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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The impermanence of Benedict Cumberbatch

The ubiquitous Benedict Cumberbatch shockingly enough takes time for himself -- in addition to
appearing in TV, film, and on award shows for both of those. He tells the Wall Street Journal:

I meditate a lot. That’s a huge tool in trying to calm myself, get away from the crazy circus of it all, have a focused mind as well as be a kinder, considerate person in the world. I took a lot of stuff away from my experience in Darjeeling, West Bengal, right at the Nepali border. It was Tibetan Buddhist monks in a converted Nepali house in India, with a view of Bhutan. It was a profoundly formative experience at a very young age. It’s something I’ve tried to keep in my life. It features already.
(Cumberbatch took a semester off from college to teach English to Tibetan monks in India."
"There's an ability to focus and have a real sort of purity of purpose and attention and not be too distracted. And to feel very alive to your environment, to know what you are part of, to understand what is going on in your peripheral vision and behind you, as well of what is in front of you. That definitely came from that."
But I think it's a question about fear of failure, not meditation directly, that shows how it works:

Also, it’s important sometimes to step back and not take it too seriously, in order to be free and light and remember the childish innocence. You should be alive to the moment, you should be able to play. While a hell of a lot of work goes into the most seemingly off-the-cuff stuff in our industries, I think it’s really important in those moments when you’re delivering that lightness to be free of all of that. You play the scene. You really look into people’s eyes, what they’re saying, and everything else sort of falls back. You get those wonderful moments of clarity – they’re not Eureka! moments but they’re as close to it as acting gets, where you are lost in the moment. I challenge any actor, whatever methodology, to say that that’s a permanent state.