“Sherlock” hast turned into a family affair in its third season.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s parents — Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham — are playing his titular character’s folks, while Martin Freeman’s partner, Amanda Abbington, is portraying his fiancee, Mary Morstan.
AccessHollywood.com asked about how the castings came about on Monday, during the Masterpiece “Sherlock” panel at the Television Critics Association Winter Tour 2014, in Pasadena.
“They’re trained actors with a CV [editor’s note: resume] and were available,” Benedict said with a laugh during the TCA session. “They’ve played my parents in the background in something before…”
“[Working with them on ‘Sherlock’] was wonderful,” he continued. “It was the first day on set and everyone was nervous, they were really nervous, but I did — at some point — sort of try to manage their nerves as well as mine and it was a glorious thing. … It was a joy. I mean, it’s going to be something… hopefully I’ll be showing my grandchildren. It’s a real special thing, and I’ve got the utmost respect for their craft.”
Amanda joked she was brought in because she and Martin can create a spark on screen.
“I think I got it because Martin and I have quite nice chemistry,” she laughed. “But I’d always wanted to be in it, and they wrote Mary Morstan and said, ‘Would you like to do it?’ I jumped on them and said, ‘Yes, please.’”
“She was our original fangirl,” Benedict added.
During the panel session, Benedict revealed, in response to one reporter’s question, that he actually just connected with someone else in another type of family — the group of actor’s who have played Sherlock Holmes. He met up with the current actor who plays Sherlock on the big screen — Robert Downey Jr.
“I sat down on the sofa with Robert Downey, Jr. last night and we had our first conversation and shared notes on playing Sherlock Holmes,” he said. “This is the most dramatized fictional character of all time, so there’s a lot to talk about.”
Benedict went on to note that there is a nice camaraderie as well with his former London stage co-star (they did “Frankenstein” together) Jonny Lee Miller, who plays Sherlock Holmes on the CBS drama “Elementary.”
“We’re all fans of one another. We’re all supportive… We’re really good friends and I can safely say that Robert’s in the same camp now after last night. We had a wonderful chat,” he said.
While Masterpiece’s “Sherlock” continues to add characters, when Access asked during the session if they are hoping to bring Lara Pulver back as Irene Adler, Executive Producer Steven Moffat said we’d have to wait and see.
“If we come up with a good idea, then anything is possible, but we do our best to surprise you with a combination of lies and deceit. So we would never tell you what we were going to do,” he said to critics, who laughed at the remark. “You never know.”
Moffat also tackled Access’ question about whether there will be a fourth season of the show.
“I’m doing it. I’ve commissioned it,” Benedict joked, before his producer chimed in.
“Yes, it will continue until Benedict gets too famous,” Steven added.
-- Jolie Lash