Benedict Cumberbatch on the Set of “Black Mass”

Posted on June 27, 2014

These pics of B Cum aren’t exactly thrilling, but it’s Friday, y’all want your sausage, and besides, his fangurls don’t care what he looks like, so long as their sweet, sweet addiction is constantly fed.

So here you go, fangurls:

Benedict-Cumberbatch-On-Set-Black-Mass-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)Benedict Cumberbatch on the set of “Black Mass” as politician Billy “The Corrupt Midget” Bulger in Boston, Massachusetts.

Benedict-Cumberbatch-On-Set-Black-Mass-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)

Benedict-Cumberbatch-On-Set-Black-Mass-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)

Benedict-Cumberbatch-On-Set-Black-Mass-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)

Benedict-Cumberbatch-On-Set-Black-Mass-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (5)


And now: controversy. We have yet to see him play a believable American. His performances in August: Osage County and 12 Years a Slave either left us flat (in the former case) or took us right out of the movie (in the latter). His accent in each case was okay enough. Not great, but okay. That wasn’t the problem. It’s his affect. It reads “English” from top to bottom, no matter what sounds are coming out of his mouth. And in both movies, he looked like he was working harder to act than we’d ever seen in any of his other performances. When you see his performances in Parade’s End, or Sherlock, or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, they’re all effortless in appearance and wildly charismatic. We haven’t yet seen that quality in his acting when he’s portraying Americans. Granted the two performances we cited had him playing somewhat dim men both times. Maybe he’ll nail it this time, playing a Boston Irish politician. It doesn’t exactly sound like a role that plays to his strengths, though.

Okay. Now give us a second to put on our rain ponchos and bike helmets for the shitstorm to come.



[Photo Credit: Patriot Pics/FAMEFLYNET]

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  • Rhonda Shore

    This is all well and good but i’m anxiously awaiting the upcoming pix of Hiddles on the Hank Williams biopic set! (And i agree with your assessment!)

  • jbontrager78

    Completely agree. He’s just so English.

  • LilyVanessi

    You can take off your helmets. I’m as rabid a fan as anyone, but you guys nailed it. Some English actors are wonderful at American accents (Branagh in Dead Again comes to mind). But he hasn’t yet mastered the ability to make American English sound natural.

    • MoHub

      Martin Freeman is very impressive in Fargo. My husband—who isn’t as familiar with his work—was pretty surprised when I told him Freeman was English.

      • LilyVanessi

        Thanks for reminding me about Martin Freeman. He is impressive. Not only American English, but Minnesota American English. Ah, yup.

        • Cabernet7

          I thought his accent in Fargo was terrible at first, but he really seemed to get the hang of it after a few episodes.

      • KateShouldBeWorking

        As a native Minnesotan, I can tell you the fastest way to break someone’s Minnesota Nice is to talk like they do in Fargo. It’s not inaccurate per se, just turned up way too much.

        Just an FYI in case any BKs are planning on visiting. Y’all can stay at my place!

        • MoHub

          Used to work with a gal from Wisconsin, and everyone thought she was doing bad imitation Canadian.

          Still, when you consider that a few decades ago, the only American accents most Brits could muster were Brooklyn Italian and Mississippi, you have to admit they’ve come a long way toward understanding and replicating multiple regional American accents and speech patterns.

          • KateShouldBeWorking

            Good point, the pros are getting better. I make my British friend – far, far from a professional actress – do her American accent. She sounds like a cartoon hillbilly with a concussion.

          • whaddami

            This! And really, even the Brooklyn was pretty dreadful. Dunno why southern English is/was a natural for the Brits, but it does seem to be the case….

          • MoHub

            If you ever watched The Story of English, there was an accent coach who said the Mississippi is the one of the closest descendants of London—especially Cockney—English, especially in terms of sloppy vowels and dropping of consonants. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense and is probably one of the reasons Brit actors had less trouble with Southern accents.

          • Lily

            This is spot on. A lot also has to do with the rhotic (soft) /non-rhotic (hard) “r” sound. Most English default to the non-rhotic, which makes it easier for them to take that on in the Southern dialects that affect the same accent.

          • alyce1213

            Going back to Vivien Leigh as Scarlet O’Hara.

        • Paula Pertile

          My dad was from Chisholm (a hop from Duluth) and no one there talked like they do in Fargo. Granted, they were mostly immigrants who still had their ‘native country’ (a lot of Italian) accents. Hmmm … Minnesota Italian?

          • christykins

            Another native Minnesotan here! Growing up, I was always teased about my accent by non-Minnesotans, but it wasn’t anywhere near as strong as the accent depicted in Fargo. In fact, despite most of my family being from Brainerd (where Fargo was set), none sound like the characters in Fargo. However, I have met folks from northern Minnesota and Wisconsin who had a Fargo-esque accent. Like other people with strong accents/local dialects, these folks tended to be from rural areas, to have spent little time outside of their hometown, and to not be college-educated. Personally, I find the accent charming and am sad that I lost most of mine after living outside of Minnesota for a few years!

          • tallgirl1204

            I just met a young woman from Marshall, MN, and her “out-state” accent was outstanding. It was so refreshing to hear someone speak whose accent hadn’t been obliterated by television. Her demeanor and “Minnesota-nice” were also classic. For a bit I thought she was putting it on, and after I realized it was real I just had a big smile on my face the rest of our visit together. I miss Minnesota.

      • siriuslover

        Also impressive is Hugh Laurie. If you hadn’t seen his work before House, then saw him, you’re like “whoah.” (And no, that wasn’t me, I’d already seen him in stuff). He’s just very impressive. Also problematic are Americans pretending they’re English (cough..gwynnie…cough).

