Oh goodness so so so many asks & emails about all the recent press. Do forgive me for not responding earlier but frankly I was losing the will to live a bit with all the recent negative press (and it started off so well with that charming Telegraph interview!) & it’s been so hot in London lately that dealing with silly press articles all seemed a bit exhausting.
In terms of the many many people asking re the Downton quote we weren’t there and Benedict hasn’t commented on it yet. We have no idea of the context in which it was said, if words are missing, if it was off the record, hell whether it was even said at all so until Benedict comments on it not for me to speculate. But I won’t be posting the Reader’s Digest article on the site because I think it just perpetuates the nonsense. Julian Fellowes was very gracious in his comments about Benedict earlier this week and some of the Downton case changing their avatar to the Reader’s Digest pic was I’m sure all terribly tongue in cheek given that Benedict is friends with several of them.
In terms of the RT interview the problem with print interviews is one of tone. Namely that you can’t gauge it at all. Now with a good interviewer this is never a problem as they’re brilliant at conveying the tone of the person they’re interviewing. Look at any of Caitlin Moran’s pieces on Benedict or the recent TV Line interview with Michael Ausiello or the Amber M Ray Metro piece - utterly charming pieces both. But with these recent very short pieces promoting Parade’s End I don’t think his tone has really been captured at all.
For example even I was getting a bit surprised that every mention of the fans in these press pieces this week has been resoundingly negative. It’s all been about how he’s scared of the Cumberbitches twitter, and worried about his fans being obsessive etc etc with no nice comments to balance it out. Which I thought surprising as you’re such an incredibly lovely supportive lot. So I got chatting to the reporter whose piece appeared in The Sun yesterday who commented that it all looked a lot harsher in print that it was in person and that the only thing Benedict seemed miffed about was people sneaking pics of him on their phones (understandable- it’s very creepy and invasive). Bear in mind every journo (even the men!) came out of that press roundtable session positively swooning over how lovely Benedict was and yet while he clearly metaphorically charmed the pants off them I think it would be fair to say that hasn’t quite been reflected in the pieces that have made it to print.
Without the tone in which he is saying things being conveyed things look harsh in black and white and have been taken out of context and blown way way out of proportion by the press. Do I think the Radio Times article was his best interview ever? No I confess I don’t but the furore over it has been utterly ridiculous. Do I think Benedict will flee to the States now? Well you’d need to ask him but I’m sure he can cope with a touch of daft press on a slow news week and will continue to travel wherever his work will take him.
The most important thing is that Parade’s End starts on Friday and from what I’ve seen of it is absolutely bloody marvellous. The fact that it has received unanimous raves from every critic has gotten rather lost but even the Mail (scan to follow) called it a triumph. It’s wonderful stuff. I am hoping (touch wood) to have a new pic to show you every day next week (I certainly have a new behind the scenes pic I’m allowed to print tomorrow) You’ll fall in love with Parade’s End and you’ll fall in love with Benedict all over again as his performance as Christopher is just wonderful. I don’t much care for costume dramas or romance and I ADORE it. We’ve got 5 weeks of killer Benedict performances to look forward to - let’s focus on that and ignore the silliness!