Benedict Cumberbatch Would Prefer You Not Record Him While He’s in the Middle of Performing Hamlet


Benedict Cumberbatch is starring in Hamlet at London’s Barbican Centre for a few more weeks, but before he leaves, he wants to welcome you to a phoneless future. Why? The actor (understandably) isn't a fan of staring at phones and cameras recording him from the audience while he's trying to get his Shakespeare on.

Like a cool dad trying to coolly reprimand his children, Cumberbatch delivered a cool anti-phone message this weekend, and below is the bulk of it:

Can I ask you all a huge favor? I first want to say thank you to those of you who were here tonight. I really appreciate it — all this, all these cameras, all these phones, all you filming me. You put this to good use ... but what I really want to do is try to enlist you. I don't use social media, and I'd really appreciate it if you did tweet, blog, hashtagged the shit out of this one for me. ... I can see cameras, I can see red lights in the auditorium. And it may not be any of you here that did that, but it's blindingly obvious ... it's very, very obvious. ... It's mortifying. There's nothing less supportive or enjoyable as an actor being onstage and experiencing that. And I can't give you what I want to give you, which is a live performance that you'll remember, hopefully in your minds and brains, whether it's good, bad, or indifferent, rather than on your phones. So please don't — and it will get strict from now on: They have devices coming in on Monday that will have people detected and evicted. I don't want that to happen, because that's a horrible way to have to police what's a wonderful thing. So listen: This isn't me blaming you, this is just me asking you to ripple it out there.

Point taken.