‘Power of the Dog’ Star Benedict Cumberbatch Compares Film to One Classic

by Chase Thomas

You won’t find many other actors as critically acclaimed as Benedict Cumberbatch, folks. Cumberbatch has thrived both on the small screen and the big screen. Especially of late as Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The veteran actor has taken all sorts of roles over the years to put together quite the accomplishing career. Clearly, the actor knows all about cinema and recently compared one film to one all-time classic. Yes, the star of the Power of the Dog western compared the film to the one you might be familiar with, There Will Be Blood.

High praise from Cumberbatch. The latter is regarded as one of the more highly rated pictures in the last twenty years.

The Similarities in Both Films

Cumberbatch told W Magazine, “The Power of the Dog [as a Western] is closer to There Will Be Blood. It’s about a period of transition. It’s about a move from a more analog, animal, manpower-driven era into mechanization. There’s a man who can’t let go of what was and wants to celebrate that, and a brother who’s moving toward a love in an automobile that just separates exactly what was going on in that era. So that is against the backdrop of a Western, the whole thing of landscape being another character, whether it’s alienating and terrifying, the house being somewhere that’s almost haunted.”

That complicated contrast between the two brothers in the film is what Benedict Cumberbatch emphasizes. That the world was changing rapidly in this era and it was complicated for folks with the Western aspect of it all in the backdrop to add more to it.

He concludes, “For my character, Phil, the landscape is everything that gives him solace, purpose, control, as well as privacy and freedom to remember who he was and perhaps still is, although he doesn’t allow himself to be it.” He has to change with the times, even if that is not the least bit what he wants to do.

Benedict Cumberbatch on ‘Sherlock’

Alongside Power of the Dog, one of his other serious hits was his role as Sherlock. He starred for many years on the BBC in the role. He told BBC, “Sherlock isn’t just Sherlock, he was a baby, then a child, then an adolescent, then a young adult, and then the 30-year-old that you met in Series One, Episode One. We know he’s got a brother called Mycroft and parents but what the hell was his childhood really like? I wanted to know all that information very early on because you’re playing the most adapted and greatest fictional detective of all time.”

He locked all the way in. He wanted to know and memorize everything when it came to the character.

Benedict Cumberbatch concluded, “You need to have a back story to work off as an actor because what are you doing other than emulating certain airs and graces and mannerisms. What I try to do is underpin all those decisions with an informed understanding of who my character is.”

You can watch Sherlock on Netflix.