        And to this, he looks good, as always. I liked his recent interview where he discussed moving beyond classic ideas of beauty for men and women (at least for men) in entertainment.

        • MoHub

          Hugh Laurie made a lot of progress during House. When he started, his attempts at American were pretty labored, and he did a lot of things with his throat that I thought would end up damaging his vocal cords. However, as he progressed in the role, the accent became more natural.

          For preference, though, I still hearken back to his Blackadder and Bertie Wooster days.

      • didgerdoni

        Freeman’s in Fargo‽ Shit, now I’m going to have to break down and climb on board the bandwagon.

        • MoHub

          Yup!. I’ve been a huge fan ever since the original The Office, and I adored The Robinsons.

          • didgerdoni

            Me too with The Office. I think Love Actually sealed the deal for me; particularly that little jump off the front steps after she told him he was all she wanted for Christmas—d’awww. Now looking for The Robinsons. Thanks for the tip!

          • MoHub

            BBC America used to show The Robinson before it defaulted to sci-fi, fantasy, and horror almost 24/7. These days, all I can watch is Top Gear.

    • smayer

      Gary Oldman, too. I forget he’s English most of the time. Good thing we have those phone commercials to remind us that he does speak with an English accent.

      • holla

        and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

      • For years I used to confuse Gary Oldman (great actor, loved him in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) with Gary Olson (TV announcer, most notably for “Laugh In”). I would see Oldman in some role and think, gosh, he has changed his voice SO MUCH for this!! Another instance where CRAFT disease rears its ugly head (= can’t remember a fucking thing).

      • Tuneful54

        and Kate Winslet.

    • MilaXX

      Idris Elba does good American and i was impressed with his Baltimore accent in The Wire

      • MoHub

        So does Chiwetel Ejiofor. Very impressive American in Salt.

        And your’re right about Elba. Especially since most Americans aren’t aware there’s a distinctive Bal’mer accent.

        • Chiwetel can’t be clocked, accent-wise. Hard to remember he’s English when watching Redbelt and Talk to Me.

        • MilaXX

          I remember him doing an interview towards the end of the run and a blogger friend of mine who was a huge Idris fangirl from Batimore was shocked to learn he was a Brit. He had her completely fooled.

          • MoHub

            It was one of the things that always bothered me about Homicide. A show set in Baltimore created by a Baltimore producer/director, and not a single recognizable Baltimore accent in the cast.

          • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

            I loved that show.

          • marlie

            I loved it too. I was in college in Baltimore back then and I’d see them filming all over the city. It was so cool. They even shot scenes in my apartment building lobby once.

        • Did anyone see the instagram pics of Chiwetel, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, and Clifton Collins Jr this week?

          999 is going to be an epic movie. 🙂

          But I think I will always love Chiwetel most in Kinky Boots. I just loved that character and the singing was beautiful.

          • MoHub

            Absolutely. Kinky Boots made Chiwetel one of those actors I would watch in almost anything.

          • MilaXX

            That’s when I feel in love with him as well.

          • Sobaika

            This sounds like pornography to me.

          • Have you not seen Kinky Boots? You have to hunt it down if not. 🙂 Chiwetel is an extraordinarily sexy drag queen.

            Or was the pornography the four awesomes together in photos? Yes, it was definitely porno just without the actual sex. 🙂 I mean those guys on their own are pretty exciting but 4 of them together at once is like an eyegasm. And each time I think well that is as awesome as it can get, worlds have collided and exploded and melted, Aaron Paul just keeps setting that awesome bar higher and higher. I hope he gets to be a zombie on TWD as well. 🙂

          • Sobaika

            Haha yes, I was referring to the four men 🙂

          • Onika K Morris-Alleyne

            Dirty Pretty Things with Audrey Tautou. Getchu a piece. Kinky Boots is great (as is Dancing on the Edge), but DPT made me a Chiwetel fan.

        • Tuneful54

          Wow you read my mind. I was gonna say the Bahstan accent is a walk in the pahk compa-ed to Bawl’mer.

        • Tuneful54

          John Travolta did pretty well in “Hairspray,” I LOL’d how well he did. IMHO.

      • Jessica Freeman

        Idris did so well on The Wire I was actually shocked to know he had an accent.

      • Have you seen him in Luther as well?

        I have it next on my list of things to watch.. looking forward to it. 🙂

        • MilaXX

          yes all 3 series

      • Anna

        Idris is so talented – I had no idea he was English for way longer than I should have. I think with a lot of English actors, they are kind of stiff and retain a formality that Americans just don’t have.

      • GorgeousThings

        Yeah, but the Boston accent is a particularly tough one to get right. Some examples of Really Bad Boston Accents:
        Jack Nicholson and Martin Sheen in ‘The Departed’ – oh, and DiCaprio too.
        Amy Adams in ‘The Fighter’
        Kevin Costner in ‘Thirteen Days’
        Marsha Gay Harden in ‘Mystic River’
        Holly Hunter in whatever that forgettable movie set in Boston was.

        • Badriya Al-Badi’a

          I think a Brit might stand a better chance with a real Boston accent than most other Americans do.

          • GorgeousThings

            True, and to give credit where it’s due, Christian Bale did an AMAZING Lowell accent in ‘The Fighter’. He’s Welsh, so maybe our boy Benedict will make it work.

        • Betsy

          How about Diane Lane in a The Perfect Storm? Ugh.

