With Doctor Strange 2 killing it at the box-office right now, MCU star Benedict Cumberbatch is clearly a very popular household name and is one of the most recognisable actors in Hollywood today. But, many years ago, Cumberbatch very nearly changed his name completely, to improve his chances of success in the movie industry.
The British actor, as many performers often do, felt that his real name wasn’t quite right for Hollywood, and debated mixing things up a bit and trying out a different name. But, one could argue that sticking with a name like Benedict Cumberbatch has perhaps offered the actor an even better chance of standing out among the crowd.
Appearing on The Late Late Show with James Corden, the star of the latest MCU movie revealed that he very nearly went by the name of Ben Carlton instead. His co-star, Elizabeth Olsen, admitted she found herself in a similar position, too, having considered going by the name Elizabeth Chase.
“One of my middle names, Ben Carlton, was going to be my name,” Cumberbatch revealed. “I think there might have been another Ben Carlton, but that wasn’t the reason it changed [back]. My slightly more sensible agents went, ‘You’ve got a great surname, why are you calling yourself by your middle name?'”
Cumberbatch explains that he initially wanted to change his name as, and we quote, Benedict Cumberbatch “sounds like a fart in a bath or something.” Now that he’s said it, we can kinda hear it and there’s no going back.
“I find it hard to say on a Monday morning. It’s clumsy,” Cumberbatch said. But his agents insisted it was a great name and that he should stick with it, and the rest is history. “I started getting work almost immediately after that,” the actor admitted.
Olsen, who also appears in the latest MCU movie, has a similar story, having considered using her middle name Chase. This however, was when she was a nine year old child with aspirations of being a famous actor, and once she started working she soon forgot about this plan.
If you check out our Doctor Strange 2 review, you’ll notice just how much praise we lavish on the two actors. Or, if you’ve seen the time travel movie, you may be keen to check out our Doctor Strange 2 cameo guide.