Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have acted opposite each other for four seasons on BBC’s “Sherlock,” but it looks like there is some tension between the two actors. Cumberbatch criticizes Freeman’s recent remarks about fan expectations making the series unenjoyable to work on in a new interview with The Telegraph.
“It’s pretty pathetic if that’s all it takes to let you not want to take grip of your reality,” Cumberbatch said. “What, because of expectations? I don’t know. I don’t necessarily agree with that.
“There’s a level of obsession where [the franchise] becomes theirs even though we’re the ones making it,” he continued about the show’s fandom. “But I just don’t feel affected by that in the same way, I have to say.”
Freeman told The Telegraph in March that his enjoyment for “Sherlock” waned after the mixed reception to Season 4. The actor said fan expectations for the show got unrealistically high as the series became more popular, so much so that having to live up to them no longer made working on “Sherlock” fun. Freeman’s remarks put a potential fifth season in jeopardy.
“To be absolutely honest, it [was] kind of impossible,” Freeman said about living up to fan pressure “‘Sherlock’ became the animal that it became immediately. Whereas even with [the U.K. version of] ‘The Office’ it was a slow burn. But ‘Sherlock’ was frankly notably high quality from the outset. And when you start [that high] it’s pretty hard to maintain that.”
“Being in that show, it is a mini-Beatles thing,” he continued. “People’s expectations, some of it’s not fun anymore. It’s not a thing to be enjoyed, it’s a thing of: ‘You better f—ing do this, otherwise, you’re a c—.’ That’s not fun anymore.”
While Cumberbatch admits he is aware of the fan expectations the series has created, he doesn’t believe such things should affect whether or not the actors enjoy working on the show. The actor reprises his role as Doctor Strange in “Avengers: Infinity War,” in theaters April 27.
IndieWire has reached out to Freeman for comment.