Benedict Cumberbatch Q&A on new series, Patrick Melrose

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Patrick Melrose, a new five-part drama based on the much-loved novels by Edward St Aubyn, this July on BBC First.

Each episode depicts a chapter in the life of the troubled Melrose, from his abusive childhood to his drug-addled adulthood. Hugo Weaving and Jennifer Jason Leigh also feature among an outstanding ensemble cast in a tale that’s sometimes dark but always bejewelled with a sparkling wit.

Ahead of the series starting in July, Benedict Cumberbatch took some time out to chat to us about the new series. 

Q: Who is Patrick Melrose?

BC: “Patrick is a character desperate to distance himself from his terrible childhood and as a result, is psychologically all over the place. He’s addicted to drugs and near suicidal, but also incredibly funny and brilliant.”

Q: Back in 2012, you said this was the one part that you wanted to play…

BC: “I remember saying it at a fan convention in Australia. I also said Hamlet – those are the only two roles that I’d ever bucket listed. The last novel had been published in 2011 and that was the year I’d started to read the series. It’s an awful thing to say, considering how monstrous some of these people are, but I just felt that I had a slight lock into the world.”

Q: You’re also producing…

BC: “Yes, we came on as a production company quite late after I got involved. We had been getting a lot of long material that just wouldn’t suit a two-and-a-half, two-hour compression into a film format so it made more sense to start looking at books and adaptations.”

Patrick Melrose is an Australian premiere series, winning critical and popular acclaim in the UK and US. Premiering Monday, July 23 at 9:30pm on BBC FIRST, watch Cumberbatch’s sublime performance and view a sneak peak of the series in the trailer below. 

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