Benedict Cumberbatch stayed in character during the entire “The Power of the Dog” shoot.
Cumberbatch said this included smoking cigarettes regularly like his character, Phil Burbank.
“I gave myself nicotine poisoning three times,” he said.
Benedict Cumberbatch told Esquire magazine that he gave himself nicotine poisoning three times during the production of his upcoming film “The Power of the Dog.”
In “The Power of the Dog,” the latest film from the New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion, Cumberbatch plays Phil Burbank, a chain-smoking roughneck American ranch handler called Phil Burbank. And the 45-year-old actor told the publication that he stayed in character for the entirety of the film shoot – a process that included him only responding to the name of his character on set.
“If someone forgot, on the first day, and called me Benedict, I wouldn’t move,” he said.
Cumberbatch said this committed method acting process also extended to him regularly smoking cigarettes “perfectly rolled with one hand” like his character.
“That was really hard,” Cumberbatch said of smoking on set. “Filterless rollies, just take after take after take. I gave myself nicotine poisoning three times. When you have to smoke a lot, it genuinely is horrible,” he added.
Nicotine poisoning – which can be caused by excess exposure to products that hold nicotine such as cigarettes – can create a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and extreme fatigue, according to healthline.com.
Cumberbatch later added that he spent long stretches of time without bathing during the film’s production in order to develop a “layer of stink” like his character who seldom washes.
“I wanted people in the room to know what I smelt like. 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,” he said.
Cumberbatch previously told The Hollywood Reporter that Jane Campion, who is returning to feature filmmaking for the first time in over a decade with “The Power of The Dog,” initially asked him to remain in character for the entire shoot to perfect his depiction of Burbank.
“[Jane Campion] introduced me to the crew as Phil and said, ‘You’ll meet Benedict at the end. Benedict’s really nice. Phil is Phil,'” Cumberbatch recalled.
“The Power of The Dog” premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September. The film is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Thomas Savage. In a rave review of the film, Insider praised Cumberbatch as the standout performer.
“His performance is commanding and brave: to put it simply, Cumberbatch has never been this good,” the review reads.
Jessie Plemons and Kirsten Dunst also star. Netflix is set to give the film a limited theatrical release on November 17, 2021, prior to making it available to stream on December 1.
Read the original article on Insider