Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst both starred in the recently released American western drama The Power of the Dog. The film was directed by Jane Campion and already hit select theaters on November 17, with a more mainstream release on streaming platform Netflix due December 1, 2021. As it turns out, however, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst didn’t actually talk to one another while shooting the movie. However, it appears that the two acted this way as a means to stay in character while the film was in production.
Marvel Cinematic Universe star Benedict Cumberbatch revealed this while speaking with NME, and explained how it was difficult to avoid her at first. It appears that Dunst understood, however, and the two soon fell into their mutual silence.
As revealed by Cumberbatch:
“I didn’t want to be really mean to Kirsten, but I needed to stay in character. So I didn’t speak to her on-set. She was the same. We were the negative to each other’s positive. [We were] repelled by each other.”
The interview further notes the extent in which Benedict Cumberbatch went to stay in character for the film:
“When they eventually arrived in rural New Zealand and started shooting, things got quite intense. Cumberbatch went full method. He didn’t wash, he stayed in character permanently on-set, and he refused to answer if someone called him Benedict. Other tasks included swimming naked in the river, covering his body with mud and smoking filter-less rollies all day. His reward for putting himself through the ringer? Nicotine poisoning – on three occasions.”
Indeed, it sounds like Benedict Cumberbatch went quite the distance with his role in The Power of the Dog. It’s certainly quite different from how fans are used to seeing the actor in films like Doctor Strange, for example. But that’s just a testament to his acting range and dedication. Likewise, Kirsten Dunst is also quite the actress for having matched his energy and delivering the same kind of dedication when staying in character.