Benedict Cumberbatch Speaks Out About Hostage Situation In South Africa

Benedict Cumberbatch

First Posted: 12/01/12 07:37 Updated: 12/01/12 09:20   WENN

Super-sleuth Benedict Cumberbatch used his sly ways years before he landed the role of Sherlock Holmes - he used mind games to get himself out of a hostage situation in South Africa.

During a break from filming 2005 mini-series To The Ends Of The Earth, the Sherlock star and two pals took a trip to Santa Lucia, near Mozambique, to learn to scuba-dive.

All was going well until the group headed back to their hotel and were set upon by a group of thugs who took them hostage.

Benedict explains: "The three of us were trying to change the tyre. These six men appeared suddenly from the eucalyptus.

"They said: 'Put your hands on your head, don't look at us,' and were frisking us for drugs, money, weapons. Then they bundled us into the car.

"They dragged me up and put me in the boot of the car."

The actor racked his brains for ways to get out of the situation and he hit upon a novel solution.

He tells the Daily Star: "I argued my way out. I said: 'If you leave me in here, it's not the lack of air, it's the small space. There's a problem with my heart and my brain.'

"I just tried to explain to them: 'I will die, possibly have a fit, and it will be a problem for you. I will be a dead Englishman in your car. Not good.' They shut the boot and had an argument, and then pulled me out.

"So I kind of thank God I had the presence of mind to give them the idea that it would be better to keep me alive. And the other two hadn't been harmed."

The ordeal made the star realise a few life lessons: "It taught me that you come into this world as you leave it, on your own. It's made me want to live a life slightly less ordinary."

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