        • JenniferA

          And Julianne Moore on 30 Rock as Jack Donaghy’s old girlfriend. That was like nails on a chalkboard.

          • mlurve

            I took that to be sort of a parody of a Boston accent because it was so awful

          • JenniferA

            I like that theory. It makes me feel better. She was spot on as Sarah Palin.

        • Tuneful54

          Yes, those were all excruciating, I think that Holly Hunter/Richard Dreyfuss disastah was “Once Around.” And I paid to see it in the theateh. BC should look up Damon and/or Affleck, coupla locals.

          • GorgeousThings

            Even some of the NY actors get it right – Kevin Bacon comes immediately to mind. But once you get outside the Northeast, it’s a pretty tough nut to crack.

        • fursa_saida

          Thank you. I’m pretty sure Cumby’s attempt is gonna be disastrous, but I rarely blame the actors for this. I blame the directors/producers who keep casting people who can’t do the accents.

          Re: Mystic River–Laurence Fishburne. My god. It was embarrassing.

          • The Versatile Chef


            The thing about his accent in Mystic River? It wasn’t that it was BAD, it was that NO black guy in Boston talks like that. That accent was a Southie white accent. No respectable brother from Roxbury would be caught dead with that accent.

          • fursa_saida

            I thought it was straight up bad (his delivery of “cah” really sticks with me in the worst way), but your point stands!

        • Tuneful54

          Another attempt that will live in infamy is Blake Lively in “The Town.” Tortured it worse than a lobster at Legal Seafood. More broadly, she was completely unbelievable to me in the role. You’d think Affleck, who directed, would have done better casting that role and Rebecca Hall’s (English–did kinda okay in that role, whereas was phenom in Parade’s End). Now, the guys cast in The Town WERE believable to me.

        • Nancy Aronson

          Cliff on Cheers

      • holla

        Dominic West, the guy that played McNulty, is also a Brit and he did pretty well too.

        • MilaXX

          Not as well. I could occasionally hear Dom’s accent slipping. Adrian Gillen aka Little Finger was even worse.

          • I like to think that all of Gillen’s accents are part of some extensive performance art piece that we aren’t privy to yet.

          • That’s one of the better explanations for Littlefinger’s accent wanderings.

          • holla

            yes I forgot he is no American as well. I didn’t realize it until I saw him in GOT.

      • Alloy Jane

        I’ve never seen The Wire but I thought his American accent was great in The Office. I also loved how they gave a shout out to his hawtness. “I am aware of the effect I have on women.”

    • Beardslee

      Damian Lewis is also really good. And Minnie Driver does a great American accent. Hugh Laurie got better over time.

      • maretha2

        I think Damian’s accent is OK — what trips me up with him is his breathing when he’s delivering a monologue. He does this diaphragm breathing which is exactly what you should do as a trained actor, especially in theater. But it’s not what any actual person would do in a conversation, and it’s really noticeable when he does it. Every time I think, “That’s right, you’re an actor, not really a Marine.” It’s like pulling the curtain back a little bit to show the stagehands.

    • FibonacciSequins

      David Tennant is a wonderful Brit actor who can’t do a decent American accent. I recently saw a trailer for Gracepoint, the American version of Broadchurch where he’s reprising his role, and let’s just say he still hasn’t figured it out.

      • Violentcello

        Scot, actually. 😉 And maybe it’s in their blood, because Ewan McGregor also can’t keep up an American accent throughout an entire movie, bless him.

        • FibonacciSequins

          You’re right, I forgot he’s a Scot. And you’re right about Ewan as well. Still love them both, though. 🙂

        • Scotland’s still part of Britain at least until mid-September.

          • KinoEye

            There’s a chance Scotland might become independent? About damn time. I’ll stay tuned for that one.

          • There’s a referendum being held, but I can’t get a real sense as to whether it is likely to happen.

      • deelup

        They have ruined it by making him do an accent so poorly. He should just do his English accent if they thought his natural Scottish one wouldn’t be right.

        • FibonacciSequins

          Agree. His character is an outsider, it’s not as if he had to do a local accent.

    • AlisonS

      On the female side of it, Keira Knightley can never seem to hold onto her American accent for more than a few words. Watching her in Shadow Recruit was painful.

      • Tuneful54

        Watching her in anything is painful. Pretty girl, but the acting?

    • Loren S

      Hugh Laurie in House is another good one. I also didn’t realize that Jamie Bamber was British for the entire run of Battlestar Galactica.

    • KateShouldBeWorking

      Hugh Laurie has a very impressive American accent.

    • Anne

      And Hugh Laurie! I have some friends who had only ever seen Hugh Laurie in House and were shocked to see clips of Blackadder or A Bit of Fry and Laurie.

    • Little_Olive

      I think Hugh Laurie nailed it in house. So much so, I started to become worried he was losing the “englishness” I loved about him (esp. in Sense and Sensiblity)

      • Stacy C

        IMO his character in SandS was just a period version of Dr House! lol

    • not_Bridget

      Branagh isn’t English. He’s from Belfast. (Yes, I know that’s the UK–but they have some distinctive accents in his neck of the woods!)

      He probably put so much work into learning various “English” accents that “American” isn’t that hard.

    • CT14

      See, I thought Branagh’s accent was awful in “Dead Again”. He tries too hard to get the “Rs” right.

      Thoroughly enjoyed the movie, though.

    • Tuneful54

      I can’t stand 99% of the American accents in “Downton Abbey” and “Mr. Selfridge,” either–and those are played by Americans. Maybe it’s the directing, too–i.e., to “Go long!” as we say in football.

