Jesse Plemons Admits Co-Star Benedict Cumberbatch 'P***ed Him Off' With Off-Hand Comment On Set

The two actors recently played brothers in the Netflix drama Power Of The Dog.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons on the set of Power Of The Dog
Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons on the set of Power Of The Dog

Jesse Plemons has admitted Benedict Cumberbatch “pissed him off” with an insensitive jibe that got “under his skin” while they were making Power Of The Dog.

Both actors can be seen in the hit Netflix film, which won big at this year’s Golden Globes, including a victory in the Best Drama category.

Benedict plays ranch owner Phil Burbank in the Western, while Jesse portrays his brother George, who is relentlessly bullied by the former Sherlock star’s character when he suffers a devastating loss.

While promoting Power Of The Dog, Benedict has repeatedly spoken about how he remained in character as much as possible while the camera weren’t rolling, which Jesse has revealed included when he spoke to his co-stars.

“There was one time he got under my skin,” Jesse recalled to Variety. “He was like, ‘Hey, big boy’.

“It wasn’t ‘fatso’. I feel like a few people in life have been like, ‘Hey, big boy,’ and I was like, ‘Goddamn it. What the fuck?’.”

Jesse Plemons at the Golden Globes in 2020
Jesse Plemons at the Golden Globes in 2020
George Pimentel via Getty Images

Eventually, the two cleared the air after Jesse told Benedict during a cast dinner that the remark had “pissed me off”.

“He was like, ‘I’m so sorry’,” Jesse added. “I was like, ‘No, don’t worry. It was great’.”

As part of his method acting, Benedict was also introduced to crew members in character, with the Oscar nominee revealing: “Everyone was on the same page. I was introduced to the crew as ‘Phil’.

“Jane [Campion, the film’s director] would say, ‘This is Phil. You’re going to be working with Phil. Benedict is really nice but you’re going to meet him at the end of the shoot’.

“That just gave me permission to commit to this character whose behaviour is, at times repugnant, and not feel apologetic or embarrassed or self conscious about it in any way.”

Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch
Steve Granitz via Getty Images

Jesse also noted that while the rest of the cast – including his real-life fiancée Kirsten Dunst – would be socialising, Benedict “would be off in his corner braiding or doing whatever he was doing or rolling cigarettes”.

“I think it was really helpful,” he added.

But there were more downsides to Benedict’s method acting than isolating himself and accidentally insulting fellow cast members.

He previously revealed he gave himself nicotine poisoning no less than three times during production as he was smoking unfiltered cigarettes to stay in character.


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