Based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel The Power of the Dog, the 2021 film of the same name features Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Kirsten Dunst in the lead roles. The psychological drama follows two brothers, Phil and George Burbank, as they meet a widow and inn owner, Rose Gordon. Critics highly praised it and gave a 94% critic score to the film. It also landed 11 nominations at the 94th Academy Awards, and Jane Campion won an Oscar for Best Director.
Cumberbatch got his second Oscar nomination for his performance in the 2021 movie. However, while talking about his experience working with Jane Campion, the Marvel star shared that initially, he was fearful while working on the 2021 psychological drama.
Benedict Cumberbatch Was Afraid on the 2021 Film’s Set
The Power of the Dog follows two brothers, Phil and George Burbank. Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed Phil Burbank, who despises Rose Gordon and his son Peter after her brother marries her. However, he slowly grows an unlikely bond with Peter.
The Doctor Strange actor shared his experience working with Jane Campion in the 2021 film, saying, “It’s quite daunting when you first get the idea that someone like that wants to work with you.” However, he shared that he did something “stupid” by revisiting the filmmaker’s work just before meeting her.
The 46-year-old actor said that he would not advise anyone to do the same as it “just ramps up the fear factor of what they’re expecting of you.” He shared that Campion gave him a “long runway.” Cumberbatch said that he needed a lot of time with his character in the film to understand him and his world.
“Whether it was ranching, or banjo playing, or whistling, whittling, or any of the skills, but most importantly, just sitting in his psyche,” he said. The actor shared that the character of Phil Burbank was “so far removed” from him, and he did different and unexpected things to prepare for his character.
Jane Campion on Casting Benedict Cumberbatch
In 2019, Variety revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch was cast in Jane Campion’s movie adaptation of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel. The filmmaker shared that she was excited about the movie as it was her first time working with a male lead.
She shared that Phil Burbank is a “charismatic and complex character,” and she found The Courier star perfect for the role. “Casting is always a gamble, but I knew he put his hand up for it, and he was game.”
The Oscar-winning director also said that she was always comfortable and confident to “speak [her] mind to [Cumberbatch].” She also shared that the English actor also came up with great ideas to make specific changes in the film.
Source: The Los Angeles Times