    • DuBey2

      Loved him in Dead Again (Kenneth B, that is). Hmmm might be time to watch it again.

    • Adrianna Grężak

      Stephen Graham as Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire is one of the most impressive accents I’ve ever heard

  • MilaXX

    Nah it’s Friday. I’m contemplating going back to bed. I have no argument about his American accent.

    • WendyD

      I’m with you, i’d like to go back to bed, I have no complain with any of Ben’s accents. Now if I could combine the two on this Friday afternoon…

  • Girlfriend can’t do accents for shit, but God only has so many hands with which to give.

    • madscntst

      Maybe, but when God gave to B Cum, he gave a lot.

  • Denise Rambo

    Something about him creeps me out. Most of the time it looks like he has no eyebrows.

    • DebbieLovesShoes

      I can’t “unsee” when he voiced that giant dragon in the movie…. that’s the face I see every time now. I’m wit ya on that!

  • NMMagpie

    Totally agree about both roles. I had seen TTSP before I saw those others and was disappointed.

  • maureen gillan

    I live in Boston but have yet to see him around which stinks because yesterday & today he is filming 3 BLOCKS from my house in but I am stuck across town at work. Can’t wait to hear his Southie accent on film 🙂 By the way, Billy’s speaking voice is a combination of South Boston, Boston Brahmin with a little Irish thrown in for good measure so Benedict might pull it off

  • Vanessa

    Why is there a biopic of William Bulger instead of his brother, the more infamous “Whitey” Bulger?

    • maureen gillan

      The movie is about Whitey but Billy plays an important part, though we never found out how much, Billy was the good son, Whitey not so much 🙂

    • alyce1213

      Starring Johnny Depp as Whitey.

    • Richelle Devereaux-Murray

      This is a biopic of Whitey, he’s being played by Johnny Depp.

  • Susan

    so true. I squealed at the sight of him, thanks for feeding my addiction.

  • TinyDynamo

    Anyone else see late 80s-early 90s Dennis Quaid?!?

    • Wink

      Yes. Every time I see him I think, “Wow. Dennis Quaid has had a LOT of work done!”

      • TinyDynamo

        Right?!? And with his hair all parted, it’s even more pronounced. Yeesh.

    • James

      Finally! Yes, thank you! I’ve been trying to figure out who he reminds me of and just could not put my finger on it.

    • joything


  • Cee Layton

    Not my fave Cumby look. Side note-the job of umbrella holder can not be very fulfilling.

    • nannypoo

      Depends on who you’re holding it for I suppose.

  • theblondette

    The issue is that BCum (*laughs to self childishly*) is English in a way few English people are, either. I’m amazed people want him to play Americans, because his whole thing is to sell a kind of mid-20th-century BBC Englishness that is rarely found here any more. (And yes, Sherlock made him famous and it’s all modern in its setting, but the vibe is still there.)

    As a Brit I’m vaguely confused by how a generation of slightly odd-looking British men have become a standard for celebrity hotness, and while I like a bit of variation from beefcake, he doesn’t really do it for me…

    • Fay Dearing

      To be honest it’s actually his slight oddness that makes him so attractive to me. I’ve seen so many conventionally attractive Hollywood men that I have issues telling them apart, but BCum (*joins your laughter*) looks off model which I think is what actually gives me the vapors. I totally agree that the man exists to play that Regency or Victorian to WWI/WWII look though… When I saw him in Elizabethan garb I laughed my ass off, but I couldn’t take my eyes off him in Parade’s End.

      • theblondette

        I definitely like quirky… I think he’s most attractive in Sherlock, with that dyed hair emphasising his strange pale alienness. A lot of the time otherwise he just looks fairly plain to me. And it does annoy me that “quirky” for men can mean looking quite potato-faced and still be considered hot while “quirky” looking actresses are mostly just wide-eyed pretty girls, because actually making a truly oddball-looking woman famous would be too much… Ah well. SEXISM! I am in a grumpy mood today 😉

        • Fay Dearing

          Oh no, I totally get that. I’m going to mean and say that the only thing quirky about Zooey Deschanel is her ability to make her eyes look huge and everyone saying she’s quirky. I’m going to be even meaner and say that I don’t even think she’s funny. Yet other actresses who are either not conventionally attractive or have something else slightly odd about them (like Shirley Henderson and that amazing tiny voice of hers) don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being anything but a supporting actress. It is sexism at it’s worst.

          • ecallaw1977

            With actresses “quirky” usually refers to their personalities, not their looks. I definitely think that’s the case with Deschanel.

          • I do get the impression that Zooey is the very banal girl who says “Don’t worry about me, I am just CRAZY” whenever they catch you rolling your eyes at them.

    • whaddami

      Yeah, with you. Could be that he’s hot because that whole mid-century Britain thing is so active both at home and in the US — it’s like no one can figure out what Britain is anymore now that it’s not what it was before the Empire fell, so everyone buys up these historical facsimiles because THAT we can all understand as BRITISH. (That might not be terribly clear. Apologies for vagueness.)

  • Judy_S

    I enjoyed him in the two American roles but found that if I allowed myself to think of him as BC it became a problem. Of course in August: Osage County the accents were all over the map anyway, and the battle of the charismas was on full blast. In 12 years, I thought he was good so long as you didn’t focus on him instead of on Chiwitel Ejiofor, i.e. get distracted by fandom. He can dial it down (e.g. in Other Boleyn Girl where I barely noticed the actor but thought “they” did a good job with presenting his character!) but after Sherlock it’s hard not to feel the pull.
    I’m not so sure about the Billy Bulger role but I think it’s probably not very big anyway. NB he is wearing facial prosthetics of some kind (as he did in Parade’s End and also Fifth Estate).
    However, I’m really interested in the opinions of others who did not like him in these roles….

