In a gripping interview newly minted A-lister BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH reveals his kidnap terror at gunpoint deep in the heart of territorial Africa.
Cumberbatch, who played the villain in “Star Trek: Into Darkness”, stars as “Sherlock Holmes” in hit series for The BBC and will be seen in new flick about WIkiLeaks founder Julian Assange, “The Fifth Estate”, told The Hollywood Reported what happened nearly a decade ago deep in the heart of the Zulu Nation homeland.
Cumberbatch recalled how he and two friends drove back to the set of the 2005 miniseries To the Ends of the Earth after a weekend spent diving.
"We were in South Africa, in KwaZulu-Natal, this amazing district north of Durban," Cumberbatch said. "It was cold, and it was dark. I felt rotten. We were wary because that's a notoriously dangerous place to drive.
“Then, poof, the front-right tire blows. So we got the spare, but that meant getting all of our luggage out. We were like sitting ducks..”
As his pals removed the tire, six armed figures emerged menacingly out of the heart of darkness and pulled their guns. Commaning them to put their hands on the heads, Cumberbatch recalled, "They started frisking us and said: 'Where's your money? Where's your drugs?' — we had smoked a bit of weed — 'Where are your weapons?' And at that point, this adrenaline of fight or flight just exploded in my body. I was like, 'Oh f***, we're f****ed!' "
Cumberbatch told THR every petrifying detail, explaining how the abductors drove him and his friends off into the inky blackness.
When the thesp protested to his captors that his arms and legs were losing all feeling because the ropes binding him were too tight, he was abruptly yanked from the car.
The kidnappers grappled with the trussed-up Cumberbatch, cramming him into the trunk of the vehicle.
Finally, the kidnappers screeched to a halt in the middle of nowhere, yanked Cumberbatch out of the trunk and dumped him on the ground. Into the long night, he remained bound as his terror mounted, he recalled.
"I was scared, really scared,” Benedict recalled. “I said: 'What are you going to do with us? Are you going to kill us?' I was really worried that I was going to get raped or molested or just tortured or toyed with in some way, some act of control and savagery."
Abruptly and without explanation, the dark assailants of the night let their prey go, flitting off into the jungle.
Cumberbatch said that surviving a near-death ordeal, he discovered the sheer wonder of remaining alive. "It really, really enriches your values in life," he said.