Benedict Cumberbatch felt 'emotionally and physically very vulnerable' after losing 21 pounds for new movie

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Jacob Sarkisian
·3 min read
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Benedict Cumberbatch The Courier 3
Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Courier." Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions
  • Benedict Cumberbatch lost 21 pounds for his new movie.

  • Cumberbatch plays real-life spy Greville Wynne, who was locked in a Soviet prison for months.

  • Cumberbatch called the weight loss experience "very nasty," and said it left him "very vulnerable."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

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Benedict Cumberbatch said the 21-pound weight loss he endured for his new movie "The Courier" left him feeling "very vulnerable," although he thinks it helped his portrayal of his character.

Cumberbatch stars in "The Courier" as real-life MI6 spy Greville Wynne, who spent months locked in a Soviet prison after being captured by the KGB.

In a new interview with CinemaBlend, Cumberbatch detailed his transformative experience of getting into the right shape for this character.

"I lost about a stone and a half [21 pounds], and it was through the usual methods of dieting, but also some extreme exercise. I was very fit," Cumberbatch said.

The "Doctor Strange" actor said that while he lost the weight in a healthy way, he still had to "shred" everything he could in order to get down to the desired weight and "shrinkwrap [his] body mass around muscle." This led to a pretty torrid experience.

"It's horrible, but it's basically a description for self-digestion, you also have to strip away muscle. And that's a very nasty thing to be doing. And you get very disoriented, you feel dehydrated, you feel hungry all the time," Cumberbatch said.

The actor continued: "You feel emotionally and physically very vulnerable, all of which plays very helpfully into a character that must have endured this for months, if not years."

Cherry Apple TV Plus
Tom Holland in "Cherry." Apple TV Plus

Cumberbatch joins a plethora of actors who have lost weight for movies roles. His MCU costar Tom Holland recently talked about his own drastic weight changes for Apple TV's movie "Cherry."

"Cherry" directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who also directed Cumberbatch and Holland in "Infinity War" and "Endgame," said that Holland lost and gained 30 pounds for his role as a drug-addicted army veteran suffering from PTSD.

"Holland really shredded himself for the part. He lost 30 pounds, he gained it back. We're on an independent movie schedule here. He didn't really have a lot of time to be doing these things," Joe Russo said.

Holland called this extreme dieting experience "brutal," and said he won't be doing it again in an interview with GQ.

"It was awful... I got very sick, actually. And it's changed my relationship with food completely. I think I would find it very difficult to find a role that would warrant that sort of abuse on my body again," Holland said.

"The Courier," which premiered in 2020 under the name "Ironbark," will be released in theaters in the US on March 19.

Read the original article on Insider