  • Jessica Freeman

    It was painful for me to watch in August: Osage County. His rendition of the southern accent was atrocious. I think there is a demand for him in American films due to his popularity, which may be why they cast him. He did well in the Star Trek movie. Minus the fight scenes…b/c I do not see him as a action movie actor at. all.

  • The accent will be the thing. No one gets it right unless they grew up here. (think Matt and Ben vs. Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting
    ) Also, he doesn’t exactly have a “hard bitten” Boston Pol look about him. Too pretty.

    • Kimbolina

      Yes, not gritty enough. I feel like our pols are more rough around the edges. Especially if we’re talking about Southie.

    • alyce1213

      Christian Bale in The Fighter. Did you see it? To my ear, he got it, but I’d like your expert, native opinion.
      (I’m really tough when it comes to Brits, etc. doing various NY accents. It’s the tricky vowels.)

      • I didn’t see it – will check it out. He did a pretty good American accent in Little Women all those years ago.

  • To save me from googling, was someone known as “The Corrupt Midget” actually short, or is this a “Little John” humour thing? B Cum would never be my choice for playing a short man.

  • MissusBee

    British actors usually get a lot of accent training as the UK is very accent-diverse considering how small it is. This means they have to learn accents to get parts and also have to tone down their own accents in the way they market themselves so as not to be stereotyped and only get ‘Manchester’ roles or whatever.
    Kelly MacDonald is Scottish but goes Irish in Boardwalk Empire. I can’t comment on her accent as I’m not Irish, but that’s not her actual accent. People forget that Anthony Hopkins is way Welsh, as he plays ‘English’ in most things (if he only did Welsh his career would be extremely limited). Martin Sheen is also a Welsh actor. He can do ANYTHING.

    • NMMagpie

      Gotta correct that bit about Martin Sheen. He’s American, although he holds dual-citizenships. He’s also of Spanish descent.

      • MissusBee

        EDIT EDIT! Thank you! Need more coffee! (Or less.)

      • krelnick

        But she was talking about Michael, not Martin Sheen.

    • Kayceed

      A million years ago as an undergrad, I took a few theatre classes – my hands-down favorite was “Diction and Dialects” – accents studied included Scottish, Irish, Cockney, what they called BBC English, American Midwest, American Northeast and American Deep South. It was really fun.

    • Gatto Nero

      I’m in awe of Michael Sheen.
      And Jared Harris’s own accent is different from that of his character in Mad Men.

    • not_Bridget

      AMC’s TURN was recently renewed; the show does a few things right but, as history, it’s woeful.

      In accents, as well. Jamie Bell plays the American “lead.” (Alas, in Real History he’s not the most interesting character.) He’s English but chose an Irish accent on the show. Setauket was a New England settlement on Long Island. So he could be using something like a New England accent (which dates back to the Puritans, mostly from East Anglia.) Or he could be using Mostly Standard (Midwest) American, like the other Colonial characters. Nope, he thought Irish sounded better!

      Angus McFayden is from Glasgow & plays Robert Rogers–an American. Whose accent was probably not the Scottiish that McFayden chose for the show.

  • majorbedhead

    Whatever about his accent. WHY DID I NOT KNOW THAT MY BOYFRIEND WAS IN MY STATE????? I feel so neglected now.

  • GorgeousThings

    No shit raining down from this (Irish Boston)) Cumberbitch. I am completely with you. He looks NOTHING like Billy Bulger (I interned at the State House with him way way back when), and I can’t see him pulling off a Boston accent, especially since Billy’s is a unique one, not classic Southie.

    Still, I’m hoping to be proven wrong

  • OffToSeeHim

    Nailed it. And you forgot the Star Trek movie. I forget whether he had an accent in that. I don’t actually think he’s that great of an actor, but I’ll look at him all day long.

  • Anna

    Benedict is not someone who stirs my loins in any way – but I just find him delightful. He’s so British in that formal, old school way, and he’s just so odd looking that it does takes me back when I hear him speak during interviews.

  • CeeQ

    Absolutely agree – looked forward to him in Osage County and his turn there left me flat too.

    • sweetlilvoice

      I can see what you mean, although his character is supposed to be an idiot. I don’t think he’s actually slow or disabled, but he’s been told he’s stupid his whole life. I thought his plot line was one of the sweeter ones in the movie full of horrible people. But amazing acting by Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. That movie hit home on a lot of levels for me.

      • CeeQ

        I think Benedict got the nuance of the character well in Osage but the American part of it, felt like, to me anyways, a bit of a struggle for him.
        I couldn’t tear away from that movie. It hit home a lot for me too.

  • Betsy

    I love B Cum but this worries me too. An American accent but a Boston accent besides. Despite what many actors think, we do not talk like the Kennedys. Best Boston accent by far was Christian Bale in The Fighter or Jeremy Renner in The Town. Benedict is so decidedly British.

  • Dino Bonačić

    Love that you said that… Some actors are just too damn English too act American…

    It’s like Jennifer Aniston or Matthew Mcconaughey tried to be British. Just doesn’t go.

  • “It’s his affect. It reads ‘English’ from top to bottom”
    When you’re right, you’re right.

  • Total truth. He doesn’t have that Hugh Laurie knack of fully Americanizing. But he sure is pretty.

  • sweetlilvoice

    I am obsessed with Sherlock right now but for me the character is sexy, not so much the actor. He’s talented though for sure. Is this the same movie Johnny Depp is in? Or are there multiple Whitey Buldger movies?

