The Cumberbatch-Hiddleston circle jerk

September 28, 2016 16:21:33 Posted at September 28, 2016 16:21:33
Lainey Posted by Lainey

Tom Hiddleston covers the new issue of Interview, interviewed by his friend Benedict Cumberbatch. The conversation basically goes like this:

Benedict thanks Tom for taking the time. Tom thanks Benedict for taking the time. Benedict asks a question. Tom thanks Benedict for asking the question, answers the question, and then politely asks Benedict a question in return. Benedict thanks Tom for asking him a question in return, answers the question, and sends one back to Tom. It’s riveting, no sarcasm intended. But probably not riveting in the way they intended. Like I could give a f-ck about their actual answers. I’m reading this as a play on manners. Like the seed of a sketch on Saturday Night Live: two posh British men in discussion. How British is it to talk about NOT talking about gossip?

This is how they get around Taylor Swift.

BC: I agree. How could you deny that impetus, having witnessed it firsthand? I can't even imagine what effect that must have on you. And there's another weight of us being in the public eye, which is this presumption that, because your work and your promotion work is very public, your private life should be, too. And, without getting into a huge debate, I just want to say that I'm not going to ask questions about my friend's personal life just because there are unsolicited photographs of him and a certain someone, in a relationship or together. I'm not going to get into that. So that door is closed, dear reader.

TH: [chuckles] Thank you.

BC: You're welcome. I know you'd do the same for me. And, going back to this responsibility of being a public figure, you said you felt really grateful for the things that came with that responsibility, these extraordinary experiences. Are there particular thoughts about experiences in your childhood, adolescence, twenties, and now your thirties, that you are grateful for?

UNSOLICITED photographs?

OK. Sure. Paps hang out in Rhode Island on the rocks by the shore all the time. But, you know, thanks for mentioning something without mentioning it because that segue from South Sudan to celebrity was natural and not obvious at all. Oh yeah. Read it yourself when you’re done here. Benedict’s oblique reference to Tom’s relationship with Taylor comes RIGHT AFTER they discuss his humanitarian work with UNICEF.

But there’s a reason I wanted to post about Benedict and Tom’s circle jerk in this position on my blog. The article immediately preceding this one was written by Duana about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s interview with Variety. Duana pulled out one quote in particular that says everything about the difference between LMM and Cumberbatch-Hiddleston. Here it is:

“I had an early sense of mortality — I think that comes with growing up in New York City. So getting as much stuff done before you’re dead is a huge motivating factor for me. I’ve always approached my life and my work thinking, ‘How much can I get away with doing before I go?’”

You see where I’m going? Hamilton is a story that celebrates the achievements of an immigrant. As LMM specified himself when he addressed the University of Pennsylvania earlier this year:

“Immigrants get the job done.”

It’s an urgency, the same urgency that compels him to get has much done “before you’re dead” as possible. That’s the urgency that informs Lin-Manuel Miranda’s life ethic and work ethic. Now juxtapose the spirit in his words with the nearly 600 words exchanged between Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston in the middle of their discussion for Interview during which they both trade sighs about how much they work and how worried they are about how much they work, while they’re on the phone with each other, one looking out “over a very European landscape” and the other on the Australian coast, shooting a movie in “blue skies and sunshine”. Seriously.

Read those two pieces back to back (here for LMM in Variety and here for BC and TH in Interview) to get the full effect. It’s really, really funny.

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