‘The Power of the Dog’ Star Benedict Cumberbatch Talks Developing American Accent

by Leanne Stahulak

To listen to “The Power of the Dog” star Benedict Cumberbatch in his latest film, you wouldn’t even know that he’s British.

Lately, Cumberbatch has been balancing several American-based movies, including Jane Campion’s latest western and Marvel Studio’s “Doctor Strange” sequel. Cumberbatch spoke with Jimmy Kimmel earlier this week to promote Campion’s film, “The Power of the Dog,” which hits theaters on Wednesday, Nov. 17. It’ll run for a limited time before streaming on Netflix on Dec. 1.

All this month, Cumberbatch is also working on reshoots for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cumberbatch and the Marvel crew have been working on “significant” reshoots for the film, whose release date has been pushed back from March to May of next year. The cast and crew are working six days a week for the next six weeks to complete all of the reshooting.

So to hear Cumberbatch speak with Jimmy Kimmel in his native English accent surprised some folks. Kimmel showed a clip of “The Power of the Dog” featuring Cumberbatch’s impeccable American accent, showcasing the difference.

“I have to tell you, I love to hear you speak with an American accent as Dr. Stange, et cetera,” Kimmel said. “It amazes me.”

“I was just saying backstage how difficult it is to speak in an English accent after doing a whole day’s filming of ‘Doctor Strange,” Cumberbatch said. As he spoke, his voice slipped from an English to an American accent.

“Something just happens when I kind of slide into it and it’s really odd. I thought to myself, ‘I hope I don’t go on stage… oh I’m doing it now!” Cumberbatch exclaimed. “It’s a really, really weird thing.”

“It’s pretty amazing to hear that just kind of phase into American like that,” Kimmel commented. See their interaction in the video below.

‘The Power of the Dog’ Star Benedict Cumberbatch Takes Method Acting to Next Level

To prepare for his role as Montana rancher Phil Burbank, Benedict Cumberbatch turned to method acting. “The Power of the Dog” star told Esquire how he even adopted Phil’s aversion to washing himself.

“I wanted that layer of stink on me. I wanted people in the room to know what I smelt like,” Cumberbatch said. “It was hard, though. It wasn’t just in rehearsals. I was going out to eat and meet friends of Jane and stuff. I was a bit embarrassed by the cleaner, in the place I was living.”

But Cumberbabcth stayed religiously in character throughout filming.

“If someone forgot, on the first day, and called me Benedict, I wouldn’t move,” he said earlier this week.

Make sure you see Cumberbatch in action this upcoming week in theaters or on Netflix later this month.