Benedict Cumberbatch went viral over the summer after word got out he saved a London cyclist from being attacked by four muggers. The actor, well known for playing Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was celebrated for his heroic actions, but Cumberbatch told Ellen DeGeneres during a visit to her daytime talk show that news of the incident got “a bit exaggerated.” Cumberbatch proceeded to tell his version of the events.
“Basically what happened is I saw a bicycle delivery guy getting surrounded by some guys on a very cold November night,” Cumberbatch said. “I just stopped the Uber that we were in and got out and I tried to intervene and tried to calm the kids down, who were riled up, tried to calm him down, he looked like he was about to fight for his life.”
“[I] didn’t really think twice about knives or acid or any of the other things that can be part of that situation,” he continued. “I literally got in the way…I also tried to stop traffic so they could witness it and if anything did happen that there were people there and that might scare any violence out of the situation.”
News of Cumberbatch’s actions made headlines when the Uber drive, Manuel Dias, went public with the story in June. Dias said he was driving Cumberbatch down Marylebone High Street in London when the actor spotted the cyclist and jumped out of the Uber to intervene in the conflict. The driver heard Cumberbatch shouting, “Leave him alone,” to the group of muggers.
“He was very supportive that night,” Cumberbatch told Ellen about Dias, who left the heat running in the car. “It was a cold night and we definitely needed warmth after.. especially with that kind of adrenaline shock running through you.”
Cumberbatch earned an Emmy nomination this year for his starring role in Showtime’s limited series “Patrick Melrose.” The actor will reprise his role as Doctor Strange in next year’s untitled “Avengers” sequel. Watch Cumberbatch’s full “Ellen” appearance below.