  • KinoEye

    No argument from this fangirl. As others have said, he’s just so hopelessly British. From his looks to his comport. Nailing an American accent is tough for most of them: I saw the newest X-Men a few weeks back, and I could hear the Irish/Scottish coming out in both Fassbender and McAvoy’s speech every now and then. Even tougher when it’s a regional American accent. Perhaps the very best I’ve ever heard in my life was Christopher Guest in Best in Show. If I didn’t know he was British, I totally would’ve that he was a southern man whose greatest joy in life was fishing. Same thing goes for Guest in Waiting for Guffman. He’s an underrated genius, I think.

    As to the pictures of Cumby? Not the best ones I’ve seen, but even so, be still my heart.

    • Gatto Nero

      I am cringing in anticipation of the mangled Boston accents in this film. And Cumberbatch isn’t even remotely a physical match to Bulger (though he may be able to nail the sinister aspects of the role). As much as I admire his work in general, I’m not hopeful about this.

    • demidaemon

      I think, since both Xavier and Magneto have European roots, it’s not so awful for X-men.

  • marlie

    That TIE. It’s hilarious. You guys are right – he does have a distinctly “British gentleman” affect.

  • Richelle Devereaux-Murray

    I don’t get it though, Billy was 5’4 ish. Hollywood is weird.

    • Meg0GayGuys6

      And what a horrible nickname, “The Corrupt Midget”

      • sweetlilvoice

        It’s amazingly offensive on a variety of levels.

  • eandh99

    some people are just better at accents than others? think BCum as Bulger is problematic, wait till Hiddles does Hank Williams, including the singing, no I’m not kidding. Some actors seem blend more effortlessly than others, one unexpected example would be Chris Hensworth, guy who plays Thor. He does Brit accents a lot, his very good turn in Rush, and can look extraordinarily American, but he’s Australian.

    • Hiddles playing Hank Williams is going to be so bizarre. But I’ve heard his Southern accent before and it was pretty decent, so maybe it will be alright…

      • kittentoes

        Total waste of a British bottle is you ask me.

  • Jessica Ballard-Barnett

    Two thoughts about English actors doing American accents:

    1. Hugh Laurie…seriously I did not know he was English until House Season 3. (showing my British comedy ignorance here)
    2. Colin Firth…WTH was that accent he was doing in Devil’s Knot? Was it English? Was it Southern? It was like watching Joey Tribbiani try to do a southern accent!

    Please note – love love love Colin…just DO NOT get the accent. 🙂

    • alyce1213

      I agree about Hugh Laurie!
      Haven’t seen Colin Firth in Devil’s Knot. I love him so I probably shouldn’t see it if his accent is bad.

  • Lily

    Most English/Australian actors default to two general American accents when trying to play characters from the US: East Coast Generic New York (softer than a strong Mafia Jersey accent), or some sort of Southern patois that hits neither the twang of the Texas/Louisiana South, nor the lilted vowels of the Georgia/Tennessee/Virginia South. They just can’t seem to pull out a standard Midwestern. Guy Pierce and Jason Isaacs are both accent masters (Pierce in LA Confidential was completely mesmerizing and not an accent was dropped. Same for Isaacs, who can do a standard American Midwestern “non-accent” with nary a blip of British. Contrast that with Russell Crowe, for example, who has American brawn but can’t get beyond generic East Coast / New York when he speaks. Others mentioned Martin Freeman, Hopkins, Oldman, etc. have transcended well, but a lot of that has to do with their characters, as well. I agree on the whole that many English actors can’t get across the right American demeanor in their body language and that makes a world of difference. We simply act and move differently, especially men.

    • Gatto Nero

      Then there’s Liam Neeson (Northern Ireland), who can’t do an American accent of any description.

    • ThaliaMenninger

      I agree on the East Coast generic/Southern split. Brits seem to especially like defaulting to the sort-of-Southern thing. Kenneth Branagh did ok with that in that movie where he was a lawyer in Savannah or something. But it was still a little… Studied. Plus anytime they have to run, you know immediately they’re not American. The running is a dead giveaway.

      • roverrun

        Currently on TNT network is a detective series set in San Francisco, called “Murder in the First.” The villain is a Silicon Valley Zuckerburg type and played by the actor who was Draco Malfoy in all those Harry Potter movies. HIs accent is astoundingly good. I’m very impressed with how he is on this series.

    • demidaemon

      You know, speaking of people who are supreme accent artists, one thinks of Angela Landsbury. Apparently, she could here an accent once and then instantly mimic it. It’s like a superpower.

      • alyce1213

        Meryl Streep too.

        • demidaemon

          Indeed! I had forgotten her skill in that department, though I don’t know why.

    • alyce1213

      The two best American accents I’ve heard from Brits belong to John Mahoney (Martin Crane on Frasier), and Hugh Laurie (House, of course). Mahoney actually sounds like he’s from the Pacific NW and Laurie has the perfect “non-accent.”
      I think Christian Bale did a bang-up job as a Southie in The Fighter (won Oscar).
      I don’t think I’ve ever heard an Aussie or New Zealander do a convincing American accent.

      • Lily

        Hugh Laurie – of course, brilliant! I always get a bit gobsmacked when I hear him revert to his English accent. It completely throws me off. He’s an accomplished Jazz musician, too, which just makes me love him more. I’d forgotten that John Mahoney was English. He gives the perfect “blue collar” accent IMO. Was so delightful in Frazier. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard his British accent so will have to see if I can find a video. I always give C Bale a “you don’t count” card since he moved to the US when he was a teen and lived here for many years. Not that it makes that much of a difference, but he floats back and forth between his English (Welsh) accent and American seamlessly – will even change accents for movie promotion depending upon which side of the pond he’s on.

