The former Sherlock star is currently in the running for his first Oscar, following his performance in The Power Of The Dog, and joins the likes of Nicole Kidman, Andrew Garfield and Idris Elba in the magazine’s awards season session.
Each of the stars involved has posed for an over-the-top photo-shoot in the magazine, but Benedict’s well and truly takes the cake, with the actor strolling around a bathroom in a translucent white top, covered in soap suds, while swans frolic in the background.
And no, we’re not making any of that up.
Unsurprisingly, the unusual set-up has got everyone talking on Twitter, with many trying to make sense of the scene:
Of course, as Benedict’s fans can tell you, this isn’t his first photo-shoot of the year that’s raised eyebrows online.
Last month, he posed for a similar issue of W magazine, with his ensemble – including a yellow bucket hat, matching tinted sunglasses and a floral shirt – sparking comparisons to a certain classic comedy character from the early 2000s.
After the cover went viral, Benedict hit back in an interview with Times Radio, saying: “F*** the piss-takers. I’d love to know what their version of a good photograph would be.”
He added that while the outfit wasn’t his usual style, he’d “do anything” for photographer Tim Walker, who was behind the snaps.
Vanity Fair’s 2022 Hollywood issue is on newsstands from 25 February.