Tom Holland Interviews Benedict Cumberbatch About ‘Power of the Dog’ – The Hollywood Reporter

Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch are good friends, bonded and best known for their adventures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.

Following in the footsteps of the on-screen pairing in Holland’s blockbuster Spider-Man: There’s no way homethey combined forces again on Wednesday, this time giving Cumberbatch the honor of discussing his turn in Jane Campion’s appreciation. The power of the dog.

Holland asked Cumberbatch about the preparation, requirements and challenges of stepping into Phil Burbank’s place in the Netflix series, which casts him as a charismatic but troubled rancher who torments him. his brother, played by Jesse Plemons, his unexpected sister-in-law, Kirsten Dunst, and her young son, newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee. Cumberbatch got it right for the role, and the results are impressive: He’s currently nominated for the Screen Actors Guild (7th SAG overall without a win) and has won nearly two Dozens of critics’ honors, more than any actor this season.

But before raising any questions, Holland had kind words to get out of the way. “Congratulations, the movie is amazing,” Holland told the humble Cumberbatch during the online event to vote for members of the Academy, SAG, PGA and other industry guests. “Unbelievable. The movie is so shocking and heartbreaking and your character’s inner turmoil is – I’ve never seen a character like it.”

He went on to say that he came to see the film from a “special point of view” because he knew Cumberbatch so well. “When I met you at the beginning of the movie, I said, ‘Oh, that’s not the Benedict I know. What the hell is going on here?’ When I first got to know you, I really hated you. I thought you were horrible and so just, grotesque and horrible. As the film continues to evolve, what I like about it is that it has themes of toxic masculinity and gaslights but it explores the problem rather than the existing problem. Not that his actions are justified in any way, but you understand why he is.”

Cumberbatch was quick to credit Campion and novelist Thomas Savage, who adapted the book for the screen by auteur. He said he’s received a flurry of reactions from viewers, some of whom, like Holland, found the film a difficult one to watch. “His behavior, as you said, is disgusting. I had some reactions, someone said, ‘I can’t finish your movie. I’m horrible,” he explained. “Then I get people reaction that they come back to it, maybe a second time, or even like you, starting with the pushback and then leaning in and watching him as his true self, that is a tragic number. ”

The pair then dived into conversation about toxic masculinity, repressed sex, the root causes of Phil’s behavior, how Holland’s story was interpreted, and the performances of his co-stars. Cumberbatch. Holland asked Cumberbatch to reveal his process in achieving the level of realism that the role required as he played the banjo, rode, rolled a cigarette, tied strings, etc.

“I went inside out with this one. First of all, in terms of source material, the book is an amazing blueprint for personality and physicality, even, and a bit like Watson’s description of Sherlock. For me, there’s a kind of detailed, intuitive, understanding of who this character is,” he explained before noting how important the costumes were in helping him find Phil’s niche. . “That’s when it becomes the outside, the minute you have the right outfit, [Kirsty Cameron], our costume designer, is amazing. I really fought for the overalls, the overalls. Everyone said, ‘Ah, they don’t look heroic enough.’ I said, ‘This is authentic. I need to wear them. I really need to wear them. ‘”

He also said that he really needed to live a life like Phil so he went to Montana.

“Dirty, the feeling of sweat, odors and stench, blood, tendons and feces, all of that has to be real,” he said. “I went ranching there with a great cowboy named Randy and his wife, Jen. They took me up on their ranch, on this wonderful flat prairie, overlooking what the local tribes call the backbone of the world, and it really is. It’s wondrous. And then they drove me all over the state of Montana to two very different, very amazing ranches, where I experienced branding and herding, and constantly taught me to tie, braid, try. admit his fault as a horseman, and an Englishman rode there. I learned from that. I learned from watching men and women do that work as a living. ”

They then talked about working with McPhee as he and Cumberbatch leapt through tense moments together. “Working with Kodi was just a dream, and because we grew closer in that relationship, I was able to stay on the same page in the same way as Kodi. It was one or two times where I let my guard down when I was a character all day, every day because I felt like we both needed to do that right dance at the end of the movie,” he said. “We don’t talk about the effect we want it to have, but we just encourage each other as actors instead of playing characters all the time. And we’re both terrible gigglers, so we would giggle a lot in rehearsal. We giggled quite a bit while capturing it, which probably reduced the gravity of those moments. But we made a commitment. ”

At one point, Cumberbatch took a moment to commend Holland for his performance as a spiraling veteran in Joe and Anthony Russo’s TV series. Cherry because of the similarity of the required roles. “You weren’t scared of what you did in your effects in that movie, neither was Anthony and Joe and their uncompromising gaze on it, and neither was Jane,” Cumberbatch said, referring to Russos, who directed both in Avengers Infinity War and Endgame.

He also took a moment to thank Holland for his time today, especially now after the huge success of There’s no way home. “It means the world, as a friend and a person going through what you are going through. To share a little about Spiderman with you, and that phenomenon has become, and only to follow you and work with you in other fare,” he said. “It’s amazing to think you’re almost just getting started. You have accomplished a lot already. ”

Holland returned the favor. “Honestly, man, I was hooked on the movie and know you are like me, you don’t need me to tell you what a great actor you are, but it’s a movie worth watching. amazed,” he said. “No one could have done it better.”

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