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Saturday, 7 December 2013

TheCustard chats Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

New Year's Day sees the hugely welcome return of Sherlock back on BBC ONE after nearly two years away. The first episode will see Sherlock re-appear in Watson's life following his apparent death at the end of Series 2. I spoke to stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman about returning to their now iconic roles and the huge public interest in how Sherlock faked his death.


Is it good to be alive?
Benedict Cumberbatch: Of course, it's great to be alive.

Were you able to guess how Sherlock faked his death?
Benedict Cumberbatch: I'm playing the guy, but I'm not the guy. You won't be disappointed. It's ingenious, witty, generous and everything that it should be.

Were you endlessly badgered by fans wanting to know the secret?
Martin Freeman: Yes! But it was nice because I didn't know. I know now that I've read the first episode but up until then we didn't know. It was nice because it meant I didn't have to lie or remember which lie I'd told.

Where is John when we first meet him in the new series?
Martin Freeman: Well it's two years on. He's had a lot of grief in his life after losing his best friend but he's trying to move on and live a happy-ish life again.


Did you find it easy becoming Sherlock again after time away?
Benedict Cumberbatch: It felt comfortable. It's never easy because we're trying to better ourselves, we're being spoilt rotten by fantastic scripts. It's thrilling to be back.

What can you tell us about the scene where Sherlock and John reunite?
Benedict Cumberbatch: Not a lot. It was hellishly fun to film. It's beautifully written.
Martin Freeman: It's really strong and I hope it'll really work. You're conscious not to overplay the enormity of the scene because you can never guess or anticipate accurately how people are going to perceive anything.

Have you enjoyed coming back together?
Martin Freeman: It's been great. We haven't seen each other properly for a couple of years so it's lovely. We're both very intent on not cruising and you genuinely have to rediscover who you're playing and remember who these two are.

What's your relationship like with Sherlock Holmes? Jeremy Brett famously said  he'd cross the road to avoid him. How do you feel about him?
Benedict Cumberbatch: I think there's a lot more humanity to him than people initially presume. Whilst he can be incredibly rude and wishy washy, but he wears his heart on his sleeve. I'd be fascinated to meet him. To view the world the way he says he sees it would be a delight, if he gave me the time of day.

With your movie careers taking off was there ever any question you'd come back for the new series?
Martin Freeman: I think you'd have dig around a long time to find something that's better than this and more satisfying to do.

Martin, you're other half Amanda is in the series this year,what was it like working with her?
Martin Freeman: It's great. It's a coincidence it's not a John and Yoko situation. It's really great.

Do you think artists see TV as the equal to film now?
Martin Freeman: I think it's pretty evident that the best television is as good as anything. As far as American shows go I can't think of many films that are better written than The Wire or The Sopranos.
Benedict Cumberbatch: There's a huge wealth of talent pouring into television at the moment and that can only be a good thing. It's so accessible nowadays.

Sherlock returns on New Year's Day at 9.00pm on BBC ONE. #SherlockLives

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