      • numenah

        Russell Crowe was very convincing in L.A. Confidential.

      • kittentoes

        Wow, didn’t realize John Mahoney was British! Well played!

        • alyce1213

          That’s how good it is.

      • somebody blonde

        Oh, Hugh Laurie’s always weirds me out because it’s not from anywhere. It’s so standardized that it doesn’t sound realistic to me. I think he’d do well to throw in a few more truly regional pronunciations.

      • Is that ‘cos you’re just not aware of how many have infiltrated Hollywood? Anna Paquin from New Zealand (True Blood) has been doing American accents for years, Karl Urban has been doing all sorts of accents (often he’s a terrorist or a fantasy character). I couldn’t swear to Russell Crowe’s accents but then I couldn’t swear to much about him… Ryan Kwantan (also True Blood) is Aussie, as was Heath Ledger, and is Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchet, Hugh Jackman, Toni Collette and masses more.

        • alyce1213

          No I’m aware of the infiltration, going way back. The only one you mentioned that I don’t know is Karl Urban. I hear some accent in the others. Even Anna.

  • boweryboy

    Interesting. For me it was Brad Pitt’s performance in 12 Years A Slave that took me out of the movie (to be honest I don’t even recall B Cum in that movie) and B Cum’s performance in August: Osage County that took me out of that movie.

    • God, I try to forget Brad Pitt was even in that film. So terrible.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I haven’t seen it (even though Lupita is amazing) but It sounds like half of Hollywood was in 12 Years a Slave.

        • They definitely were. I spent a lot of time saying ‘holy crap, there’s Paul Giamatti! And Michael K. Williams! And Alfre Woodard!’

    • TeacherH

      Totally agree. Brad Pitt was the worst. Stuck out like a sore thumb. And he cast himself as the one moral white person. Ugh. The one needle screech in a very good movie.

      I hadn’t seem Cumberbatch in anything before 12 Years, and he didn’t bother me at all.

  • Jane from Boston

    Gorgeous Things, How about you, me & your sister Marie offer to help Benedict with his accent.
    BTW, I worked in the Tours Division at the Mass. State House when Mr. Bulger was Senate president.
    One fun memory was Mr. Bulger standing on a chair, next to Geoffrey Holder singing “Danny Boy”.
    ” The Wiz” was in Boston and the cast were guests at the State House

  • Danielle

    How do I apply to be that umbrella holder?

  • Tarquin

    I love Mr. Cumberbatch. He reminds me of a male from a Roy Lichtenstin painting.

    • Shawn EH

      So, a 1950s cartoon man?

  • belindasue

    I know your article is just click bait to get hits but I’ll bite.

    Firstly Cumberbatch was hardly in August osage County and 12 years a slave so talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill. But in any event he did fine in those roles. Infact I wanted to see more of him in August Osage County and less of the others droning on and on. He was virtually the only one who didnt overact like mad. But maybe you like a lot of ham T&L. Also his accent in AOC was vastly superior to Ewan McGregor’s.

    He was excellent in his few scenes in 12 years a slave and a number of critics commented to that effect.The accent was fine as a number of people from that location said after seeing early screenings of the film.

    It must be a slow news day for you to pick like this.


      • latina fey

        i’m a huge cumberbatch fan (i refuse to refer to myself with that silly nickname), but i think you’re dead on.

        panties are clearly bunched, but not here. i’m just happy to see more pictures of my dream husband.

        • not_Bridget

          Another fan speaking up! Cumberbatch has many gifts but I’ve never heard him do a non-British accent well.

          He can do comedy & be quite charming. Alas, he’s mostly offered weird roles–which he usually nails. I still wish to see him in a romantic comedy, with his natural hair color & somewhat natural accent….

          • Tuneful54

            Yep, there’s an opening that’s Hugh Grant-sized for him to drive through. Now, if he doesn’t get into any distasteful scrapes with hookers in Hollywood, etc.

  • Glam Dixie

    He’s the male version of Oatbiel. So bland, boring and tasteless and I cannot imagine him being able to pull off a Boston politician but I guess stranger things have happened.

    • demidaemon

      Well, unlike Oatbiel, Benny here can actually act. And he’s British, which gives him at least a smidgen of personality.

  • gorghast

    I didn’t have a problem with his accent in 12 Years a Slave, mainly because Americans in the 19th century (from any region) didn’t sound anything like we do today. I did have a problem with the way he acted his first scene (too tortured and he mumbles his way through the dialogue). He’s quite good in his last scene though.

  • Little_Olive

    Huh. Is it an 80’s-90’s movie or are broad lapels and ties back?

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    I’m just jealous that I don’t have my own personal umbrella holder. Benedict here really isn’t my type at all, but I am enjoying his enormously wide lapels and tie.

  • Imasewsure

    I think he is so quintessentially English looking that it’s hard to hear the accent, good or bad…. Wasn’t he an “American” in Star Trek? Can’t remember but the padded suit he wore for that one made it more of a possibility to see him that way I think… That SUIT however is very American… yuck

  • BLauDGaspode

    Maybe it’s because I’m much more a visual than audible type of learner/person, but I find body language and the way a person carries themselves can take me out of a movie more than a bad accent. To see Brits play Americans, and vice versa, can be so distracting simply because the mannerisms are off…

  • julnyes

    I was more thrown by Ewan McGregor’s accent in August Osage County. I thought it was quite terrible (but it was Ewan, so I just focused on his smile and ignored the accent). Benedict is very English and I don’t think his “American Character” roles have necessarily played to his strengths yet, but I hold out hope since he is a very good actor.

