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Benedict Cumberbatch Reveals What He Almost Changed His Name To

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Benedict Cumberbatch Reveals What He Almost Changed His Name To

Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed what he almost changed his last name to before he became a household name.

The actor has quite a distinctive surname, as you've probably noticed, and he was almost tempted to swap it out for a more low-key alternative.

The 45-year-old was appearing on The Late Late Show with James Corden alongside his Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness co-star, Elizabeth Olsen.

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Opening up about the near name change, he said he nearly plumped for 'Ben Carlton', shortening his first name and using one of his middle names as his surname.

Now, I don't know about you, but I always assumed Benedict Cumberbatch was one of those made up names used in the acting biz – because who the hell is called Benedict Cumberbatch?

So naturally, his agents advised him not to look that distinctive gift horse in the mouth.

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Recalling their confusion, he said they asked: "You've got a great surname, why are you using your middle name? I don't know any actors called Cumberbatch."

Explaining his rationale at the time, he continued: "Because it's just kind of like burh-burh-burh - it sounds like a fart in a bath or something, Cum-buur-buuutch, you know.

"I find it difficult to say on a Monday morning, it's a great sort of Scrabble score, but apart from that it's a bit clumsy.

"They went, 'It's great, it's very unique and different and people might remember it'."

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Sure enough, after reverting back to his original mouthful of a name, he said the work started coming in.

Since those uncertain early days finding his feet, Cumberbatch's career has gone from strength to strength, with his recent performance as a conflicted rancher in the psychological drama The Power of the Dog earning him an Oscar nomination for best actor in a leading role.

Will Smith picked up the prize though – shortly after smacking Chris Rock, which somewhat overshadowed his big moment.

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As for Cumberbatch, he's loving switching up his projects, moving from 'artisan' movies like The Power of the Dog to mainstream Marvel movies like the new-released Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

He explained: "I love the fact that I get to straddle the polarities of our culture and play in populous fare like this as well as something more artisan, I suppose, in terms of Power of The Dog.

"People say, 'Green screen, what does it feel like? Is it very odd? Is it frustrating?' It's not. It's great. You are like a kid and you have to create everything yourself."

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Featured Image Credit: CBS/The Late Late Show

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV

Jake Massey
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