Spider-Man, There’s No Way Home’s Benedict Cumberbatch has been a thespian’s thespian when it comes to acting on stage, film and television. His performances have been praised and won multiple awards. And yet, like any celebrated actor, there are those questionable projects that pop up on Cumberbatch’s resume. One role, in particular, has haunted him for years – playing nonbinary fashion model All in Zoolander 2. Many years later, this character has been lost. Doctor Strange 2Star chose to reflect on the controversy.
When Zoolander 2In theaters in 2016, the sequel was met with poor reception by critics as well as audiences. Before the film even reached theaters, Benedict Cumberbatch’s All was already facing backlash for a cisgender male playing a nonbinary character. It served as a momentary bump in the Oscar nominee’s career, but the MCU star couldn’t help but bring up the lambasted cameo while chatting with Zoolander 2 co-star Penelope Cruz for Variety’s Actors on Actors. Cumberbatch spoke out about the backlash he received online and the media while they reconnected over the film.
Minimum the Doctor StrangeStar left with a greater understanding of the reasons that people in the LGBTQ+ communities were upset. Although the role was intended to be humorous, it ended up being more about mocking than commenting on society. Looking back at the role, it should’ve been played by either a recognizable or unknown trans actor. That would’ve driven the point home while giving some from the trans community a shot. It appears that Benedict Cumberbatch learned from his situation and his choices in his roles reflect that.
Of course, Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t the first actor to face backlash from the trans community. Eddie Redmayne was also criticised for portraying Lili Elbe, transgender painter, in The Danish Girl. Redmayne said that he regretted taking on the role after being nominated for an Oscar. He believed he was taking away an opportunity from trans performers. The Oscar winner did learn from his experience and became a strong advocate for trans rights. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s controversial trans comments.
Benedict Cumberbatch is now free to move on from his position as the Zoolander 2As he grew with his MCU status, he also played other roles. For instance, the actor has received acclaim for his performance in 2021’s The Power of the Dog. In the aftermath of his partnership with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker Spider-Man, There’s No Way HomeHe will be next seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessCumberbatch shared his excitement over the viral teaser for ‘The Doctor’, which will be released on May 6. You can see the list of upcoming Marvel movies to find out where the good doctor may appear.