Benedict Cumberbatch reveals he got nicotine poisoning THREE times filming The Power Of The Dog


Benedict Cumberbatch has detailed how he got nicotine poisoning three times during filming for his new film The Power Of The Dog. 

The actor, 45, who portrays the role of chain-smoking ranch owner Phil Burbank in the Jane Campion directed movie, opened up Esquire UK about preparing for the role, in which it seemed that he literally suffered for his art.

Benedict, who quit smoking in 2014, described how consistently lighting up a smoke take after take for the role was ‘genuinely is horrible’.

Oh no! Benedict Cumberbatch has detailed how he got nicotine poisoning three times during filming for his new film The Power Of The Dog

Oh no! Benedict Cumberbatch has detailed how he got nicotine poisoning three times during filming for his new film The Power Of The Dog

Describing how he got nicotine poisoning filing scenes as the ‘sadistic ranch owner’, Benedict said: ‘[Smoking] was really hard. Filterless rollies, just take after take after take. I gave myself nicotine poisoning three times. When you have to smoke a lot, it genuinely is horrible.’

Nicotine poisoning is when a person has too much nicotine in their body following ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact.

Symptoms of nicotine poisoning include nausea, excess saliva in the mouth, vomiting, loss of appetite, dehydration, headaches, eye irritation and dizziness.  

Role: The actor, 45, who portrays the role of chain-smoking ranch owner Phil Burbank in the Jane Campion directed movie, opened up Esquire UK about preparing for the role, in which it seemed that he literally suffered for his art

Role: The actor, 45, who portrays the role of chain-smoking ranch owner Phil Burbank in the Jane Campion directed movie, opened up Esquire UK about preparing for the role, in which it seemed that he literally suffered for his art

Despite the smoking difficulties, Benedict told how he fully submerged himself into the role and embraced the stench of the character not only on set, but away from the cameras too.

He said: ‘I wanted that layer of stink on me. I wanted people in the room to know what I smelt like. It was hard, though. It wasn’t just in rehearsals. I was going out to eat and meet friends of Jane [Champion – the film’s writer and director] and stuff.’

This isn’t the only time the TV star has been struck down with nicotine poisoning, as he also suffered with it while filming a Sherlock episode called A Scandal In Belgravia back in 2012.

Not a good experience: Benedict, who quit smoking in 2014, described how consistently lighting up a smoke take after take for the role was 'genuinely is horrible'

Not a good experience: Benedict, who quit smoking in 2014, described how consistently lighting up a smoke take after take for the role was ‘genuinely is horrible’

Tough: '[Smoking] was really hard. Filterless rollies, just take after take after take. I gave myself nicotine poisoning three times. When you have to smoke a lot, it genuinely is horrible'

Tough: ‘[Smoking] was really hard. Filterless rollies, just take after take after take. I gave myself nicotine poisoning three times. When you have to smoke a lot, it genuinely is horrible’

Interview: The Winter 2021 issue of Esquire UK is on sale now

Interview: The Winter 2021 issue of Esquire UK is on sale now

A scene in season two of the BBC crime drama in which he plays the titular sleuth saw him having puff on a cigarette as his alter-ego succumbed to his old habit.

Benedict had to take deep drag after deep drag as they filmed several takes for the scene, which lead to him getting nicotine poisoning. 

On whether he’ll reprise his role as Sherlock, Benedict teased to Esquire UK: ‘never say never’, adding that the ‘circumstances’ for the potential return need to be correct.

He also added that it is currently ‘too soon’ to see the series have ‘another life’ as he remarked that it has ‘had its moment for now.’ The series ended in 2017.

Meanwhile, in his interview, the star told how he likes to throw himself into challenging work to give his family ‘validation’ for his long stints away from home while filming.

He said: ‘I really enjoy my work. When I do work, I want to work hard. It has to be worth leaving my family and home for. To make them… Oh, this sounds weird but I guess to validate me not being there. And if I can get away with a new skill and call it work, lucky me, you know?’ 

Again: This isn't the only time the TV star has been struck down with nicotine poisoning, as he also suffered with it while filming a Sherlock episode called A Scandal In Belgravia back in 2012

Again: This isn’t the only time the TV star has been struck down with nicotine poisoning, as he also suffered with it while filming a Sherlock episode called A Scandal In Belgravia back in 2012

It comes after the Academy Award nominee starred with Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee in a new trailer for the Netflix Western, which dropped last week.

Cumberbatch stars as a Montana rancher in the 1920s who seems determined to terrorize his sister-in-law’s son from a previous relationship after becoming enamored of him.

The trailer opens on picturesque hills soundtracked to the moody acoustic guitar from Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, who has established a second career as a film composer with his acclaimed scores for There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread. 

The Power Of The Dog will receive a limited theatrical release beginning November 17, followed by a streaming debut on Netflix on December 1. 

Candid: 'I really enjoy my work. When I do work, I want to work hard. It has to be worth leaving my family and home for. To make them... Oh, this sounds weird but I guess to validate me not being there'

Candid: ‘I really enjoy my work. When I do work, I want to work hard. It has to be worth leaving my family and home for. To make them… Oh, this sounds weird but I guess to validate me not being there’

Coming soon: It comes after the Academy Award nominee starred with Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee in a new trailer for the Netflix Western, which dropped last week

Coming soon: It comes after the Academy Award nominee starred with Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee in a new trailer for the Netflix Western, which dropped last week 

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