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For Love of Benedict: Cumberbitches Fan Club Dedicated to 'Sherlock' Star

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 26, 2012 at 2:11PM

Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the BBC's hit series "Sherlock," is his own one-man Beatle, apparently. A fan club called "The Cumberbitches" has formed, comprised of 37,000 members and obsessively dedicated to, in their words, the "high-cheekboned, blue-eyed sex bomb."
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Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the BBC's hit series "Sherlock," is his own one-man Beatle. A fan club called "The Cumberbitches" has formed, comprised of 37,000 members and obsessively dedicated to, in their words, the "high-cheekboned, blue-eyed sex bomb."

Though Cumberbatch has been slowly rising to prominence  -- with supporting roles in 2011's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "War Horse," the roles of the Necromancer and Smaug in the upcoming "Hobbit" films, and even a rumored villain part in "Bond 24" -- it's "Sherlock" that has boosted him into the heartthrob stratosphere. The show resituates the classic Conan Doyle character as a tech-whiz wise in the modern-elementary ways of texting and GPS. His ambiguous sexuality is also highlighted, especially opposite Martin Freeman's Watson in the first episodes of Season 1.   

The Cumberbitches have their own Twitter, Facebook page and multiple Tumblrs. The group has even reappropriated internet memes to fit their Cumberbatch love: For example, the hashtag "first world problem" is substituted with "Cumberbitch problem."

When asked about the specific appeal of Cumberbatch, bestselling author and Cumberbitch member Alexandra Sokoloff attributes it to the nerd factor, saying that Cumberbatch winningly doesn't share either "George Clooney's rugged handsomeness or Brad Pitt's chiseled features." (Despite the group's "high cheekboned" creed.) Also: the name. "We know what he must have gone through with that name, and now that he's come out of it, it's Revenge of the Nerds and Revenge of the Geeks."

Cumberbatch himself is aware of the Cumberbitches, and inclined to agree with Sokoloff's assessment: "I wish my 15-year-old [self] had known about my allure to the opposite sex!"

"Sherlock" Season 3 reportedly begins filming in early 2013. 

This article is related to: Benedict Cumberbatch, Features, Sherlock, BBC, Headliners


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.