Benedict Cumberbatch has launched a tirade against anti-gay extremism in a new interview, claiming he would be willing to defend gay rights “to the death”.
Speaking to Out magazine in a new interview, he says: “People are being beheaded in countries right now because of their beliefs or sexual orientations.
"It’s terrifying. It’s medieval - a beheading! I’d take up arms against someone who was telling me I had to believe in what they believed or they would kill me. I would fight them. I would fight them to the death."
Benedict is about to star in ‘The Imitation Game’ as Alan Turing, the gifted codebreaker who is famously credited with cracking the Enigma codes used by the Germans during World War II.
Although Turing was celebrated at the time, it was discovered years later that he was gay and in 1952, when homosexuality was still illegal, he was convicted, choosing to be “treated” with oestrogen injections (chemical castration) rather than serving a prison sentence.
The ‘Sherlock’ star says people should take his latest film role as a warning that, although gay rights seem to be moving in the right direction at present, “this could very easily happen again”, adding: “Human rights movements and sexual and gay rights movements have made huge social progress in the last 40 years, without a doubt, but there’s a lot more work to be done.”
Benedict famously missed the San-Diego Comic Convention last year because he was officiating at a wedding between two of his gay friends.