  • FancyPhilly

    He’s looking a bit like Dennis Quaid here.

  • tetisheri

    All I want to know is if they are filming in Boston? Because that means he’s only a couple of hours away from me.

  • BobStPaul

    I’ve not seen either of the films in question but your comments remind me of how horrible a job Anthony Hopkins does when he tries to portray an American – though a major part of his problem is his inability to do a proper American accent.

  • Jecca2244

    i totes agree with you guys. just excited he’s in my city for a bit!!

  • LadyVimes

    I like it when actors push themselves out of their comfort zones, so while there may be misses, it’s good to see them with variety than relying on the same role over and over. He could play a sherlock equivalent for every role, easily, but it would get old fast. This fangurl may not like him in all the roles, but I still find him interesting in the roles he chooses.

  • Jecca2244

    not a man, not a Brit…but i often forgot cate Blanchett isn’t American

  • mmebam


  • JP

    I’m a Cumberbitch, but even I went “WTF?!” when I heard he was cast in the role.

    Still, I thank you for the sausage! 😉

  • Tuneful54

    One a’ the half-Irish Bul-jahs? Nevah, not in a million yeahs.
    But, Ben, you ah still wicked pissa. And good luck with the accent, you’re gonna need it.

    • alyce1213

      Thank you for writing in the vernacular! One of my favorite things about visiting my Boston (and surrounding area) relatives was to listen to them. Like the word “four” — fo-wah, and also they called it phosphate instead of soda.

      • Tuneful54

        I moved there when I was 11 from WNY and the first night my parents turned on the TV to the local news, I thought it was the strangest sound I had ever heard come out of anyone’s mouth, newscasters included. I never really got over that, though I was in MA for most of the next 2.5 decades, nor did I adopt the accent myself but I can turn it on at will including to amuse if that is called for. Same with the WNY flat vowels,etc. Yoah welcome!

        • alyce1213

          I’m familiar with the WNY ‘sound’ as well (family in Buffalo).

  • CT14

    That is one wide tie.

    • kittentoes

      It’s nearly a bib.

  • BayTampaBay

    I think he looks better with longer hair.

  • Mothra


  • jml27

    I wonder if he will have a street Boston accent or a Boston Brahmin accent which is pretty British sounding.

    • alyce1213

      Since the Bulgers are from Dorchester, street. I hope he can do it.

      • jml27

        B Cum is playing a politician…I admit I don’t know which one.

    • Fred Vaughn

      Southie/Dorchester, VERY likely.

  • snarkykitten

    As far as I can understand it, the casting director put a bunch of names in a hat and pulled them out at random. “okay…Fatty Bulger, let’s see…JOHNNY DEPP! why not?!!”

  • amf0001

    I just have to say it, I hate that hair color on him.

    • Tuneful54

      He’s a ginger so I don’t know if that’s natural or perhaps dyed a bit dahker. Maybe it’s the makeup job, too. It looks odd. But, whatevah. I am colahblind in my woorship.

  • tallgirl1204

    I was o.k. with him in 12 years a slave, because the whole point was that he was weak and ineffectual, and his English-ness underlined that.

  • mrspeel2

    William Bulger’s affected speech pattern will be a piece of cake for him.

  • DesertDweller79

    I thought he was okay in “August: Osage County”. Haven’t seen “12 Years a Slave” yet. But, you’re right that he’s light years better in the projects you cited. I think those characters are just more his style than the one in “August”, though. I absolutely LOVED him in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”. It is truly impressive that he had that level of charisma in that film, where none of the characters talk very much, and his character even less. (I really loved all the performances in that film. As well as the incredible attention to detail in the costuming!)

  • ShaoLinKitten

    Before I even scrolled down, I was thinking the same thing that TLo posted– I’m concerned about his Boston accent. Glad I’m not the only one who worried about it. Boston is hard to do correctly.

  • Richelle Devereaux-Murray

    That ridiculous nickname was coined by a newspaper columnist, it’s not a commonly referred to moniker(by any local people) for Billy Bulger. He is however, a short man.

  • gefeylich

    The Dennis Quaid drag just blots out any residual charisma and attractiveness in these photos. Yikes.

  • jmw1122

    As a native of Massachusetts and a current resident of Boston, I am somewhat annoyed that not a single major role in this movie is being played by a Bostonian or at least a New Englander. Instead we have a Brit, an Aussie, a Texan, and Johnny Depp in the lead roles. I shudder to think of how badly Cumberbatch and Depp are going to mangle the local dialect. I have some hope for Joel Edgerton though.

    I mean really, they couldn’t even squeeze a Wahlberg into this? There are tons of them around here!

  • ktr33


  • WaterGhost

    I didn’t see “August: Orange County”. He was a little off in “Twelve Years a Slave,” but so were several people. It was really Ejiofor’s movie.

    But where it is really noticeable for me is “Wrath of Khan,” even though he got to keep what I presume was his native accent. He just came across a mild-mannered tea-drinker — destroyer of worlds, he was not.

  • JynxTheCat

    Not remotely my drug of choice. It appears to me that he loses about ALL of his charm in freeze frame. I feel nothing whatsoever gazing at a still image of me but on screen…there is something, I must admit.


    Cant wait to see him and Robert Pattinson in Lost City of Z. Two englishmen playing englishmen. YES