Benedict Cumberbatch on his 'new beginning' after being held at gunpoint

Kim Kardashian isn’t the only star in Hollywood whose found herself on the opposite end of a gun barrel. Benedict Cumberbatch opened up in a new interview with Vanity Fair’s November issue about his near-death experience over a decade ago.

Back in 2004, the Doctor Strange actor found himself in a harrowing situation in South Africa, where he was filming the BBC mini-series To the Ends of the Earth. Benedict along with two of his co-stars (Theo Landey and Denise Black) were jumped on a highway at night, after pulling over for a flat tire, following a scuba-diving training course.

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Photo: Jason Bell

Six armed individuals robbed the trio, taking their phones and credit cards. The actors were then forced into a vehicle at gunpoint, with Benedict stuffed into the trunk at one point. When the robbers stopped under a bridge, the British star pleaded for his life as he crouched down execution-style, tied up in his own shoelaces. Thankfully in an unexpected twist, the criminals fled the scene and the BBC stars managed to find help after untying themselves.

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Despite the terrifying ordeal, Benedict’s desire for adventure has further been fueled because of the incident. “I was definitely more impatient to live a life less ordinary,” he said. “I wanted to swim in the sea that I saw the next morning. If you feel you’re going to die, you don’t think you’re going to have all those sensations again—a cold beer, a cigarette, the feel of sun on your skin. All those hit you as firsts again. It is, in a way, a new beginning.”

Benedict added, “I think it just made me run at it a bit more recklessly.”

Photo: Doug Peters Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

Though when it comes to finding adrenaline these days, the actor wants “to seek some thrills at home.” The 40-year-old, who is married to actress Sophie Hunter, welcomed his first child, Christopher Cumberbatch in 2015.

“Having a baby—it’s massive,” the dad-of-one admitted. “And on a very unexpected level. Suddenly I understood my parents much more profoundly than I ever had before.”

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Benedict continued, “I was expecting, with Hamlet, that it might be a hindrance to be a father, because it’s all about being a son. But it’s the opposite. You understand much more about being a son, becoming a father.”

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