “Then we’d always have to spell his name.”
Based on the entire world’s obsession with Cumberbatch (and this shower scene), it’s probably safe to say that BBC was wrong. But what do you all think? Is Cumberbatch a sexy enough Holmes? [Cowering from the choruses of “YAAASSSS!!!”]