Benedict Cumberbatch helped save a petrified family from a herd of cows

The Power of the Dog, Benedict Cumberbatch, cows

Move over Curly because there’s a new cow whisperer in town. I’m talking about Benedict Cumberbatch, who recently told Graham Norton that he used skills he’d learned on the set of The Power of the Dog to save a frightened family from a herd of cows. No, I’m not making this up. Cumberbatch was a guest of BBC’s The Graham Norton show when he told the story, which is the kind of feel-good yarn we could all use right about now.

“I came back from shooting the film in August and we were off to the beach,” Cumberbatch explained (via Insider) about returning to the U.K. after filming in New Zealand. “To get there we had to cross a field and in the field was a petrified family who just couldn’t move, they were frozen because of a herd of cows with calves.”

Cumberbatch added, “I thought, ‘I can do this,’ and I just sort of parted the waves of cattle. The family was like, ‘That was incredible. Hey, aren’t you Sherlock?’ It was very un-Sherlock activity!”

Either Cumberbatch used some of his Doctor Strange magic to bewitch the herd, or he’s just that good at getting into character. I know that actors often acquire new skills when filming, but using them to save a family is some next-level stuff.

You’ll find the official synopsis for The Power of the Dog below:

Severe, pale-eyed, handsome, Phil Burbank is brutally beguiling. All of Phil’s romance, power, and fragility is trapped in the past and in the land: He can castrate a bull calf with two swift slashes of his knife; he swims naked in the river, smearing his body with mud. He is a cowboy as raw as his hides.

The year is 1925. The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant on their way to market, the brothers meet Rose, the widowed proprietress, and her impressionable son Peter. Phil behaves so cruelly he drives them both to tears, reveling in their hurt and rousing his fellow cowhands to laughter – all except his brother George, who comforts Rose then returns to marry her. As Phil swings between fury and cunning, his taunting of Rose takes an eerie form – he hovers at the edges of her vision, whistling a tune she can no longer play. His mockery of her son is more overt, amplified by the cheering of Phil’s cowhand disciples. Then Phil appears to take the boy under his wing. Is this latest gesture a softening that leaves Phil exposed, or a plot-twisting further into menace?

Directed by Jane Campion (The Piano, The Portrait of a Lady), The Power of the Dog also stars Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. The film recently earned a total of 12 Oscar nominations, including best director and adapted screenplay for Campion. Considered by many to be one of the most compelling dramas in recent memory, The Power of the Dog is currently available to stream on Netflix.

Source: Insider, The Graham Norton Show

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.