Jonny Lee Miller: Benedict Cumberbatch 'Encouraging' About Elementary Sherlock Role

Access Hollywood
Best Actor joint winners Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller attend an after party following the 57th Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Savoy Hotel, London, on November 20, 2011 -- Getty Images

Jonny Lee Miller will take on one of the world's most famous roles - Sherlock Holmes - when "Elementary" premieres September 27 on CBS, and he confirmed to Access Hollywood, he's already had a chat with another actor who took on the part - Benedict Cumberbatch.

"Yeah, we've discussed it very briefly," Jonny told Access at Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego, referring to his fellow UK actor, who stars as a blue-blooded sleuth on the PBS series "Sherlock." "Benedict's been very busy and we've been in different countries.

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"It was a conversation that we had," Jonny continued of speaking with his pal, who he shared the role of "Frankenstein" with on the London stage last year. "I feel that our show is so different, so I was happy [about] the differences and he's been very encouraging, very positive and talking about what a terrific character it is to play. So he was very happy for me."

Benedict's Sherlock is part arrogant genius - and somewhat reclusive -- while Jonny's is very different. The Sherlock of "Elementary" is a recovering addict, with tattoos, and - in the first episode - has a woman leaving his house (but leaving behind her handcuffs).

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"Yeah, there are a few things like that. We play with a few of his darker issues. That was an attractive thing for me, character wise, so there are a lot of differences really," Jonny said.

The Brit's Sherlock Holmes is also a newer, more damaged version than fans have seen before - one who is a bit of a wounded bird.

"I think he's a lot less comfortable with his genius, if you like. I think he's a lot less comfortable with that than the character in the book, so I liked that," Jonny said. "I like people who are imperfect and flawed... It gives you room to grow. If there's a struggle there, a conflict, it always makes for a better characterization, I find. That's definitely a plus for me."

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Beyond the newly revamped Sherlock - Dr. Watson is female and being played by the beautiful Lucy Liu.

"Yeah, it's totally unique. And it's like, 'Oh, well that's different,'" Jonny said.

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While "Elementary" is Jonny's current priority, he confirmed he is still open to - one day - doing the sequel to "Trainspotting," with director Danny Boyle, based on "Porno," the follow up book by Scottish author Irvine Welsh.

"I know Danny wanted to wait until we all looked a lot rougher [to do the sequel]," Jonny told Access . "It's tricky. If a script comes up, you'd do it - and if the script's good... 'Trainspotting' -- the script was so different from the book... The book -- you could write a hundred different movies out of it, and then, the second novel is much more linear in the way it's written. If the script was good then we'd all be down to do it."

-- Jolie Lash

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