Benedict Cumberbatch thinks being a “do-gooder” helps him keep his “moral slate clean”.
The British actor has received rave reviews for his portrayal of detective Sherlock Holmes in the UK TV show and also appears in the new Hobbit movie and 12 Years a Slave.
Although he enjoys his job immensely he is extremely aware he is not doing anything earth shattering. That is why he tries to keep the world’s major news events in the limelight, for example by holding up signs requesting paparazzi focus on issues other than him when they try to photograph him on set.
“I try to be principled – of course there is a part of me, a bit of a do-gooder, it is a thing of keeping the moral slate cleaner, but it is really enjoyable and I get a kickback from it,” he told The Big Issue.
“It is not a sense of duty, it actually makes me feel good to do things for other people – where it can actually matter and make a difference to talk to people who wouldn’t normally have access to you or the kind of world you live in or the work you do.”
The 37-year-old star is especially keen on making his mark philanthropically because he feels so lucky to be an actor. He constantly reminds himself he is in a privileged position and prides himself on letting his fans know how much they mean to him.
“I know how lucky I am to be paid to be in a position to have a voice, do my work and also just the fact that I’m being paid to do something that is really good fun and do something that I really love doing,” he said.
“You owe society a little bit for that – your fans for giving you a good life, but also yourself, just to pay back. I feel very strongly about the little work I do when I have the time.
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