Benedict Cumberbatch had one Star Trek Confidante: Stephen Hawking

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Apr 21, 2018, 3:12 PM EDT

If someone told you that the modern-day Khan, and Dr. Strange, and Stephen Hawking had a few margaritas together, would you think they were workshopping their sci-fi fan fiction? "Oh, did Kal-El show up too?" you might say. "And the New Mutants try to crash, but they're not drinking age?" While it does sound like a fan fiction paradise, it actually happened some years ago, and the modern-day Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness, and of course our beloved Dr. Strange, Benedict Cumberbatchjust told the tale on the BBC's The Graham Norton Show

Now, as if that epic meeting weren't enough, Khan, I mean Cumberbatch, further revealed that, prior to the film's release, there was only one person in the world to whom he leaked the info as to who he was set to play in Into Darkness, and that was the A Brief History of Time author (and all-around cosmology badass) Stephen Hawking himself.

(J.J. Abrams later said he regretted trying to keep the character a secret anyway, but Cumberbatch, despite spilling the beans on this one occasion, defended that decision.) 

He revealed the deets, he said, "to one person, who I thought deserved to know, and that was Stephen Hawking." Hawking passed away last month at the age of 76, and Cumberbatch doesn't let on how he responded to the news, but at any rate it sounds like they were chatting quite a while. "We were into our third margarita, I think, and I decided to tell him." Quite a fan-fic-worthy scene.


Authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross talk about their oral history Star Trek books.